11 Traits of a Great Parent

It’s not easy to be a great parent. Some of you didn’t have the best examples to follow, and it’s not a skill taught in school. You either have to educate yourself or learn on the job.

While there are many parenting styles, successful parents share attributes that give their children the best chance for success and happiness.

Most parents have a few of these attributes but must develop the others.

Great parents share many attributes:

  1. Patience. You knew this would be at the top of the list. Children are messy, noisy, don’t listen well, and exasperating. They can be pretty wonderful, too. But patience is essential. Learning to take a deep breath and relax can help more than just your parenting skills.
  2. Multi-tasking skills. Dealing with the house, work, and children require a great ability to multitask. Children constantly pull your attention away from whatever you’re doing. It’s not easy to regain your focus.
  3. Encouraging. Children quickly learn to doubt themselves and worry about the opinions of others. One of the best ways to combat this is to encourage your kids. With enough encouragement, a child can become their best self.
  4. Supportive. Encouragement and support go hand-in-hand. Children with support grow up to be relaxed and comfortable. Without support, the world can be a scary place. Teach your child there’s little to fear.
  5. Intelligence. One of the hallmarks of intelligence is problem-solving. Children provide a unique set of challenges that have to be solved. A little brain power can help you to navigate the minefield that parenting can entail.
  6. Flexibility. Many of your parenting attempts will fail. You must be flexible enough to have multiple solutions up your sleeve. When one doesn’t work, you can always try something else. Plans are always changing, too. It helps if you can go with the flow.
  7. Good leadership skills. You might be able to boss your kids around, but they’ll resent it, and they never forget. It’s more effective to have good leadership skills and only throw your parental weight around when necessary.

  8. Dependability. Kids feel safe when they have reliable and dependable parents. They have to know that you’re there for them. How much can your kids trust your word? How reliable do your friends consider you to be?

  9. Compassion. Children need to develop and experience compassion. Kids need understanding and comforting. Can you provide those two things?

  10. Sense of humor. Your children will give you plenty of opportunities to laugh. It would be a shame to allow those moments to go to waste. You’ll keep your sanity if you have a great sense of humor.
  11. Self-awareness. Children aren’t sure how to act. It’s up to you to be a role model. You’ll find that kids react to situations in ways that mimic your reactions. They don’t know any other way. It’s important to be self-aware enough to know whether you’re being a good role model.

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Model Appropriate Behavior for Your Children

When it comes to children, you are their role model. Parents are their first teachers. It is important to let them know how to deal with various situations as they age. Appropriate responses lead to positive outcomes. Never is this more important than dealing with defiant children. Model appropriate behavior. It will make things easier on you and on your children.

What Makes Defiant Children Different

Defiant children may suffer from a condition called ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This is more complex than just being stubborn. These children are disagreeable in the extreme and the behaviors occur almost daily. Parents often feel responsible or guilty for their children’s behavior anyway, so this just makes the situation that much more intense. The children may break the rules, talk disrespectfully, and repeat annoying behaviors on a regular basis. Traditional types of discipline only fuel the children’s anger and irritability. Parents often find themselves on a perpetual search for new ways of handling the situation.

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Show and Tell Me Two: An Afterschool Review Strategy

Just before your little sweetie tosses that bookbag across the floor when they get home ask them to grab a sheet of paper and pencil as soon as they get home. You want to ask them to show and tell you two. 

We’re going to use this strategy as a quick way for your child to review, recall, and retell you what they learned today . Either you can choose two subjects or they can but they need to show you two things that they learned today academically and tell you two things that they learned (any lesson will do). 

There’s so much that happens within a school day and mini-lessons can be lost if they don’t realize that they were lessons. Maybe your child will show you a reading strategy, how to multiply fractions, don’t share secrets with a friend after a disappointing event in the lunch room and don’t EVER try to whisper answers during a test because two classmates got detention.

