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The Making of an Effective Parent

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Mom-mentum provides our Mothers’ Center Group members with access to Group Discussion Guides meant to encourage reflection and conversation. This post was inspired by our discussion guide: Effective Parenting. This guide gives participants the opportunity to reflect on what effective parenting means to them and their families. To download this guide and others, log in and visit Mom-mentum’s members only area of our website. Not a member? Learn more about membership here.
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The Making of an Effective Parent

By Christine Farrugia
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Some days are better than others, but on a daily basis I strive to be the best parent I can. Sometimes this means simply moving on—putting one foot in front of the other. Other times, I look back and say “How did I do that so well?!”

What makes an effective parent? Discipline, parental habits, communication with children—these are all important aspects to consider when it comes to building a personal parenting philosophy. For me, however, there are a few key questions I can always refer back to when measuring my own parenting effectiveness:

  1. Did my children smile today? I strive to laugh with my kids and make sure that we take the time to be silly, share “inside jokes” and giggle over nonsense.
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  2. Have my children been getting enough sleep? I know I sure haven’t been! However, their growing bodies certainly need a good night’s rest. Not to mention, if kids don’t get sufficient rest, then this mathematical equation comes into play:
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Tired kids + Cranky Kids = One Cranky Mom
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  1. What have we been eating? Some days, Pop-Tarts, fast food and Twinkies. Not all day, of course! I believe in a healthy balance of, well, healthful and not-so-healthful foods. Having a doughnut after a nutritious lunch is just fine by me….as long as I’m getting a Boston Cream too!
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  2. Which acts of kindness did my children extend to the world? Instilling respect for humanity, love for all creatures and a sense of charity are high up on my list of effective parenting priorities.
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  3. Were there displays of good manners from my kids? Simple gestures like holding the door open for the next person, extending a compliment to someone and saying “thank you” are things that never go out of style.
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  4. Did we dance or sing today? Whether it’s belting out lyrics in the car to the radio or playing an energetic round of Nintendo’s “Just Dance” game, I love to turn ordinary moments into extraordinary ones by dancing and singing with my children.
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  5. Did we learn something new? Adding to their mental database of knowledge, finding answers to some of the “whys” in the world, encouraging the development of hobbies and discovering new talents are just some of the reasons to embrace learning opportunities. You never know, as a parent, you just might also learn a thing or two… or find a new pastime that you enjoy! Better yet, you can embark on a new hobby with your child… be it collecting seashells together or stargazing.
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I’m certain there are many other discussion-worthy questions you could ask yourself when measuring effectiveness as a parent. However, the questions  I’ve listed above truly help remind me on a more basic level, and on a daily basis, how I’d like to effectively parent my children—which includes building within them love, respect and a sense of humor.
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Leave a Comment:
What questions do you ask yourself when determining your own personal parenting philosophy? Do you have any additional ways you help measure your own parenting effectiveness?
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Walk to talk more about what effective parenting means to you?

Join in our September Virtual Discussion!

 

Join co-facilitators Brittani Johnson and Teresa McCarthy on Tuesday, Sept. 20th from 8-9 p.m. for a live, small group video discussion on the topic of Effective Parenting. This event is FREE to Mom-mentum Members. Not a Mom-mentum Member? Your event registration fee includes a year membership! To learn more about our virtual discussions and all our events, visit our website here.

 


 

Christine Farrugia HeadshotChristine Farrugia is a native Long Islander and (along with her husband) keeps very busy raising 4 children. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism and a Master of Library Science. Beyond working as Mom-mentum’s Group Development Manager, Christine is also a librarian and facilitates Mothers’ Center Groups within library settings. Helping people—especially children—and her community is a priority which she addresses by serving as a Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout leader, religious education teacher and as President of the Parent Teacher Association at her children’s school.

 

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