Parenting would be easier if every newborn came with an instruction manual, alas, parents must make do with learning on the go!
But a great opportunity to learn new parenting skills and find better, easier ways of parenting is from other parents – a shock, right?
TikTok has a large community of mums (and dads!) and a vast variety of videos with parenting tips, if you know where to look.
No longer is the TikTok social media platform only for dance challenges and trending videos.
Without further ado, here are three parenting tips I learnt from TikTok’s community of mothers:
1. Teach emotional regulation through deep breathing
One way of teaching emotional regulation (being able to regulate and deal positively with one’s emotions) is by encouraging a deep-breathing exercise – for example, taking five deep breaths.
This exercise is great to use when your child is experiencing heightened emotion, such as when they’re crying, angry or stressed.
One tiktok mum, @katyrobinbird said:
One of the most important things we’ve done is we try to model it ourselves.
I’ll say “Emi [daughter’s name], do you want to take some breaths with me?”
Sometimes she says “no!” and so I say I’m going to take some breaths because I need them. And in the act of me doing them, she may start to calm. In the end I’ll say “Did that make you feel better?” and if she says “yea!” she’s registering ‘I took breaths that helped me’
Watch @katyrobinbird’s video here: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSJA1cVM8/
2. Ask before giving advice & use discovery questions for self-learning
It’s completely normal to want to offer advice when someone tells us about the issues they’re dealing with – but sometimes we just need someone to be there for us and listen.
This is no different for children, even though as parents it may feel like it’s your responsibility to TEACH TEACH TEACH.
TikTok mum @destini.ann says:
Any time my child is telling me a story, and the ‘mummy energy’ is welling up inside of me and I think ‘oh this is a great parenting moment,’ I still say to my child “Are you open?”
To her, she knows this means “Are you open for advice?” or “Do you want to hear mummy’s opinion?”
This does two things – number one, it opens the floor for receptivity because I gave her respect first; I didn’t just barge in with my opinion. Number two, it gives her the opportunity to choose whether or not this was a conversation moment, or if this was just a ‘get something off my chest’ moment. If she answers no, then I’ll say “Well whenever you are open, I’m here if you want to talk”
In addition to this, this mum also uses coaching questions like “How did you feel about that?” “What did that make you think?” or “What would you have done differently?” to help her child reflect and learn from her own experiences.
Watch @destini.ann’s video here: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSJA17Nnf/
3. Don’t make chores a ‘bad thing’
No child ever wants to do house chores, but chores are a part of life - it’s about taking pride in our environment and belongings.
Tiktok mum @alisonsaidno has a great method of encouraging her kids to clean their room on their own accord, rather than using chores as a punishment (for example: “You can’t go outside to play until you clean your room”)
If I tell my daughters “Hey I think it’s time to get your room straightened up – what can we do to get that done?” and they say “Oh but I really wanted to go to Kelly’s house” then I say “Cool that’s okay, go hang out. What’s your time frame? Do you want to tackle it tonight? Tomorrow? Whatever, just let me know, go have fun!”
So then when they come home, 9 times out of 10 they will just do it on their own, crank some music, get some snacks, and their room would look amazing… because they weren’t rushing to go and do what they want to do, which is go and hang out with their friends.
I try my best to not make things that we should just be doing as a family, and as adults, a punishment.
Watch @alisonsaidno’s video here: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSJA1npqq/
All three of these TikTok mums have a great array of parenting tips on their channels, and there are many more great parenting TikTok channels out there too.
But if you’re looking for support from mums and dads in your local area, you can try other social media platforms like Facebook parenting groups, or form your own group with parents from your child’s kindergarten or school!
Liz Gellel | Communications Coordinator