When you become parent things drastically change for you, but as any parent might tell you, in the end, it’s all worth it. Many parents believe that parenting rules can be applied on kids when they are toddlers or tweens. There’s nothing much a parent can do when a child grows into a teenager as it’s too late to nurture positive parenting because behavior patterns of kids are already developed. However, good parenting creates a stable environment which can even help teenagers develop in healthy ways.
Since you have to face a constant struggle against challenging behavior of your kids, you must give yourself a pat on the back. You cannot cave in to the temper tantrums thrown by the kids. Instead, you have to be practical and more balanced in your approach.
It’s quite understandable that sometimes, not even the best of parents can get it right at all times. Believe me, it’s pretty normal. But parents have to be more effective in attuning their kids. If you’re surfing the web or meeting experts on parenting techniques, then you’re already trying your best at the job. Since parents play an integral role in their kids’ development, apart from the clichés of parenthood, here are certain things you must know to bring them up in the best possible way.
These seven rules discussed below will guide you to manage your kids. Though these are not definitive, yet you may find them useful in almost all situations.
1. Be calm and consistent in your behavior
When disciplining a child, parents are often triggered by his actions, releasing their fury on the child. The problem is, when you are riled up in your own emotions, you cannot rationally deal with your child. When you’re always yelling and shouting, your child will be fearful of you and will always act startled. The best you can do is to be cool and calm when you approach them to address a situation in a relaxed way.
You might sometimes be too tired to ignore your kids’ actions but suddenly you lose it all and yell at them with full intensity. This confuses a child. One moment you’re completely okay with their activities and the next you’re blown off. So one advice for you is to be consistent in your behavior.
If you keep a predictable behavior, it’ll be easier for your kids to know what makes you angry and what you’re okay with. Consistent boundaries will enable your kids to explore their emotions safely. The minute they find a crack in the wall, they’d begin testing your limits.
2. Connect with them on an emotional level
Communication develops a strong bond between a parent a child. When your child undergoes stress or is feeling low, you should be the first one to connect with him on an emotional level. You must be the cry-on shoulder for your kids so that they can share all their problems with you. They must not be running over to friends to discuss their issues. This emotional connection often means sharing your own experiences with your kids to lighten their mood, showering them with affection, or finding ways to help them calm down.
Well, you are a parent but that does not mean you have to act parent 24/7. Sometimes, it’s easier to change into the role of a friend to get closer to your child. If there’s something disturbing them, try to solve it with logic or reason. Developing a comfort level can help you teach kids of outcomes of various things, especially the prevalent evils like cyberbullying and sexting.
3. Spare the rod
In the current age, spanking a child is useless. There are various scientific reasons to prove that using physical force against a child makes him more defiant rebellious. If you want to positively attune your kids, you have to communicate with them to make them understand your point. Insulting or slapping kids damage their self-esteem and negatively impact their development.
Many a times, parents hit their kids when venting out their anger. It is quite natural to lose your temper when you come home after an exhausted day and your kids start throwing their own tantrums. At that moment, you crave for peace. So to disciple your child, you might say harsh things to them which leave bitter memories in children.
Also, when punishing your child, isolating him is never a right approach. You might think of teaching them a lesson but when you cut them out, you are teaching them to resort to violence and be on their own.
4. Be the role model
You might have heard of this common adage, Practice what you preach. You can discipline your child by being a good influence on them. What you do really matters so you must be cautious in your actions around kids. As parents, we have the responsibility to teach them values and manners. If you want your child to be honest, polite, calm, courteous, etc. you have to lead by the example. Kids are a reflection of their parents and they imitate what their parents do. Usually, parents want to be liked by their kids and there’s absolutely no harm in it. When young, kids take their social cues from parents rather than peers, so you are the role model for them when it comes to adopting appropriate behavior. You must act like a person you admire them to be. This can be done by allowing them to discover the world on their own, within a given framework of etiquettes and social norms. Unnecessary restrictions on kids ruin their self-confidence so you must always be supportive of what they do and what they want.
5. Spend quality time with kids
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. These words of a poem by W. H. Davies are so apt for the fast paced lives of today. Parents hardly get time to bond with their kids which leaves a vacuum in the development of a child. Therefore, the best you can do for your child is give them your time. No matter how busy you are, you must take time out to plan something together. This is the best way to bond with each other.
There’s so much to do when spending quality time with kids. You can both cook a meal together, spend hours shopping, watch a movie, or go on vacations every year. Put aside your gadgets and ask them to do the same when you are home. Create tech-free zones at home so that you can share a good family time. It’s said, the family that eats together stays together. Make it a routine to spend some time every day or do some constructive activity on a weekend.
6. Keep your promises
Never say things which you don’t mean. In their developing age, kids try to instill your acts that may later insinuate into their character. Try your best to keep the promises you make with your child. This teaches them to be proficient and responsible. If you fail to keep your promises, your child will be disheartened and will begin to take you non-seriously and you’ll lose your trust.
In a relationship, keeping a promises signifies the value of a person. When you keep your promise to your kids, it makes them happier to learn that you value them above all things in life. It shows them that all others things are less important to you then taking them out to an amusement park or playing a soccer game with them. This makes your relationship stronger and builds mutual respect. If for some reason you do not deliver your promise, you can offer a sincere apology to your child and fulfill it later.
7. Be a teacher to your kids
One of the most overlooked role of a parent is a teacher. You cannot assume your kids to know everything. It is your duty to teach them right and wrong and inculcate in them positive manners. As a teacher, you have to wait patiently for your child to learn something. Just like a teacher works hard with his students at school to teach them course books, parents play a key role in elusive learning of their kids.
If your child has a rebellious streak in him, you have to teach him to overcome this problematic behavior and become a good human. There are rewards and punishments in return. If a child quickly learns something positive or obeys you, you must reward him by allowing him extra time for gaming, taking him out for his favorite meal etc. Similarly, as a punishment for misbehaving, ground them at home for some time, or limit their screen time so that they better obey you next time.
In parenting, rules are never rigid. They can be occasionally loosened, based on your situation. The above mentioned golden parenting rules are quite general that can be helpful to you in all circumstances and are never outdated. So instead of nagging or fussing about controlling your kids, it is better to apply these strategies in order to do a positive work at the front end.
I’m sure you’ll feel motivated after reading this. Best of luck with parenting!