Parenting with Appreciation

It can be difficult to be aware of and to show our appreciation and gratefulness for our children sometimes as we let the pace of life take over. We can let stress push in and start to pressure us. When this happens parents can tend to focus on problems and difficulties rather than on what is working and what we are grateful for.

When I look at my beautiful children I often think about just how precious they are to me and how grateful I am that they continue to grow into really great individual and unique human beings who have so many good qualities.

I recently had the opportunity to be surrounded by all of my extended family and their children – my nieces and nephews – who are all such wonderful children with qualities they don’t even realize yet. Perhaps their parents don’t quite fully appreciate their strengths, perhaps they do?

I know how easily things can go wrong and how when we focus on good stuff things can go right.

It can seem like a whole lot of hard work sometimes but at the end of the day if we can just peel away all the stress and problems and show our kids how much we love them and care about them, you will be amazed at how easily problems can be resolved. Don’t get me wrong – I know there are always going to be difficulties to overcome in parenting but what I’m trying to say is don’t let them take over.


It’s not just words that help kids, it’s how we act/behave and how we show them that we care, appreciate them and love them through our own parenting behaviour.

Many children who are showing us their ‘baddest’ side are simply showing us the upset and turmoil they are feeling on the inside. Bad behaviour is a red flag for us as the parents – as the adults in the relationship- to help them!


When I have parents coming to me to help them with “managing” their childs behaviour – I do not immediately request to see the child and I do not focus on the child (although the child is the paramount concern). This may seem odd however I have become quite concerned that in parent-child relationships the parent must take the primary responsibility for change when things go wrong.

It may seem harsh for parents to be confronted with this, but I invite you to consider this. We are the adults in the relationship, we (theoretically) have more skills to be able to understand what’s going on and change.

Adults can manage many more complex things than children – in most cases.

I’ve seen it time and time again where parents find it so much easier to focus on the child’s behaviour rather than on other vital things that affect children such as;  what is going on within the family, or what is going on in adult relationships, or what is going on in the parent-child relationship itself that may be causing the child’s behaviour.

This is tricky because it might sound like parent blaming but how do we do this without someone feeling blamed?? Better to risk blame of an adult than pile the blame on a child and the effects of that lasting a lifetime.


I have done it myself. I have caused my child to behave in a way that I could interpret as “bad behaviour” but actually was just him telling me he needed me to be there more for him. Luckily I cottoned on – albeit a bit later than I would like to think I should have (especially given my profession!!).


I guess the thing I learnt was how easy it is to blame the child instead of appreciating them and the messages they give us about ourselves, the family situation and our relationship with them.

Parent-child relationships are the most important and significant relationship you will both ever have. Make the most of it and try not to focus on the child as ‘bad’ when they do something wrong. Try to focus on what else is going on and what you might be able to change so that it helps them.


Good luck with it! I know we all have things we can focus on in this area.

Go forth, appreciate and be grateful for your wonderful little human beings you are nurturing to adulthood.

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