Happy New Year!

Most of you are probably wondering why on earth I have waited until the last week in January to post out a January newsletter. To be honest, most of you have been bombarded with the good will of New Year’s resolutions. A spring in your step with “I’m gonna make 2014 the best year ever” only to realize that most of us were hit with the same issues but, just in a different year.

So, my suggestion is STOP and reset the button on your family unit. Let’s be focused, let’s be honest, and let’s keep it real, folks. Most of you who come to me with your family challenges are caught up in the emotion that surrounds the problem that needs to be resolved. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t feel what’s going on, because it is important that our feet are on the ground and that we are able to empathize and understand the members of our family in order to stay connected and bonded.

So here some tips to get you started …

1.) STAY FOCUSED. You have to have your eyes on the ball of what the problem is. Which means if you are dealing with a bedtime issue and you have a strategy in place; it’s no good if you break that focus to have a 20 minute conversation with one of your friends about their weekend. Let’s face it…when have you ever seen me turn around in the middle of a conversation with a family and say, “Oh excuse me, I’m just going to go take this call, I have my cousin calling me.” Never, right? Because if I want something to succeed, I have to give it my attention.

2.) PRESENT. By that I don’t mean what you buy your kids to bribe them so they quickly to eat breakfast so you can get them off to school on time. It does not mean that we shouldn’t reflect on the past or contemplate a vision for the future. It purely means that I have to be in the same space, mindful of what’s going on right now. Being present allows us to identify and acknowledge what needs to happen to move forward. So many times I have heard from teenagers that their parents are home, but not really there. I think that says it all, really. For example, if you sit down with your family to watch a comedy you are all present because you all laugh at the same time. Just like when you sit down and read your kids a story. You laugh and feel sorrow as you read through the story arc of the book.

3.) OPEN. When something is open, everything is a possibility. What somebody has to say, how you respond, conversation and action is allowed to flow. Communication is key to any resolution, which takes a lot of time and energy. Most of the time, this can be very difficult. However the rewards can make a huge impact. It is the difference between your teenager giving you their point of view and you receiving it as back chat. It is also the difference between you expressing how you truly feel to your partner or choosing not to and being emotionally disconnected.

4.) HONESTY. Without it you cannot get to the bottom of any parental challenge, and it really doesn’t foster progress. Most of you will tell me it can be incredibly difficult be honest. If you take step 3 in hand, step 4 will become easier. What it also does is lead by example in teaching positive character. As family is the foundation of our society, honesty is an important part of our foundation.

5.) ACTION. This takes courage and follow through. However, change happens in a split second when a family decides to take action forward and commit to the process. You have seen it a hundred times or more when families have told me their stories and have procrastinated about what they don’t want. Having an action plan and being consistent with it is what leads to success.

Last but not least that beautiful word …

6.) GRACE. Grace is about poise, it’s about respect, it’s about having decorum. Admittedly, it is not always present when we are in the heat of discussions that need to be resolved. Especially with emotions when feeling stressed or frustrated. It’s always something that I am mindful of when helping a family. I believe we can go into conversations with it and allow it to carry us through the troubles of our challenges, so we can come out with it on the other end, too.

I am wishing you all, wherever you are in the world, a year that will allow you to prosper and elevate to the next level and be the best parents you can be. As a family, feel closer than ever for the year 2014. Remember, we are all a work that is under construction.

Jo

Copywritten by Jo Frost

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More in this category: Teaching Values » Exaggerating » Tantrums » Selective Hearing » Aggression » Are We There Yet? » Terrorism – How to Talk to Our Children About It » Encourage Reading » Keeping in Touch When Away » Discipline » Winding Down Tips Before Bed Time » Stepmom Struggles (Fake Cry) » Stalling Over Mealtimes » Child Anxiety » Sleep Transition » Work and Home Balance » Peek-a-Boo » Let’s Talk About Sex » Confidence for Pre-School » BACK TO SCHOOL » Encouraging Children to Come Out of Their Shells » Spring has Sprung — Let’s Get Active! » Meet the New SAHM: the Work-From-Home Parent » Kids Talk About Love » Turning Winter Blues into Sunshine for the Children » Spending Holiday Time with Family » Change the World, Give Back » Zero Tolerance Bullying » The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Back-to-School » For Playdates & Parties, Don’t be a Helicopter Parent » Disciplining Other People’s Children » Making the Most of Your Summer with the Kids… » Children and Accountability » Settling In Nicely » One With Nature » Valentine’s Day » Charging Into 2015 » 10 Holiday Questions (and Answers!) » Practicing Gratitude » Balance On the Work and Home Seesaw » And So To Bed… » Ready for Nursery » A Time of First Milestones » Eating Habits » HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! » When is YOUR Child Considered Potty Trained? » Child Abuse Prevention Month » Excerpt from Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules » With Love » Holidays on a Budget » Dealing with Life Transitions » Halloween Crafts » Who Needs Sleep? Everyone! » How Much Attention Should We Give Our Kids? » Young Girls and Self-Esteem » Anxiety, Depression and Teens » A Personal Note About Food Allergies » Gay Parenting » Eating Out with Kids » Flu Season » Plan of Action » Baby, It’s [Getting] Cold Outside » Encouraging Your Child’s Social Skills » Medical Alert » Planes, Trains, And Automobiles: Travel Tips for Children of All Ages » Father’s Day Activities » A Mother’s Day for YOU » Limiting Your Child’s Screen/Tech Time » Letting Go: Mother, Not Smother » Getting Sexy Back After Baby » Introducing A Babysitter » Jo’s Tips For Being Penny-Wise This Holiday Season » Adoption Month » The Importance of Sleep » Parenting Solo » Stay Cool » Household Chores » Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care Book Excerpt » How Do I Play? » Jo’s April Editorial » Jo’s Editorial » When Technology Is Ok » Do You Know What Your Children Are Reading? » Calling All New (or soon-to-be) Moms & Dads! » Jo’s Three Nursery Golden Rules » “We Never Have Sex Anymore!” » How your child behaves is your responsibility » How to deal with your Toddler » My son has a problem in the toilet » My 15 month old son will not sleep » My 4 year child is telling me “I hate you” » Work with your baby’s body clock » Starting fresh for the New Year » Twelve Thoughts for Christmas » Naughty chair/spot correct way? » A New Mom To Be » Baby waking too often » How much sleep does she need » Pick me up! » DESPERATE for help!!! » Three year old daughter won’t let others help » How to get my five year old son to stay dry all night long » How to explain death » No more nappies?!!! » Need to Pack On The Pounds.. » Getting my 2 1/2 year old in his car seat » guilt trip or more serious? » My 12 month old doesn’t like to nap in daytime » Big Issues with my 15 year old » Time Out Follow-up » Tummy time! » How do I best help my 18 month old to STTN? » My son won’t use cutlery » 6 year old Reader » Getting my 2 1/2 year old in his car seat » Child won’t drink from sippy cup or cup… » 3 1/2 month old’s sleeping difficulties » Ouch!! » Transition to a new room » Fear of bed time » 10 months – too young to sleep through? » Is it too early for reins? » 3 year old and new puppy » Toddler forcing himself to vomit » Potty Training » I’m a nanny and need help!!! » Help getting my 18 month old to talk » How do I know when to start weaning?? » 3 1/2 yr old daughter wont stop SCREAMING!!!! » Naughty Step Becomes a Game » TEEN IN DESPRATE NEED OF JO’S HELP!!!! » Please Help! » Daily Routine » STUDY HABITS » Paci still a problem » 4 1/2 month old: Should he be eating? » Three-year-old son sleeps only in our bed »
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