Creative Parenting Solutions

by Ann Douglas

Every day is a new beginning when you’re a parent. Your child is changing and growing. And so are you. Each day you wake up with more wisdom and insights than you had the day before. (It may not feel like that some days, but it’s true. Being a parent offers ongoing opportunities for learning, on good days as well as bad.)

And the days when we feel the most frustrated with our parenting efforts are often the times when we are on the verge of a major parenting breakthrough (or at least that’s been my experience). I’ll be feeling frustrated because I don’t appear to be making any progress whatsoever in figuring out how to handle a difficult parenting situation. And then, when I’m working away at a completely unrelated task, a creative solution will pop into my head.

Image: Shutterstock/Sergei Mironov

Image: Shutterstock/Sergei Mironov

I’ve also learned over the years that it helps to have some strategies to turn to when I’m feeling more frustrated than creative—strategies that help me to shift my perspective or to let go of some of the negative emotion attached to the situation.

Find your sense of humor. Not only do you need a sense of humor as a parent, but humor is a great trigger for creativity.

Try not to take everything quite so personally. Take a deep breath. Take a walk. Take a break. Do all three.

Remember what it was like to be your child’s age, dealing with a similar situation. Can you actually bear to mentally transport yourself to that place for more than a few seconds? Sure you can—for the sake of the insights that such a journey will elicit.

Not every brilliant parenting idea that you come up with will be a good fit for your child and/or succeed spectacularly. If you are able to come up with a steady stream of ideas, you won’t have to worry about tossing aside your less-than-brilliant ideas. You simply move on to the next idea. Creativity and resilience are great traits to have when you’re a parent.

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including, most recently, Parenting Through the Storm: How to Handle the Highs, the Lows, and Everything in Between.