Nine Steps to More Effective Parenting
Raising children is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Here are nine ways to tackle child-rearing responsibilities:
Nurture your child’s self-esteem.
Praise your children even for the small achievements they make, as children start developing their sense of self as babies. However small their accomplishments are, the praises will make them feel proud and bolster their self -esteem.
Let your child do things independently because this will make him or her feel capable and responsible.
By contrast, belittling comments or comparing your child unfavorably with another will make them feel worthless.
Catch your child being good.
Be generous with rewards – your love, hugs, and compliments can work wonders and are often reward enough for your child.
Set limits and be consistent with your discipline.
Discipline is necessary in every household. The goal of discipline is to help children choose acceptable behaviors and to learn self-control. Establishing house rules will help children understand your expectations and develop self-control.
A common mistake parents make is failure to follow through with consequences when rules are broken. You can not discipline a child for talking back one day and ignore it the next. Being consistent teaches your child what you expect and how far they can push the boundaries.
Make time for your children.
Spend some quality time together. Children who are not getting the attention they want from their parents often act out or misbehave in order to get the attention of their parents. Parents should do their best to be available when their teen expresses a desire to talk or participate in family activities.
Be a good role model.
Young children learn a great deal about how to act by watching you. The younger they are, the more cues they take from you. Model the traits you wish to cultivate in your child: respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, tolerance. Do things for other people without expecting a reward, express thanks and offer compliments. Above all, treat your children the way you expect other people to treat you.
Make communication a priority.
Children want and deserve explanations as much as adults do. Parents who reason with their children allow them to understand and learn in a non- judgmental way. Make your expectations clear. If there is a problem, describe it to your child, express your feelings about it, and inform them of the consequences. By doing this, children learn to be a part of the family.
Be flexible and willing to adjust your parenting style.
If you frequently feel let down by your child’s behavior, it may be because you have unrealistic expectations. Teenagers tend to look less to their parents and more to their peers for role models. This is a stage that all teens go through but continue to provide guidance, encouragement, and appropriate discipline while allowing your teen to earn more independence. Seize every available moment, to make a connection with your children!
Show that your love is unconditional.
As a parent, you are responsible for correcting and guiding your child. When you have to confront your child, avoid blaming, criticizing, or fault-finding which undermines self-esteem and can lead to resentment. Instead, strive to nurture and encourage, even when you are disciplining your child. Make sure he or she knows that your love is there no matter what.
Be aware of your own needs and limitations as a parent.
You have strengths and weaknesses. Focusing on your needs does not make you selfish, it simply means you care about your own well-being, which is another important value your children should learn.