Tips for successful parenting
Parenting is one job that no school trains us for. And as parents, we know that it is not an easy job. Here are tips that will make your parenting life easier.
1. Be aware of the need for physical contact
Children need to be held, cuddled, patted and carried especially in the beginning years. Some parents fear that such close physical interaction, including letting children share a family bed with parents, will make children too dependent on parents. In fact, such children grow up more assured of their parents’ love, and more confident of themselves.
2. Be consistent
Many parents set rules, and then forget about them, or be lenient about them. If the little John’s daddy says that computer games are only for one hour a day, it has to be for one hour a day, even if little John throws a tantrum. If not, the next time, the little John is not going to care for daddy’s rules.
3. Teach good habits, manners and etiquette early and actively
Good habits are lifelong assets for children. They have to be taught to children. For a list of good habits to be inculcated in children, go here.
Manners and etiquette are ways of behaviour that are considered acceptable and polite in society. Children will not learn these manners and etiquette unless you actively teach them. A great way to do this is to paste a list of manners and etiquette in on the wall of their study room. To access a list of manners and etiquette go here.
4. Practise what you preach
If you have the habit of lying on bed and watching YouTube for hours on end, you cannot be shocked to see your son doing the same thing the whole day.
Children do what they see, more than what they are told. Before you are about to scold your child about something he/she is doing, think for a moment if you are actually doing it. Correct yourself before you correct your child.
5. Train children to sleep enough
Sleep is an absolute need for all human beings, and children need more of it than adults. A good night’s sleep is necessary for optimal physical and mental functioning. For a comprehensive guide on how many hours of sleep your child needs, please click here.
6. Build a bond early
Many parents lament that their teenage girls and boys are ‘out of reach’. The usual complaints are that the teenager has become quieter, answers any question in monosyllabic words, does not mingle with family, so on and so forth. The key to have your teenager on your side, confiding his/her worries and problems with you, is to build a bond earlier. Build a strong relationship from infancy onwards, listening to the child, talking to him/her, being patient, and not talking down or laughing at him/her. Spend a one on one time with each of your children, sometime during the day. Go for walks with the child. Slowly, the bond develops, and it will be there, even during the adolescent years.
7. Sacrifices will be rewarded
Do not think of your children as a burden, or something that pulls you back from a more fulfilling career, a more enjoyable social life, or even better health. It was your choice to have children, and once you have them, it is your responsibility to bring them up well. The point is, parenting can be an extremely enjoyable and fulfilling experience, if you are a person who enjoys children. Many mothers complain of losing sleep All those nights when you had to sit up by your sick child, or you had to get up to feed your child when your husband was snoring on the other side of the bed….all of it is worth it in the end. One day, when the nest is empty, you can look back and be content that you did a good job of bringing up your children. Nothing can replace that.
8. Listen. Listen. Listen.
Talk less, listen more. This is true of every relationship, but more so about parents and children. Even if you are very busy at something, when your child comes to you and calls your attention to something, STOP or PAUSE whatever you are doing, turn your head and body to him/her and attend to her. Believe me. Your child will be much less cranky and all those attention seeking tantrums will stop.
9. Do not be aggressive, be assertive
Did you know that softer voice is more powerful in disciplining? Occasionally you may lose your temper when a recently tidied up room is all messy in five minutes. However, as a rule, do not talk or scold a child when you are angry. Take a few seconds and cool down. Then you talk to him. There is no need to raise your voice. If Johnny has broken the rule that he cannot watch television and eat, you can cut his television watching hours for the week, but do it in a matter of fact way, not raising your voice, not angry or aggressive.
10. Start house chores early
When children are very small, they like to help out with the house work, such as washing dishes or sweeping the floor. Allow them. Often it is more work for you, but doesn’t matter. As she grows older, she will be less clumsy, and more helpful to you. However, if you discourage them at a young age, you may never get them to help you with house chores. Do not reward them with sweets or money or anything after doing chores. Keeping a house tidy and doing chores is everyone’s responsibility – young or old. A home is not a hotel.
Watch this space for more parenting tips.
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