Doing this allows you to share in a bit of your child’s day as well as get a glimpse into how attentive they are in their school environment. It will also let you know what’s challenging for them if they can’t reteach it to you and where they may need some additional support academically. It’s also a nice segway into some deeper conversations without feeling like you’re preaching to your kids but participating in some real-life experiences that are important to them. 

There are so many benefits to this strategy and it only takes five minutes or less to make a huge impact in your child’s day. Keep these sheets in a composition notebook for some sweet memories to look back on later. 

11 Easy Relaxation Practices to Share With Your Children and Teens

If you have relaxation practices that work for you, you might wonder how you can encourage your children to join you. Even if you haven’t been the best role model. After all, their lives can be stressful too when they’re trying to get good grades, make friends, and adapt to the changes that are part of growing up.

Sure, it would be tough to train a toddler to meditate for a half hour when they can barely sit still long enough to eat. However, there are age-appropriate activities suitable for any stage of development, from preschoolers to teens.

Find out more about how to help your children develop greater mindfulness and relieve stress.

Sharing Relaxation Practices with Younger Children

Even small children can relax and focus if you use movement and sound to make it interesting. It also helps if you provide an inspiring role model by managing stress constructively yourself.

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Top 5 Resources For Being A More Intentional Mother

I LOVE to read, that’s no secret. I believe in reading I get to experience someone’s else life, heart their heart, receive their guidance and feel encouraged. So when I came across this author I was in awe of her! I just soaked up everything she had to offer, subscribed to her podcast, joined her membership site, attended her virtual tea party, and Amazon primed all of her books. (Yes she’s that good)

Sally Clarkson really shares a passion for being excellent stewards over what God has given us in our spouses and children. She’s cultured, she’s God-fearing and she caused me to find the joy in parenting rather than focus on the chaos. All of my recommendations today are authored by her because she’s had much of a profound effect on me (and I have read LOTS of parenting books).

You can learn more about Sally at sallyclarkson.com or utilize my affiliate links below and add one of her books to your collection. You’ll be a better mom/person because of it!

Educating the WholeHearted Child is all about Christian homeschooling. Every feeling I ever felt about homeschooling but could never put into words was said in this book and more. The Clarkson’s walk us through what it means to set the foundation for biblical learning and across all subjects. They share scriptures to explain how they came to each recommendation and suggestion.  If you’ve been wanting to influence your child’s heart and mind, you’ve got to pick this one up!

The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity is about understanding our roles as mothers. I don’t need anyone to tell me how to parent but J could always use someone to remind me on the overwhelming days that it’s going to be alright and to find the joy in my role. This book does that for me. Being able to fully understand that magnitude of my job as a mom causes me to look at everything day to day task differently.

The Lifegiving Home invites us into the things that make the Clarkson family unique; their family culture. I don’t naturally sit around and intentionally think about what culture I’m creating for my family but after reading this book I did and still do. What kinds of music, art, literature, food, routines, and rhythms do you create for your family on a consistent basis? What are their outcomes for your family? What can you stand to be better or more consistent with? This book has all the answers!

The Ministry of Motherhood is about understanding your purpose and what you’ve been called to do as a mother. Sally asks:

What purpose do you think God had in mind when he designed the role of mother? Have you ever specifically considered that, in becoming a mother, you have actually been called to a ministry? In what way does that concept change how you think about your role? Read Psalm 127: 3—if possible, in more than one translation. What does this verse imply about the ministry of motherhood?

I read Psalm 127:3 and noticed that my kids are a reward from God. How do we act when we receive a reward? We get excited, we share, we express gratitude, we don’t complain about how much time and energy it requires. Right? Oh, I could go on and on about how many eye-openers we’re in here for me. Sometimes even when we do something well we can stand to be better and Sally calls us to do just that.

Please grab these books and your favorite drink because you’re in for a treat! Be sure to let me know which ones you’re especially excited about and once you’ve dived in come back and share your takeaways with other moms like you.

If you haven’t already downloaded my Empower Your Children E-Book, grab your copy today.


