Parenting is the most important job you’ll ever have, and the biggest challenge. Use these positive parenting tips and give yourself a more rewarding and effective parenting experience. This year, try these tips to help your child feel happier and more needed. Make the relationship a more positive one for you and your child. In a world full of criticism and negativity, make home a safe haven for your kids to recharge their batteries and feel loved and valued.
Say “yes” when you can. If all he hears all day is “No,” your child is probably feeling very frustrated. Going out of our way a little bit, can make a big impression on our children. Sometimes your child may need only a few minutes of undivided attention to be able to play independently in acceptable ways.
So, build some blocks together, and then let him build on his own. Let her get out the finger paints for 15 minutes, and then clean up for 15 minutes of quietly looking at books. As parents, spending a little more time on yes, may mean a lot less time dealing with tantrums.
Give your child positive choices. Challenge yourself to tell a child what to do, rather than what not to do. Instead of saying, “Don’t touch that!” say, “Fold your arms and use your eyes to look at that.”
Give choices instead of barking orders. Ask her, “Do you want to pick up the toy dishes, or the toy food first.” Punishment should not represent one side of the equation and you, as the parent, must be able to live with either choice. Don’t say, “Do you want to eat quietly, or go home,” if you have no intention of leaving the restaurant.
Use logical consequences for bad behavior. When parents use punishments for bad behavior that don’t relate to the situation, children may have a hard time understanding why the behavior is bad.
Allowing natural consequences to take their course may be hard for parents, but can be beneficial for children. For example, if a child forgets his homework, don’t take it to him. Allow him to face the consequences or find a solution and learn the importance of remembering. Your child will learn to be more responsible and you’ll have to nag less.
When natural consequences don’t apply, make the punishment logically related to the offense. Instead of grounding your child for breaking a vase, put the responsibility on them to repair or replace it.
Logical consequences take the emphasis off making the mistake and put it on solving the problem it created. Finding a solution to a tough situation will boost your child’s self esteem.
Practice the 2 to 1 rule. Catch children in the act of doing something right. For every corrective or punitive statement, try to recognize two things your child has done well. Be specific. Say, “Your funny joke cheered me up,” or “Thank-you for remembering to talk quietly in the library,” instead of “You’re such a good girl.”
Let your child make a contribution. Everyone wants to feel needed, even our children. Some ways to help your child feel valuable might include asking her advice on which shirt to wear, and letting her help you shop. Put her charge of feeding the dog, or cooking all our part of a meal. A two-year-old can help push the vacuum, wipe the table, or put silverware away. We may get the job done more quickly on our own, but our children will feel useless and unimportant.
Help your children become aware of all they ways they can be valuable to the community by volunteering, picking up litter, saving money for a philanthropic purpose, or doing yard work for grandma. Serving others builds self-esteem and keeps kids from boredom and away from trouble.
For more positive parenting tips, visit positiveparenting.com