I had the privilege of meeting child psychiatrist Dr Kaylene Henderson recently. The lovely Kaylene had flown to Perth from her home in the Eastern states to share her parenting tips on ‘Being Your Best in Both Worlds’ for working parents. The free event was organised by Clan Midland and hosted by Ace Cinemas at Midland Gate. I was actually part of the Rock N Toddle Gigs for Kids team, and entertained the kids so the parents could listen to the talk in relative peace! Whilst I was kid wrangling in a tutu, I was lucky enough to able to multitask and listen to the talk myself! Here are Kaylene’s top eight tips that stood out to me.
8 Parenting Tips from Dr Kaylene Henderson
1.Delight in Your Child
Delight is NON VERBAL, for example smiling at your child, the way you look at them with joy and just being delighted that they exist. If we only show delight in our kids when they achieve something we set them up to be adults that feel like they need to prove themselves and achieve things to be worthy.
2.Show Your Child Empathy
If your child is upset, treat them how you’d like to be treated. If you had a terrible day, and your partner got home and he told you to look around the room and state all the objects that start with the letter ‘P’ would you feel better? Or if he told you that your day wasn’t really that bad and there are other people with far worse lives, would you feel better? What if he just said, ‘oh sounds like you’ve had an awful day’ and hugged you until you felt better? Our kids are the same! Forget logic and distractions, kids need empathy when they are upset. Research shows if you distract your kids when they’re upset they stay upset for longer! Also remember to wait until your child is no longer upset before teaching and correcting them.
3.Model Healthy Tech Use
Use your iPhone like you would want your teenager to use it. If you were having a conversation with your teen and they received a text and started texting instead of paying attention to you, would you like it? No! Our kids are the same!
4.Make Things Fun
Try and make the boring things like getting in the car fun. Kaylene mentioned that she needed her kids to get in the car in a hurry, so she sounded the Octo alert and announced, ‘Quick Octonauts into the Gup!’ Her kids loved it and rushed to the car!
5.Be Available to Talk
Are you approachable? Or are you always too busy, on your phone or grumpy? Your child needs to know they are welcome to come to you. The seemingly little things that children want to share with you are really important to them. Get this listening thing right when they’re little and they’ll trust you enough to tell you the big things as they get older.
6.Be on Your Child’s Team
Try and be on your child’s side when there is a problem. Say, ‘when you don’t get ready in the morning it’s a big problem for US isn’t it? What can WE do to solve this TOGETHER?’
7.Don’t Kill Your Kids
It’s much harder to lead a balanced life in jail. This was legitimately one of the parenting tips in the seminar and probably my favourite haha!
8.Do Your Best
There is no such thing as a perfect mum or dad. We’re all just trying our best. Parenting is a team sport and we can’t do it alone, so make sure you seek out the support you need. For online support feel free to join our Setting Up Generations parenting group for Australian mums HERE. So these eight parenting tips stuck out to me because I need to work on them the most!
Discover more of Kaylene’s parenting tips by follow her on Facebook HERE. Follow the Clan Midland Facebook page HERE to be informed of upcoming parenting workshops. Time to go and be delighted at my children’s existence!