4 ways that being a good parent is like trying to lose weight!

Believe it or not there are several was in which trying to do the right thing, whether it is raising kids or keeping an eye on your weight are similar!

1. The more motivated you are the easier it is. The energy that you are able to put to keeping calm, joining in play, being emotionally available for your kids will all pay off in what you get back (if you also look at no. 3!). Set yourself small realistic goals. With the summer coming it may be to do one trip each week, don’t go for every day! It is too big. Remember the little things that you used to enjoy as a kids- going to the park, picking daisies, playing football or throwing a ball against a wall.

2. Meet others in the same boat. Weight losing groups work because of the mutual support. It doesn’t matter what your starting point is as everyone in the room has the same goal. This is where parent resource groups come in. We are all there to do what’s best for our kids. We start looking at what is going well, then a tool that we could use and finally we talk about anything you like for 3 or 4 minutes. Short and sweet but really energising (see no. 1!).

3. Notice when things are going well (like getting on the scales!). Often we don’t take time to look back and reflect on the family and what is going well and praise ourselves! If we have come up with a brilliant limit and then distraction so that the siblings have not fallen out, be pleased with how you did. If you coped with managing a play date and everyone left in one piece, fantastic!

Finally No. 4 Be kind to yourself. We can never stay on a diet 24/7 for ever. But if you have a bad day, you are tired, work is stressful. We give in to temptation. We may also be short with our kids, shout rather than keep calm and really not want to join in another game of Kerplunk (other games are available!). That’s ok. If you can take yourself out the way, have a drink and let yourself breathe. This is also great for your kids to see that when you find things too much (which they do all the time!) you have positive strategies that deal with it. Your happiness and energy then translate in a better time for them, later!

So contact tracy@enrichingparenting.co.uk to join a parent support group. It is free and great for taking some time out to recharge the parenting batteries! (Harrogate Thursday 8-9pm)

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