No one ever said Parenting was easy! As Lionel Kauffman once said, “Children are a great comfort in your old age – and they help you reach it faster, too”. Here are 15 positive parenting techniques every parent should know:
#1. Don’t Forget to Tell Them You Love Them
We so often get caught up in the daily routine, that we forget to tell our children, regularly, that we love them. You are at no risk of spoiling your kids, by telling them you love them, as spoiling is usually the result of giving kids things in place of love.
#2. Criticise the Behaviour not the Child
Easier said than done, we know, and this may require some serious self-control, but try focus on the behavior instead. When your child acts up, rather than telling them they are bad, tell them their behavior is unacceptable and suggest alternatives.
#3. Don’t be Afraid to Say “No”
Don’t be afraid to say No and mean it, even if it results in hours of sulking/whining. Don’t back down. Don’t threaten but then not act. Repeating a warning but not acting gives the child the message that they can continue. If a child misbehaves, there has to be a consequence. Give a warning, and then, if your child does it again, give an immediate consequence such as a time-out. If they continue, leave the situation.
#4. Try Not to Compare
Hard not to do, but try not compare your children to their peers, and more importantly their siblings. Try not to compare yourself to other parents.
#5. Try to Avoid Rescuing Them
Don’t be too quick to rescue their child from the results of their own actions if the consequences are not severe/dangerous. It’s how they learn! Sometimes you just need to back off.
#6. Hug Them
We all love a hug, and even as your child gets older, it’s important to make some time regularly for hugs and cuddles!
#7. Keep Listening
In our busy worlds, full of noise, and electronics, need to remember to keep listening. They might be telling you something very important! Don’t avoid discussing issues such as drinking and drugs and sex. Make it clear to them that you are there to listen any time they need you.
#8. Read with Them
Don’t stop reading with your child. Bedtime stories can tail off when the child learns to read by themselves but reading together gives time for cuddles and you can talk about the story and take it in turns to read.
#9. Avoid Too Much Choice
Try and limit their choices – particularly important with younger kids, as they find it too hard to pick one.
#10. Give Your Child Structure
Children benefit from structure and routine. It’s important to set boundaries about screentime and bedtime and curfew so that kids know the limitations.
#11. Spend Time With Them
Don’t forget to spend time individually with your child. We get caught up in busy family life and sometimes taking an hour with your child alone to do something nice together is a great tonic for both of you.
#12. Laugh Together
Don’t forget to laugh together! Sometimes being a parent is tough so make sure you have a giggle together now and again.
#13. Say You’re Sorry
Don’t be afraid to apologise to your child, if you do something wrong. It’s really important because it models what to do when we do something we are not proud of or something we regret.
#14. Don’t Lose Your Cool
Another tough one, we know, but one to which we would all like to aspire! Most children respond better to a calm, reasonable request or command. Save yelling for emergency situations when you really need to get your child’s attention.
#15. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself or Other Parents!
It’s a tough, thankless job – we all want to be the perfect parent, but everyone makes mistakes. Go easy on yourself and others – we rush to criticise ours and other parent’s skills, when we should be just enjoying our time, when our kids really need us! “The trouble with bringing up children is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed” – Author unknown.
You might also enjoy reading: The Difference between Having Your First, Second and Third Child and Things I Wish I Had Known
Do you have any further suggestions for our list? We’d love to hear them – please share them with us in the comment box below!