Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Six Secrets of Successful Parenting

It is not an easy job to raise kids!  They require so much time and attention and just when things seem to be going smoothly, they enter a new phase, or we parents begin to get complacent about things and BOOM it blows up in our face.  We watch our children struggle with sleep issues, or adjusting to a new teacher, or finding friends and these struggles can feel so overwhelming at times.  I am here to assure you that you are not alone.  All parents feel overwhelmed at times, but by the following these six simple parenting steps you can rest assured that you are on the right track.

1.  Use the Voice That Works:  Kids have an uncanny knack of tuning out a yelling parent.  They simply don't care as much as you do and when you are worked up they don't feel the same emotional charge that you do.  So use a calm, clear and firm voice to deliver directions to them.  And if they don't respond, follow up with an appropriate consequence.  Over time, this communication pattern is what kids respond to the best.

2.  Affirm More and Criticize Less:  Children want your attention and they want to please you.  But if they don't get your attention through pleasing you, they will find other means to get it.  Make sure you give them praise and affirmation when they are doing things well.  Don't let a day go by that didn't include some affirmation. 

3.  Chores Are Part of Being a Family:  Children need chores as part of being a member of your family.  Teaching children that they have certain tasks to take care of each and everyday, is a means to training them about life in the real world.  And as a parent, that is your ultimate job.

4.  Your Words are Your Parenting Treasure:  What you say and then how you behave provides the basis which your children learn to trust you.  If you don't live up to your own words, you are teaching your children to ignore you.  If you tell them to behave in certain ways, and they observe you doing the opposite, they will learn not to put too much stock in what you say.  Here is a simple example, if you tell your kids not to swear but curse all the time, your kids will curse.  And you are devaluing what your words mean to them.  Be conscious of the value in your words!

5.  Kids Understand Schedules:  Communicate with your children what their day and week will be like.  This helps them to understand their world and also gives them a feeling of confidence in the fact that they know what to expect.  Chaos breeds chaos.

6.  Hold High Expectations: Children will live up (or down) to the expectations you hold of them.  It is somewhat of a self fulfilling prophesy.  A child who knows that his parents require him/her to do well in school, and care enough to check on his/her grades and progress will perform better than a child who's parents don't care.  A child who knows that his/her family places a high priority on family time, will participate in family activities more than a child who's parents don't communicate that expectation.  Examine your priorities for your children.  And then clearly communicate your expectations.

These six steps offer a way to set your parenting on the path to a bright future for the benefit you and your children.

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