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Perfect Parenting? 6 quick tips for getting it right...not perfect!

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Let's be honest...parenting is wonderful some days and absolutely exhausting on others. Just when you think you have everything under control BAM, it all goes out the window.

Today's Tip: Allow yourself to be okay in the imperfection!

I used to think good parents got it right every day...and then I had kids of my own. I discovered there is no such thing as perfect parenting, Other things I have learned from the messy middle of parenting include...

1. Parenting is unpredictable

There are days when you think, "No problem, I've got this." Enjoy those days, because this job is always full of surprises! Your sweet baby hits the terrible twos or your pre-teen has taken "bad attitude" to a new level. Hang in there, it's okay. We've all been there, trust me.

2. Even the best parents struggle

You know that mom with the perfect kids? She has challenges too. Yes, her kids may behave in public, but I can promise you they are not always perfect angels at home. Nope, that mom may have a child who is defiant beyond reason, can't read at his grade level or is struggling with bed wetting.

We all have challenges, it comes with the job.

3. You have to be brave to be a parent

This is why I love the name of my company, Dare to Parent. We have to be brave enough to have our kids not like us, be the "only parent" who won't let their 13-year-old see a PG-17 movie, or give our teen keys to the car and trust he will arrive home in one piece. It takes courage, conviction and quite honestly, a whole lot of TUMS to parent.

4. It's okay to get things wrong

We ground our kids "forever," and tell our daughter she can't date until she's 30 and expect her to listen. We say "NO" to a request, then look back and realize it could have been a "let's talk about it" moment. IT'S OKAY!

As our kids reach a new stage, we are learning to parent that stage. Even if we've been through it with an older child, it may be different this time around! Each day is a chance for improving from the day before. Our kids will learn that it is okay to make mistakes, own up to them and follow through with finding solutions.

5. You are not alone!

When I work with parents in either a private consultation or in a group setting they are relieved to realize they are not alone. We all have moments when we cry, get frustrated or panic when things get really serious. We may not have the same challenges, but we do share the common bond of parenting through the good and the bad days.

The key to effective parenting is building a strong parent-child relationship.

6. There are ways to make things better

I always focus on communication and positive discipli