As Parents, we do our best to provide our children with a safe and secure environment. A place where our child feels relaxed and comfortable, and yet the environment is conducive to learning, growing and developing. We all strive for an ideal home where everything is well-planned, and life goes smoothly. Well, the reality is not that smooth sailing even though we listen to all the parenting tips from all our well-wishers.
We all have difficult days when everything seems to be going wrong and when even the children start playing up, misbehaving and doing the wrong things. As children grow, their unique personalities emerge, and they begin to express their likes and dislikes. Very often, it ends up becoming a struggle between parents and children.
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As frustrating as it can be, there are ways of handling and correcting undesirable behaviour without actually damaging the unique personality and spirit of your little one, as well as maintaining your peace of mind. The method used is called ‘positive parenting’.
Positive parenting is the continual relationship between a parent(s) and a child or children that includes caring, teaching, leading, communicating, and providing for the needs of a child consistently and unconditionally.
(Seay et al., 2014, p. 207).
Unlike the older traditional, democratic or laissez-faire approach, positive parenting teaches the child acceptable behaviour. Teaching your child what types of behaviour are acceptable involves interacting with them and explaining things rather than simply instructing them and expecting them to follow what is being told blindly.
When children understand why they are expected to behave in a particular manner, they remember better and can make the right behavioural choice in the future. This makes them more confident as they now know what is expected of them. When children are constantly told what to do or left to their own devices, they don’t know what is expected of them and constantly look for parental instruction or do the wrong thing, leading to undesirable events.
There are certain positive parenting tips and techniques to keep in mind which will help us get the desired behaviour in our children while at the same time enabling them to become mentally healthy and well-adjusted individuals capable of making the right choices. Mind you, and this doesn’t come easy. With a lot of effort and practice, they will eventually get it right and make you beam with pride.
Click the link to knowing more about the Importance of Early Year Child Education. The benefits of early-year education are numerous and long-lasting.The key to positive parenting is being positive and supportive. Try adopting these tips for good parenting, and you’ll soon be on your way –
Before we jump right in and try out the best parenting tips, we first need to commit to it, understand and internalize what positive parenting is all about –
- Continuously guiding, leading and teaching your child.
- Providing emotional support, warmth and security.
- Being sensitive to the child’s needs, being aware of the child’s developmental stage and having realistic expectations.
- Set boundaries, be consistent about it, and have regular open conversations with your child.
- A positive parenting relationship is caring and nurturing, where the child feels empowered.
- The environment should always be non-violent and provide unconditional love and affection.
- Positive parenting focuses on the positives and rewards accomplishments.
- It emphasizes the child’s feelings and always has the child’s best interest at heart.
Once we fully imbibe these parenting tips and qualities, using the following positive tips will come to you more naturally and without much effort. These are-
Give your child ample love and attention
Children love getting attention from their parents. Simply hugs, kisses, a knowing look, an approving smile, and even a quick wink is enough to satiate your child’s need for attention. Most children’s undesirable behaviour is a cry for attention. After all, even negative attention is better than getting no attention at all.
Keep them occupied
Children indulge in all sorts of behaviour when they are bored as a means to entertain themselves. So please have a few activities handy, and instead of shouting at your child for misbehaving, calmly direct their attention to those activities. It could be as simple as board games, puzzles, art and craft kits even reading.
Set rules and be clear about the boundaries
When setting rules, take time to explain the rules clearly, what is expected of the child and the consequences if they break the rules. Allow your child to ask you questions and give them multiple scenarios for them to understand the rules.
Stay calm during an emotional outburst or tantrum
As embarrassing or annoying as an emotional outburst or tantrum might be, parents must stay calm ( or at least pretend to be unaffected by it). The more we act or react, the worse it will get. But if the child sees that we are unaffected by it, the episode will soon pass, and the behaviour will fade away. You could try directing your child’s attention to something else, e.g. “Instead of throwing your car around, why don’t you slide it down the slope like this or let’s race two cars.”
Avoid negative reactions
If your child displays inappropriate behaviour, we must keep our responses simple and clear. Sarcasm, ridicule, and anger may only aggravate the situation. Instead, keep calm, isolate your child from the situation and help them relax and compose themselves. You can use reminders like, ‘close your eyes and take deep breaths’ or ‘let’s count to 10 together.’
Keep your expectations realisticExpecting your 4yr old to calmly wait while you talk to your friends for over 30 minutes is expecting too much, but expecting them to eat their snack by themselves is okay. Just as we can’t be the perfect parent, it is unfair to expect our child always to be perfect.
Give your child the guidance they need
Just telling and explaining what you expect of them is not enough. Neither is punishing nor shouting at them. Instead, try to focus on the positives, the effort made by the child and tell them where they went wrong or what they should have done instead, e.g., “I think it great that you invited John over to play with you, but you guys would have had a lot more fun if you shared your blocks with him.”
Schedule some “me” time
This parenting tip is just as important as all the others. We all need time for ourselves to rest and unwind. If not daily, at least schedule some personal time you look forward to every week. It can make a difference.
Be a good role model
Children learn very quickly by observing others around them, so model the behaviour you deem appropriate, and your child will do the same.
Encourage curiosity, independence and self-reliance
Once old enough, see if positive parenting tips work, give your child a chance to do things by themselves rather than constantly instructing them, and maybe give them a casual reminder. Your child will automatically follow the rules if you have been consistent in your expectations. Praising even the slightest effort will go a long way in reinforcing good behaviour.
Keep in mind the 3 F’s
Be firm, fair and friendly- this is one of the best parenting tips. Firm in what you expect of your child, like “put your toys away before you go out to play”, fair- as in consequence should fit the crime. In this case, the child doesn’t go out till the toys are put away and friendly so that your child doesn’t feel trapped and may even want to tell you why they didn’t put their toys away.
Don’t give up
Children are intrinsically good, and they want parental approval and love. Use these positive parenting tips, and with patience, perseverance, humour and lots of love, all of your child’s problems can be solved, and in due course, your child will be well-adjusted, happier and confident.
Being a parent is a hard enough job without having unrealistic expectations. Remember, there is no perfect child and no perfect parent. We all have our ups and downs, our good days and bad. As long as we use these positive parenting tips, keep at it and raise happy, healthy children who are responsible, sensitive to others around and productive members of society, we can rest assured that we’ve done our job right.