The most important question to ask yourself when you’re having parenting challenges with your preschooler. What do I love about my child? What is going well?
It can be helpful to build on the positives when parenting hits a rough patch. What do you like about your child at this age. Can you take a few minutes every day to focus on something your child did or said that you love. If your inner voice repeats how tired you are and how frustrated you are when your child doesn't listen, hits other children, never eats meals, or wakes up every hour at night; it's hard to carry on. It's impossible to be the parent you want to be.
Focusing on what your child does well, can bring solutions to situations that don’t work for your child. Is your child constantly on the go – already learning to pump on the swing – way ahead physically, but can’t ever sit still. Can you find a way to bring movement in to those times when you need your child to be calm, or make sure your child gets a lot of activity before those times.
Is your child good at drawing, or funny, or sensitive? Can you provide more opportunities for those experiences? The more you focus on the good things, the more you will see them.
The next step is to try to tackle one issue at a time. Talk to people you can trust. Depending on the level of issues your family is dealing with that could be anyone from a preschool teacher or your child's pediatrician to a behavioral therapist. There can also be help online, but be careful. If someone promises a quick fix look elsewhere.
Here is a good place to start for common preschool issues...
And don’t be too hard on yourself. What did you do well today. Did you keep the children safe, make all the meals, get everyone outside for a walk or time at the park? That’s a lot. Look for the good and enjoy the little person you have. It may seem unending as you go through it, childhood really does go by in a blink of an eye and you will want to remember the positive moments.