To help your child grow up confidently on the right path, it takes positive parenting to instil confidence and create a child that is well-adjusted and productive. None of us are perfect and even our best parenting efforts can sometimes feel futile. Knowing the cornerstones of positive parenting will help you be a loving guide for your children. Here are the keys to positive parenting to make the best impact on your child.
Encourage problem solving
When your child is faced with a dilemma, you shouldn’t step in every time to solve it for them. They will never learn how to handle difficulties on their own if you do. Instead, let them come up with their own solutions. Offer loving guidance and support when they do so they will learn to confidently decide on solutions on their own.
It’s ok to say “no”
Giving your child everything they want whenever they want it will only spoil them. Even worse, they’ll grow into very unhappy people when they realize the world doesn’t owe them a thing. Children need to learn that no one always gets what they want every time. Teaching them how to endure disappointment is something that will strengthen them into solid adults.
Let routine rule the roost
Children need structure and routine because knowing what to expect makes them feel secure. Aside from that, it keeps everything running smoothly when we know what to expect each day.
Set a good example
Kids copy what they see. So if you’re always blowing your top or using foul language, you better believe your kids will too. Kids want to be just like us, so good or bad, they imitate what they see us doing. If you want your kid to be polite, kind and calm, model those behaviours and you’ll start seeing them respond in kind.
Every consequence should be consistent
Detail the behaviours you find unacceptable and set up consistent and appropriate punishments for each. Make sure your child is aware of them too. Then, should the negative behaviour arise, punish as you said you would every time it occurs. Staying consistent sends the message it won’t be tolerated. But if you are inconsistent with the consequences, the problem will continue. Your spouse should also be an effective support on this so that consequences are always consistent. If not, you’ll find your child becoming manipulative to serve their needs and get out of trouble.
Step back and let nature happen
Sometimes, life happens and your child needs to experience it, good or bad. That’s how they learn that their behaviour can illicit positive or negative consequences depending on how they act. So if your child is rough with the toys and breaks his favourite one, let him experience the consequence that comes from breaking a cherished item. If you go running off to buy him a new one, he’ll never learn this important lesson. Remember, children need to learn from the mistakes they make.
Let them feel power appropriately
In order to help your child become a good decision maker and take control of their own life, find appropriate ways for them to be powerful. This could be as simple as giving them a choice on their snacks when they are small to allowing them to dress themselves for school from a selection of school-appropriate clothing. You can also ask them for advice on what to make for dinner, but give them a choice so it’s not always pizza or McDonald’s. And let them help with chores too. Don’t be so controlling that you worry they will do it wrong. A few things out of place is nothing compared to how important they will feel when you acknowledge their need for power.
Always follow up
Following up is an important business skill, however it’s also an important parenting skill. Don’t just ask your child to put her clothes away. Go make sure she does it. She may cry or throw a fit but it’s important to stand firm and make sure they follow through on things whether it’s chores, homework or anything in between.
Pull away from conflict
Don’t engage in the negativity. While it’s certainly stressful and upsetting when your child shouts nasty names at you or behaves disrespectfully, walk out of the room and let your child know you’ll be in another room should she want to try again. Stay calm and refrain from biting back with anger. Your child will soon get the message that her behaviour cannot rattle you or bully you into giving in.
Make it clear bad behaviour is what you dislike
With younger children, they often have trouble discerning between their actions and themselves. It’s not good for your child’s self esteem to tell them that they are bad. Instead let them know that the way they are acting is something you won’t tolerate. Be sure to stress that you love your child no matter what but that you desire better behaviour from them.
Offer rewards and praises for good behaviour
Rewards and praise do something wonderful us as parents. They give us repeat performances of good behaviour. So reinforce good things as you see them. Be sure to be specific too. Don’t just say “good job” and leave it at that. Detail that behaviour so you’re sure to get an encore. If your child did the chore you asked her to do the first time you asked, that’s something to reward. Plus, you may soon find your child will do these things without being asked, and when you do, be sure to praise and reward it immediately.
Positive parenting takes some work to master, but the benefits you’ll reap will last a lifetime. One day, we will not be around anymore and by instilling positive traits in our children, we can know that they will have the tools they need to endure the difficulties as well as joys in their own lives.