Whether you’re fed up with toddler tantrums, or can’t get your school aged child to complete their homework, parenting is hard work. While parenting will always be challenging, there are many things you can do to make raising your kids less frustrating. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
If you have multiple children, make sure you’re spending time with each of them separately, as well as in a group. Spending time with each child individually, helps you bond with them and gives them a sense of uniqueness. You want your children to know that you love them all equally and that they all deserve time with you.
Develop patience when dealing with a breastfeed baby who is trying to learn how to use a bottle. Breastfeeding comes naturally to them and bottle feeding doesn’t. Make it a gradual process for the baby so that they are ready to transition when you are. It won’t happen overnight so stay calm and just keep trying.
As you buckle your child into his or her car seat, you should check to ensure that the shoulder straps are snug – not tight enough to cause red marks or indentations, but not loose enough that the child could wiggle out of the harness. To check whether or not the shoulder restraints are too loose or tight, try to pinch the straps together above the buckle. You should not be able to pinch them together.
If your children are playing with toys and sets that have dozens of tiny pieces or parts, use a cookie sheet as a sort of place mat. The raised edges will prevent small pieces from being scattered around and lost forever. And clean-up is simple: just tilt the cookie sheet and pour everything back into its box or container.
A great parenting tip is to always listen to your children when they need to talk to you. A lot of parents just get annoyed when their child tries to talk to them, this leaves the child feeling dismissed. Validate your child’s feelings by taking the time to listen to them.
Children often unconsciously reflect the image that parents project upon them, so make sure that whatever label you choose to apply to your child, it is a positive one. Instead of responding to a complaint of boredom with, “You’re driving me crazy, find something to keep yourself busy”, opt for a more encouraging directive: “You’ve always been such a great artists. Why don’t you try coloring or drawing for a few minutes?”
Use common household items to keep your child entertained. Items such as empty paper towel rolls, pots and pans, empty boxes and old clothing, can easily occupy a child’s imagination without a lot of financial investment. As an added benefit, children encouraged to use their imagination in play, are often more successful at problem solving as they get older.
When your child’s behavior is unacceptable, ensure that the consequences fit, and that they are immediate. Taking away or granting age-appropriate privileges is a good way to provide rewards or consequences. Remember, a punishment that is overly harsh may backfire, because your child loses the motivation to improve his or her behavior. Being too lenient teaches your child whom you are not serious.
You want your child to explore his or her interests and develop skills. This can happen through playing on a sports team or taking an art or music class after school. These activities enable your child to develop social skills, meet people with wider interests, and grow in maturity. All of these skills will be important throughout his or her life. These activities also keep your child too busy and occupied to engage in undesirable activities out of boredom or lack of supervision.
Remember what is happening today will be over with tomorrow. If your kids messed up your clean living room, know that it won’t stay that way, it will be clean again tomorrow. Having this viewpoint will help you to move on.
If your young child is afraid of monsters in the dark, acknowledge his fears, even though you might think that his fears are silly. In your child’s mind, the monster is real enough, and if you do not acknowledge that, he will think that you do not understand him. A better way is to give him a way to deal with the imaginary monster, like telling him that his blanket gives him “magic powers” against the monster. This way, your child will be empowered to deal with his own fears.
By delineating goals we provide direction not just for our children but also for us. Simply knowing how to delineate a goal is insufficient. We must also know how to go about achieving that goal. This article should prove invaluable in teaching us how to do both. Goals are meaningless unless we know how to attain them.
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