We all want to be the best possible parents for our keiki. Here are some tips that you can start implementing with yourself and your keiki to connect and uplift.
- Self-care first. The airline pre-flight safety speech always says to put on your oxygen mask first, before assisting another person. This same concept applies in parenting. Fill up your ‘fuel tank’ first (i.e., with a hot bath, workout, nap, etc.), then take care of your ohana. Find some way to connect with your needs each day, and you will have more of your best self to give to your keiki.
- Eye-level. Get down to eye-level with your keiki as often as you can. When they see you eye-to-eye, keiki feel safer and more connected. Having to look up at you all day, especially if you are upset with your keiki, can feel scary and intimidating. So meet your keiki at their eye-level whenever you engage with them.
- Quality time. Keiki thrive when they get one-on-one time with each parent or caregiver. The idea is to give your keiki your undivided attention (without electronics, siblings or interruptions) for some period of time to be present with their needs. The amount of quality time suggested for each age group is:
- 0-3 – at least 30 minutes/day
- 4-6 – 20 minutes/day
- 7-10 – 15 minutes/day
- 11 and up – 10 minutes/day
- Positive self-talk. You are doing your very best. Parenting can, at times, be a difficult and thankless job; so remember to say to yourself that you are doing well. There are a thousand different ways to parent, and you are doing it right! Look into a mirror and say out loud right now, “I am a great parent. I am doing my best. I am doing it right!”