7 Simple Steps to Handle Any Parenting Situation

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By Stephanie O’Leary, Psy.D., Author of Parenting in the Real World

By Stephanie O’Leary, Psy.D., Author of Parenting in the Real World

Stephanie O’Leary, Psy.D., a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Neuropsychology, today released “Parenting in the Real World: The Rules Have Changed. Drop The Guilt. Handle any Parenting Situation in 7 Simple Steps.” The new book is not the typical parenting how-to manual. Instead, Dr. O’Leary delivers no-nonsense, effective tools using a refreshing, conversational style that will have parents nodding their head, laughing out loud, and thinking, “Finally! Someone who gets it!”

“Whether you have toddlers or teens, time goes by at warp speed so you have to find ways to teach important life lessons amidst the daily chaos,” said Dr. O’Leary, a wife and mom of two. She understands the reality parents face in juggling daily responsibilities while navigating new challenges—like managing screen-time and Internet safety—and shares heart-felt, personal stories that assure readers she’s been around the parenting block.

These practical strategies are the same tools Dr. O’Leary uses at home and in her private practice. She has seen these tried and true strategies successfully transform parent-child relationships time and again, creating unbreakable bonds and helping parents like their children as much as they love them. Dr. O’Leary shares her tips for handling parenting in any situation. 

7 Parenting Tips for Any Situation 

Listen. Pause and listen to your child before springing into action or firing back a response. This means zipping your lip, biting your tongue, and accepting that a little parental silence can go a long way.

Let your child know you “get it.” Validate your child by repeating back a bit of what he or she said, even if you disagree or know they’re completely off base! This will open your child’s ears so your great suggestions are actually heard.

Be respectful. Talk to your child the same way you would to a friend or to someone else’s child. Use this rule of thumb: If, in the future, it wouldn’t be okay for your child’s significant other to say it, you shouldn’t say it either.

Set limits and boundaries. Choose limits that you’re willing to keep based on the situation at hand, not what happened yesterday or last year. This teaches your child that limits and boundaries are flexible, necessary, and that he or she can handle them.

Take responsibility. Own your successes and apologize for your mistakes. Give yourself a do-over if you need it. Know that genuinely apologizing to your child is one of the most powerful things you can do, and the best way to teach your child to be accountable.

Have fun! When things get busy, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the routine and overlook the fact that your kids are fun. Don’t be afraid to stop the daily grind to laugh or get silly. Take time to notice the little things your child does or says that bring you joy.

Practice self-care. Take great care of yourself so you can take great care of your kids. Know that even the best parenting plan or strategy won’t work well if you’re always exhausted or depleted. Make self-care a priority and do it unapologetically—your kids are counting on you! 


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Stephanie O’Leary, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Neuropsychology, mom of two, and author of Parenting in the Real World. She provides parents with a no-nonsense approach to navigating the daily grind while preparing their child for the challenges they’ll face in the real world. www.stephanieoleary.com

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