As a parent myself, I know that raising children can be tough. Whether you’re looking for ways to motivate your kids or teach them responsibility, these seven positive parenting tips will help you stay on track and raise the next generation of great leaders!
Having boundaries in your relationship with your kids is a necessary part of positive parenting. Present rules and boundaries in a positive way; avoid being harsh. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, upset, or angry then that may be a sign that you need to set a new boundary. Provide boundaries and expectations in a clear way that your kid will be able to fully understand.
Life gets frustrating – for kids and parents – when clear boundaries and expectations are not conveyed in a way both people understand. Writing expectations on a white board can help ensure everyone is always on the same page. For younger kids, you can even draw pictures and create chore charts so they have a fun way to participate in the household duties each day without stressing out too much.
Another thing to remember when focusing on positive parenting is to avoid shaming. There are ways to let your child know that their behavior is inappropriate without shaming them. Instead of saying “You’re 11 years old, don’t act like a baby!” you can tell them how and why their behavior is immature or inappropriate.
The problem with shaming your kid is that it doesn’t ever help them understand why their behavior is unacceptable. Shaming your kid can cause future insecurities or can even cause their negative behavior to increase. It’s important to be clear and educate your child – no matter their age – instead of shaming them for something they may not understand. You may have to repeatedly tell them why something isn’t appropriate, so try to be patient, but shaming is never the answer.
There’s always a reason that a child misbehaves, and focusing on the reason behind the behavior can help stop it. It’s critical to ask questions and talk to them one on one, while listening to what they’re saying and trying to understand their behavior.
Instead of focusing on the behavior in the moment, try to connect with them; find the root of the problem. There’s usually a lot more to the negative behavior than the behavior itself. You may need to dig deep to find the root cause. That doesn’t mean being pushy. Your child will talk when they are ready. If they’re shy about opening up to you, get them a journal so you can write notes back and forth. It’s much easier for most kids to write what they’re thinking and feeling than to say it out loud – especially to parents, and especially if the parents are part of their problems.
Offering a reward system may help your child have a reason to behave well. The most important part of using a reward system is staying away from rewards like toys or objects, because these can seem more like bribes.
Use extra quality time or positive reinforcement as a reward for good behavior. If your child has positive behavior for a few days then you can suggest playing a board game or bake something with them, for example. Sometimes you’ll need to do this more often. Each child is different and their needs (as well as your time and energy availability) should be considered.
Punishing a child is not as effective as using rewards or praise. Focusing on rewards instead of punishments will help your child’s behavior in the long run. It’s critical to reward positive behavior rather than punishing negative behavior. It isn’t wrong to praise kids for staying on track, even if that’s what is required, it’s crucial that they know what they’re doing is good and you are proud of them.
A significant aspect of positive parenting is to model what you expect. It’s vital to parent by example. Children tend to copy their parents. Teaching them manners and respectful behavior is essential, of course, but it can be pointless in the end if you don’t show them how to use their manners and how to behave respectfully.
Children learn by mimicking others. If you’re respectful towards them, they will be respectful towards others. It’s not as helpful to just teach, they need to be shown what respectful behavior is on a daily basis.
Another way to lead by example is to apologize to your children when you’re wrong. This is a big one most of us miss out on, but it’s an awesome learning opportunity for our kids to see us apologize when we make mistakes.
Following through is another cornerstone of positive parenting. Threatening consequences over and over again without following through on them will show your child that what they do isn’t bad and that they will not get in trouble for it, even if you get upset over it.
This doesn’t mean you should punish your child for everything they do; it means you shouldn’t set up a consequence if you’re not going to follow through on it. Showing your child that they can’t always get out of consequences for negative behavior is vital.
This isn’t only said for consequences, it also goes for actions and rewards. For example, if you tell your child that if they get good grades then they will get ice cream, then you don’t follow through on your side of the reward, that will show them that their grades are not meaningful to you, and that you’re not as proud of them. Don’t make promises that you cannot keep because it can cause your child to not trust you.
One of the most essential parts to positive parenting is to stop the yelling. There is never a need for yelling at your child, unless they are running out into traffic or trying to touch a hot stove (dangerous situations). In every other situation, there are many other ways to get through to them instead of raising your voice. You don’t like to get yelled at, so why would you yell at your child?
Many parents tend to get upset and yell too often. Yelling only escalates the situation. Yelling at your child will teach them that it’s okay to yell back. When a parent raises their voice or says mean things when they’re upset it teaches the child to do the same when they’re upset. Yelling conveys anger, a stern tone communicates authority.
Even if you are a big yeller, you can learn how to stop yelling when you get frustrated with your kids.
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