My Top Ten Teaching Tools

As a successful educator turned homeschooler the Back to School season is like Christmas! The scent of fresh notebook paper and the sound of my electric pencil sharpener brings a smile to my face. As I’m making purchases for our school year stocking up on materials is critical (especially those crayons which seem to evaporate in our house).

Today I wanted to share my top ten teaching tools so YOU can stock up too.

*This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small percentage of commission from your purchase at no additional cost to you. 

#1 My Laminator

I use the Swingline laminator almost every day. As a mom of preschoolers, I’m constantly making file folder games, reusable worksheets, and learning sets that I need to last. Laminating my sheets just lets stuff last longer around here! Don’t forget to grab laminating sheets as well.

#2 My Binding Kit

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Proclick Binding Kit. This one has two “workbooks” that I can create with 25 pages each. I originally purchased these to use in my business for creating my curriculum workbooks but they serve twofold in our homeschool life as well. If you find something you want longevity for over the course of a unit, use these!

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What is a Cultivator and How do I know if I am One?

Recently you may have heard about my podcast The Called to Cultivate™ Podcast with Regina Coley or heard my invitation to join the Called to Cultivate™ Community and thought to yourself what is a Cultivator™? A Cultivator is a person who educates, empowers, and enriches the lives of others. A Cultivator can teach, speak, or write but it’s through this that s/he challenges others to dig deeper so they can grow.

I wanted to coin a term that accurately explained my heart’s work and the hard work of so many others. So the Cultivator was created!

Who Do Cultivators Cultivate?

Anyone you feel called to serve! It can be your own children, your co-worker, or you can organize and lead a group. Cultivators have a heart for service and helping others to reach and achieve their goals through teaching, writing, and speaking. As it relates to me I cultivate parents and educators on this blog but I serve young women and girls in the community. I find opportunities to teach in everything I do.

Teach

A great Cultivator loves to educate people. You can do this through speaking or writing. You can engage, inspire and motivate your students to learn. I truly believe everyone has something to teach but there are select few that are gifted to teach. In our community, we discuss both types of teaching and support you on the path to discovery for both styles.

Inspire

A great Cultivator loves to inspire people. You wake up every day with a desire in your heart for people! You want to encourage people to strive for their very best. You want to serve as a role model for younger people and an aspiration for your peers.

Create Change

A great Cultivator works to create change. I mean your ultimate goal is to make a difference. You don’t feel at peace knowing that there is something that can be done when you see a need. You are typically the initiator and are full of vision.

Am I Describing You?

If while you read this your felt a leap in your belly you may be a Cultivator! If you are wanting to step into this work then you’re definitely in the right space.  You can hear more about the Cultivator movement in these places:

Called to Cultivate™ Podcast

Called to Cultivate™ Community

Schedule a Clarity Call with me

Sign up for my list to get access to more resources

Are You Providing Your Kids these Five Learning Opportunities in Your Home?

Good students usually come from good homes where one or both parents have spend a substantial amount of time, energy, and resources providing a rich learning environment. None of this means that you have to spend a lot of money on making your home look like a school and you don’t have to have a PhD in Education.

Educational success comes from putting time in what you want your children to know.  If they spend time in front of the TV they will become a verbal TV guide. If they spend time on the arts or Math then that’s what they’ll know.

  1. Do they know the value of hard work? Do you do everything for your kids or do they have to do work beyond what they think is comfortable or enjoyable?
  2. Do they have a strong sense of responsibility? What is it your kids have to do each day no excuses? Do you follow through with them and make sure they actually complete them?
  3. Do they have a willingness to keep going even when the going gets tough? How do you encourage and push them to not quit?
  4. Do they know what they do well outside of a classroom setting? Success needs to exceed the classroom especially if your child doesn’t have a teacher that always encourages his or her personal best. Are your kids excelling in sports? the arts? music? a foreign language? Be sure to provide opportunities for well rounded success.
  5. Do they have an understanding about people of other cultures? Creating kids who are ready for the world requires them to know that people of other cultures exist and speak a variety of languages. How are you strengthening their cultural IQ? Board games? Diversity in books? Diversity in music played or movies watched?