Reposted here, with permission, are Dr. Durand’s top 10 tips for Optimistic Parenting:
- Explore your thoughts and feelings before, during and after meltdowns. Practice noticing these experiences so you can see later if they help or hurt your parenting skills.
- If your spouse or partner doesn’t help, ask why. Just as your thoughts and feelings interfere with good parenting, so might your spouse’s self doubts or doubts about your child. This involves the seemingly obvious but often very difficult issue that confronts most couples: communication.
- Believe you are a good parent. When you add up all you do for your child, the positives far outweigh any occasional lapses you may experience.
- Believe your child can change. All of our experience tells us any child can improve his or her challenging behavior.
- Take care of yourself. You can’t help your child if you are hurting. Give yourself permission to occasionally be “selfish.”
- Leverage-don’t multi-task! Doing two things at once means you may be doing two things poorly.
- Parent in the moment. Keep reminding yourself to focus on what is happening right now with your child (for example, having a good bath) rather than other things (for example, thinking about what to make for dinner while bathing your child).
- List three good things that happen each day.
- Express gratitude toward those who help you.
- Sometimes bad is OK. Feeling bad sometimes is inevitable for everyone.
View the Q & A article with Mark Durand, the keynote speaker from Commonwealth Autism’s annual autism conference this past March. View Here