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Parenting Tips For Healthy, Effective Parenting
Many parents are hungry for healthy parenting tips and effective parenting advice. The Responsible Kids Network offers parenting tips to encourage and support authoritative parenting.
I didn’t expect parenting to be so hard
New parents can be unprepared for the exciting yet exhausting journey of parenthood that lies ahead. It is important for all parents to realize that being able to procreate does not naturally provide the patience and knowledge needed to be an effective and healthy parent. Gaining knowledge about children’s nature and healthy and effective parenting styles will help parents be calmer and enable parents to be more effective in raising responsible children.
I hope to raise differently than I was raised
Many times a parent may realize that his childhood did not go so smoothly and wishes he had behaved differently after the birth of the child. At every age and at every stage of our children’s lives, we can look back on how our parents might have reacted in similar situations. Previous generations did not have the healthy parenting information we have now. But it turns out that family loyalty and heritage in each of our families significantly influences our parenting.
I am nice to my child, but then he misbehaves
Parents and other caregivers sometimes hope that if they are nice to the child, the child will be nice in return. This is referred to as the “attached chain” approach. Adults (and some older children) can relate to the concept of fair give and take, but most children are not mature enough to respond that way. By expecting this level of maturity, the parent is being unfair to the child. The executive role of parenting cannot be performed with love and understanding alone. Effective discipline promotes self-respect, self-esteem, self-control and maintains a positive relationship between parents and children.
Am I a bad parent if I get angry with my child?
Anger is a natural and inevitable emotion, and it’s okay to feel angry at your child. The key is for parents to learn healthy ways to express anger to their child. Anger is usually a secondary emotion, so figuring out what the underlying feelings might be (frustration, disappointment, embarrassment, etc.) can be helpful in managing how to express anger. During these emotionally charged times, parents model anger management for the child.
My baby and I are so different and we always clash
The makeup of who a child is consists of age and developmental stages, uniqueness, maturity level, and situational factors. The uniqueness of a child (or any person) includes the individual nature of temperament, intelligence, brain dominance, giftedness, and learning styles. If these unique traits of the child do not “match” the unique traits of the parent, then there may not be a “good fit” and power struggles and miscommunication may occur. When a parent is able to better understand these child’s unique traits and how they may differ (ie conflict) with their own unique traits, the parent becomes calmer and more confident in parenting.
Is it okay to spank your child?
Spanking and other forms of corporal punishment are not a healthy or effective way of disciplining children. The goal of discipline is to teach children proper behavior and self-control. Spanking can teach children to stop doing something out of fear. Despite some basic attitudes and beliefs that spanking is an effective way to discipline children, extensive research strongly suggests that any form of corporal punishment will have a negative impact on a child’s self-esteem and the parent-child relationship.
My husband and I do not have the same parenting style
Balancing different parenting styles can be a challenge for many spouses. Consistent communication from parents to children is a key element of healthy and effective parenting. Many times when we’re courting and marrying our spouse, we haven’t even thought about parenting styles, and then we have children and the differences in parenting styles can suddenly surface. Parents should spend time when children are not present and work toward a consistent “parenting philosophy” that can accommodate and even honor different parenting styles. Working together rather than against each other will help support and raise responsible children.
How can I be a good parent?
A healthy and effective parent is an intentional parent who understands the child’s needs. There are no “perfect parents” just like there are no “perfect children”. Striving for perfection in all areas of parenting can only cause frustration and stress. Parents are given many opportunities every day to provide healthy and authoritative parenting to their children.
Show your love. Tell your children you love them by sending messages like “I believe in you, I believe in you, I know you can handle life’s situations, you are listened to, you are cared for, and you are very important to me” every day.
Be consistent. Your rules don’t have to be the same as other parents, but they need to be clear and consistent. (Consistent means that the rules are the same all the time and are followed by all family members.) Create a “parenting philosophy” with your partner.
Prioritize your relationship with your child. Building a strong relationship with your child should be a top priority, and remembering to maintain the strength of the bond is most effective when communicating with your child. The importance of strong and healthy parent-child bonds cannot be overstated, as these bonds serve as the foundation upon which all other relationships in life are built.
Listen to your child. Active listening is the greatest gift for a child. Learn to accept, although not necessarily agree with, what your child says. Temporarily set aside your own thoughts and values and show empathy as you listen to the child and diligently try to see things from their perspective.
Strive for an emotional connection with your child. Understanding your child’s emotions will help you understand what motivates his behavior. Emotions are the real fuel for power struggles with your children. When you identify these emotions, you can choose strategies to teach your child what they can feel and how to respond to those feelings in more appropriate ways.
Evaluate the behavior, not the child. Be intentional about building self-esteem and address misbehavior directly, rather than through a child’s assessment. It’s better to say “I see you’re having trouble sharing with your friend,” than “Don’t be selfish, you have to share.
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