Nine steps to more effective parenting
Being a parent is one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs an adult can do, especially during these times we are living in at the moment. I take my hat off to you all. You are indeed wonderful. Kidshealth has written this article recently, and there may be some ideas to help you… and me as a teacher and a parent …😊 manage.
1. Boosting Your Child's Self-Esteem
Children start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents' eyes. Your tone of voice, your body language, and your every expression are absorbed by your children. Your words and actions as a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else.
Praising accomplishments, however small, will make them feel proud; letting children do things independently will make them feel capable and strong. By contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavorably with another will make kids feel worthless.
Choose your words carefully and be compassionate. Let your children know that everyone makes mistakes and that you still love them, even when you don't love their behavior.
2. Catch Children Being Good
Have you ever stopped to think about how many times you react negatively to your children in a given day? You may find yourself criticizing far more often than complimenting.
The more effective approach is to catch children doing something right: "You made your bed without being asked — that's terrific!" or "I was watching you play with your sister and you were very patient." These statements will do more to encourage good behavior over the long run.
Make a point of finding something to praise every day. Be generous with rewards — your love, hugs, and compliments can work wonders and are often reward enough. Soon you will find you are "growing" more of the behavior you would like to see.
3. Set Limits and Be Consistent with your Discipline
Discipline is necessary in every household. The goal of discipline is to help children choose acceptable behaviours and learn self-control. They may test the limits you establish for them, but they need those limits to grow into responsible adults.
Establishing house rules helps children understand your expectations and develop self-control. Some rules might include: no TV until homework is done, and no hitting, name-calling, or hurtful teasing allowed.
You might want to have a system in place: one warning, followed by consequences such as a "time out" or loss of privileges. Being consistent teaches what you expect.
4. Make Time for Your Children
It's often difficult for parents and children to get together for a family meal, let alone spend quality time together. But there is probably nothing children would like more. Children who aren't getting the attention they want from their parents often act out or misbehave because they're sure to be noticed that way.
Adolescents seem to need less undivided attention from their parents than younger kids. Because there are fewer windows of opportunity for parents and teens to get together, parents should do their best to be available when their teen does express a desire to talk or participate in family activities.
Don't feel guilty if you're a working parent. It is the many little things you do — making popcorn, playing cards, window shopping — that kids will remember.
5. Be a Good Role Model
Young children learn a lot about how to act by watching their parents. The younger they are, the more cues they take from you. Before you lash out or blow your top in front of your child, think about this: Is that how you want your child to behave when angry? Be aware that you're constantly being watched by your kids.
Model the traits you wish to see in your children: respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, tolerance. Exhibit unselfish behaviour. Above all, treat your children the way you expect other people to treat you.
6. Make Communication a Priority
You can't expect children to do everything simply because you, as a parent, "say so." They want and deserve explanations as much as adults do. If we don't take time to explain, children will begin to wonder about our values and motives and whether they have any basis. Parents who reason with their children allow them to understand and learn in a nonjudgmental way.
Make your expectations clear. If there is a problem, describe it, express your feelings, and invite your child to work on a solution with you. Be sure to include consequences. Make suggestions and offer choices. Be open to your child's suggestions as well.
7. Be Flexible and Willing to Adjust Your Parenting Style
If you often feel "let down" by your child's behavior, perhaps you have unrealistic expectations. Parents who think in "shoulds" might find it helpful to read up on the matter or to talk to other parents or child development specialists.
Childrens' environments have an effect on their behaviour, so you might be able to change that behaviour by changing the environment.. This will cause less frustration for both of you.
As your child changes, you'll gradually have to change your parenting style. Chances are, what works with your child now won't work as well in a year or two.
Teens tend to look less to their parents and more to their peers for role models. But continue to provide guidance, encouragement, and appropriate discipline while allowing your teen to earn more independence.
8. Show That Your Love Is Unconditional
As a parent, you're responsible for correcting and guiding your children. But how you express your corrective guidance makes all the difference in how a child receives it.
When you have to confront your child, avoid blaming, criticizing, or fault-finding, which undermine self-esteem and can lead to resentment. Instead, strive to nurture and encourage, even when disciplining your children.
9. Know Your Own Needs and Limitations as a Parent
Face it — you are an imperfect parent. You have strengths and weaknesses as a family leader. Try to have realistic expectations for yourself, your spouse, and your children. You don't have to have all the answers — be forgiving of yourself.
Try to make parenting a manageable job. Focus on the areas that need the most attention rather than trying to address everything all at once.
Focusing on your needs does not make you selfish. It simply means you care about your own well-being, which is another important value to model for your children.
Hope you found this article encouraging in your journey, I know I did both as a teacher, parent and grandparent.
Year 5 Leader