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Jennifer Wolf

12 Ways to Be a Better Parent

By November 11, 2012

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If you're a living, breathing human parent, I'm sure you've had your share of days where you felt like you blew it. Yelled when you should have stayed calm. Said no when you should have said yes, or yes when no would have been the wiser choice.

A mom and daughter talking together.

Hindsight is 20/20, and even though some of us are really good at beating ourselves up about past decisions, that approach usually leaves me feeling even worse. What does help is to remember that none of us are perfect. And what matters more than perfection is growth. "Did I handle this situation better than the last one?" "Am I getting better at staying calm, even when I'm mad or frustrated?"

Remember, too, that asking your kids for forgiveness can be a relationship breakthrough that brings you closer. So give yourself permission to learn from your mistakes. I personally find that keeping a journal helps a lot, because it helps me look my weaknesses in the eye and acknowledge my successes -- those times when I felt myself getting angry and took a deep breath, or intentionally waited to discuss the consequences for something until I'd had a chance to think more clearly about the situation.

For a list of baby steps you can start taking right away, read How to Be a Better Parent: 12 Ways to Become a Stronger, More Confident Single Mom or Dad.

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