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Counseling for Parents

How to be a Better Parent

From the very first moment we decide we want to have a child, through conception or adoption, visions of our life as a parent dance through our mind, loving and memorable. What they say and do, who they become, where they go and what they like and want is all a beautiful dream we create.

As our children grow at some point the vision, we have is shaken up a bit by reality in a positive or negative way.  Other factors such as friends, work and school can also affect how everyone within the family unit operates.









Like a roller coaster ride, parenting has its ups and downs.  Sometimes we throw our hands up in the air and laugh hysterically from the thrills, other times we cry, hoping to get off the ride and catch our breath.Sometimes challenging but never boring, parenting puts us in touch with the good, bad and ugly of ourselves.  Each phase they and we as parents pass through together prepares us for the next one.


While there are no hard and fast rules for being the best parent you can be, here are some tips to help you on your journey as a parent.

  • Take care of yourself.  This is probably one of the most important tips for any parent.  As we immerse ourselves in parenting it can become all too easy to forget about ourselves.  Who we are, what we need to make it through the day or night get lost in the mix?   That amazing cup of coffee with some quiet that we cherish so much, a warm and relaxing bubble bath that prepares us for sleep or the hour alone we take to paint a picture that brings us joy are necessary to our own health and wellbeing.  If we lose sight of what makes us happy them, we are incapable of being the best anything to anyone.  Self-love always comes first, so spending a little time each day making yourself happy paves the way for being a great parent.

  • Enforce and implement a good set of simple but effective house rules.  Rules are a necessary part of life for everyone, they assist in keeping order and knowing what is expected.  Children can help with deciding what rules go on the list, this will empower them.  Household rules should be followed by children and adults, modeling good behavior is part of being a good parent.

  • Being consistent and providing stability.  Whether it is an allowance after a week of doing the dishes every night, father and son basketball every Friday night or losing their iPhone as punishment for punching their brother 3 times,each child needs the security of knowing what to expect.  As the parent it is up to us to provide a stable environment which can set the tone for everyone’s emotional and mental wellbeing.

  • Making room for quality time.  Life is crazy for everyone from school, extracurricular activities, errands, phone calls, work, travel, to extended family and friends.The busy moments of life can be exhausting and can chip away at the foundation of a family.  Setting a daily, weekly or monthly time for one on one attention shows that each person in the family is appreciated and valued.  Like date night that mom and dad might take weekly, spending an hour each week with each child individually can offer time to reconnect with each child.

  • Foster trust with openness.  We should be open with our children, sharing of ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, ideas and beliefs with our children.Alsowe can express to our children that no matter what theygo through in life, we are always there for them, supporting and loving them.  Some of the best teaching and connecting moments are made when we are sharing with each other open and honestly.

  • Schedule free time weekly.  Make sure that there are opportunities for everyone in the family to just be, have free time with no agenda or schedules to keep.  No expectationscalls to make, books to read, nothing.  One night a week for 2 hours where everyone just chills and does what they want to, watch tv, jump on the trampoline, take a walk, etc.  In our stressful busy lives having a few moments where everyone in the family takes a break can rejuvenate everyone.Hopefully this will plant the seed in their minds so as adults they follow this same ritual.

  • Share lots of laughter and fun moments, make memories.   Share jokes daily, laugh at the unexpected, listen to the quirky things they say, and enjoy the life that is shared with them because it will be over in a blink.  Weekly or monthly make it a point to do something together as a family that provides together time for making memories.  We sometimes put too much emphasis on the big moments like a 2-week vacation to Disney, but some of the best memories are made in the small moments we spend.

  • Keep negativity in check as much as possible.  There will be moments when they will test our emotional and mental state, they will anger us with what they say or do.   If we can express these emotions and feelings without blame, ridicule, shame, or criticism while being true to ourselves all the better for everyone.  Modeling patience, understanding, acceptance and tolerance as much as possible can also teach them positive life skills for when they are adults.

  • Know thyself, inside and out.  Becoming a parent can bring out the best and worst in us all, it forces us to take a closer look at who we really are and sometimes we don’t like what we see.  If that is the case, forgiveness for faults and flaws is the first step in finding happiness.  Then in turn modeling this behavior to a child by being forgiving of them will help them grow to understand and accept who they are as a person.  Life isn’t perfect, nor are any of the players in it.  The more we accept that the better all our relationships will be.

  • Take a deep breath and relax.  For every challenging moment a child and parent may face there are so many more beautiful moments to embrace.  The calmer and more relaxedwe are as parents the better we can handle each new situation that arises in a positive manner.  This positive outlook will set the tone for how the family interactsdaily, creating a safe haven for all involved to prosper and grow.

If the goal as a parent is to raise our children to be the best individuals they can be in life, then being the best parent, we can be will provide them with the foundation to a great start in life.We all want our children to grow into productive, happy, strong, loving individuals that shine their divine light in every step they take. My favorite parenting method is "The Nurtured Heart Approach" by Howard Glasser. 



Its not an easy journey for any parent or child but the better equipped we are to deal with the unknown of parenting, the easier we can handle those situations in a positive and uplifting way that assists them in becoming the best adults they can be.

Being patient, understanding, honest, open and loving goes a long way as a parent.  Opening our heart and letting our children in creates a bond that is unbreakable, a foundation for the future that should be embraced.

Call Dr. Clare Albright, Psy.D., CA Psychologist License PSY11660 at (949) 454-0996 at

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