It’s inevitable; your child will commit some form of treachery that you could never have imagined. From deviating from their bedtimes, to poking their siblings with a stick; eventually you are going to have to discipline your child. There are multiple types of discipline, such as positive, gentle, boundary based, behavior modification, and emotion coaching. The way you discipline your child can have various effects on them, so with that being said keep these objectives in mind: Fill the attention basket, take time for training, set limits and stick to them, listen and communicate, remain calm, be fair, be consistent, use timeouts, reward or praise good behavior. Remember, it is important for us to use discipline as a tool to correct unwanted behavior in your child, and not as an instrument of fear! It’s your child’s behavior that makes you angry, not your child.
CHORES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Popular culture conveys to children very unhealthy messages about responsibility. the messages of rebellion in pop and hip-hop music, the sense of entitlement shown by professional athletes, and the disdain most spoiled movie stars express towards what normal people see as normal responsibilities tells children that being responsible isn’t cool. So how do I decide what chore to assign my child? Make a list of chores that need to be done daily, consider their age and developmental skill level, ask your child if there is any chore that they would like to be responsible for, keep up with your child’s performance and completion of the chore, and even make it a game! Have your child randomly choose what chore to do by throwing a dart or picking out of a hat. Remember to have a discussion about roles in the household, expect your child to contribute, and praise how they handle their responsibilities. Talk about why responsibilities are important, and allow for plenty of opportunities for them to prove they are responsible.
Good parenting does not necessarily come naturally. And, being a good parent is not easy but there are skills you can learn to meet the challenge of good parenting. It takes finding a sound, practical parenting style and then taking the time for training and practice. There are four main types of parenting styles commonly employed by parents. Authoritarian is an extremely strict form of parenting that expects a child to adhere to rules and regulations set out by the parents with little to no input and communication from the child. Authoritative communicates in a warm, accepting, and nurturing manner, while maintaining firm expectations and restrictions on their children’s behavior. Permissive (Indulgent) is an extremely relaxed approach where parents are generally warm, nurturing and affectionate. However, they are overly accepting of their children’s behavior, good or bad. Finally, Uninvolved (Neglectful) parents are totally disengaged and emotionally uninvolved in their child’s life. There is little, if any expression of love and affection. Typically most parents use a blend of these techniques, so it’s important to know your parenting style.
One struggle parents have expressed is getting their kids to talk to them. Maybe they just won’t tell you about their day at school. Perhaps somethings is bothering them and you can’t seem to get what it is out of them. Communication is key to having healthy and productive relationships with all members of your family. Some helpful tips for communication with your family are to be available, be a good listener, show empathy, be a good role model, give clear, age appropriate directions, calmly express your feelings, be truthful, use talking time as teaching moments, do not name call or blame, and do not yell or threaten. Some fun ways to express these techniques is through game play such as drawing, charades, or the telephone game. You can always have family activities as well such as family dates, eating dinner together, making new traditions, and scheduling an hour a day where everyone is unplugged.
BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY
There is family on one side and work on the other. Very rarely has this see-saw been horizontal and balanced for any length of time of time. It is a personal decision how one combines their career, spouse/significant other, children, friends and self into an integrated whole. The key is to develop creative solutions as you approach the challenges of balancing the responsibilities and joys of your multiple roles. How can you carve out time for your family after work? Build a support network, let go of your guilt, establish limits and boundaries with work, determine your standards, create time for yourself, get organized, be as flexible as possible, follow the same routines, set out clothes and lunches for kids in the morning, and enjoy quality family time!
Conflict can be negative, but it can also be positive, depending on how it’s resolved. It can help get feelings out in the open, help people learn from disagreements, resolve problems, gain someone more respect, or enable people to learn that others are willing to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. What should my child do if they get angry? Keep these principles in mind: Sort things out, walk away from the source of the stress, count backwards from 10, and talk quietly to yourself, understand the other person’s reasoning, avoid making things worse, work together to find a solution, use “I” statements, and take turns speaking. Remember to teach by example; show your child what to do when they are in a volatile situation, provide them with tips to calmly handle the situation, and let them know where to go if they need help.