Let’s be upfront about something—parenting is hard, and it’s easy to screw up. If you aren’t mindful of your parenting behaviors, if you aren’t listening to what your kids are actually communicating, you’re going to parent inappropriately. If you don’t set boundaries, you will experience chaos and overwhelm. And even if you have great boundaries, every parent feels overwhelmed (and angry and frustrated!) sometimes.
As parents, we always have good intentions. We want to be the best for our kids. Often our parenting shortcomings stem from our own lack of awareness of child development. If you understand child development, you can discipline and communicate appropriately at each stage.
A child’s behavior is a great indicator of how successful discipline has been or what discipline might be effective in the future. Consistency is important, as is paying close attention to what your child is saying in both words and actions. This is why it’s so critical that you co-parent from the same page in the playbook, whether you’re married, separated, or divorced.