Are you looking for some great parenting tips to help you navigate the child-raising years and enhance your child’s development and self-reliance? Here are some of the top parenting tips that experienced parents have used with great success!
1. Quality time helps in forming a loving bond
Dedicate time every single day to be present for your child. This can be just talking to them with no outside distractions (turn off your phone), or a bedtime ritual of reading, a snuggle, a prayer, and tucking them in with their favorite stuffed animal. Whatever you feel is significant to both of you, make sure you spend quality time with your child each day.
2. Be on the same page regarding discipline
It is extremely important that your child realizes that you and your spouse are a united front. If she senses a difference of opinions, she will play you against each other. It is also destabilizing to a child when parents do not apply discipline in the same way.
3. Follow through with your requests/statements
When it is time to end a playdate, give a warning such as “One more turn on the swings and then we have to say goodbye.” Do not give in to the child’s plea for more time on the swings, or you will lose credibility and have a harder time getting them to do what you need them to do the next time you make a request.
4. Don’t give lengthy explanations for a“no”
A short, reasonable explanation will suffice. For example, if your child asks you for a cookie right before dinner, you might respond “You can have that for dessert if you still have room after we eat”. You don’t need to go into why sugar is bad, and how too many cookies will make him fat, etc.
5. Consistency is the key to effective parenting
Be consistent with discipline, bedtimes, mealtimes, bath times, pick up times, etc. The child needs consistency in order to develop in a secure environment. A child who grows up in a home where rules are inconsistently applied grows up to distrust others.
6. Give one warning before enforcing consequences
Just one. It can be “I’m going to count to three. If you haven’t stopped your game by three, there will be consequences.” Do not “count to three” several times. If three is reached and the request has not been acted upon, enact the consequences.
7. Make sure your child knows what the consequences are
State them clearly and firmly, in a neutral, unthreatening voice.
8. Be patient with the desired changes
When working with your child to change an unwanted behavior, such as teasing her brother or not sitting still at the table, look for gradual changes. Your child will not give up the unwanted behavior overnight. Reward each time you “catch” your child exhibiting the wanted behavior so that it becomes habit eventually.
9. Reward wanted behavior with acknowledgment
Either verbal, such as “you are doing so well at keeping your room tidy!” or a sticker chart, or any other method to help your child feel proud of his accomplishment. Children love positive strokes.
10. Be the role model for your child
If you don’t make your bed each day or leave your clothes on the floor, they will have difficulty understanding why you require them to pull up their comforter each morning and put their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper each night.
11. Have a mutual discussion before having a child
Before having children, it is a good idea to discuss how you and your spouse will approach discipline in the context of raising an emotionally healthy child. Discipline should be fair, reasonable and applied in a loving way. Fair discipline means the consequence fits the unwanted behavior. The child needs to hear what the consequence is before you apply it so they know what to expect and it makes sense to them. Using Time-Outs? Use them proportionately. Longer Time Outs for larger infractions, shorter ones for smaller infractions (and very young children). Apply discipline using a firm but non-threatening communication style. Inform your child that they have acted in a way that is not acceptable and that they will be receiving a consequence. Use a neutral tone and avoid raising your voice, which will only escalate the issue.
12. Motivate your child to do better by using praise
No child has ever changed unwanted behavior into wanted behavior because they were told they were lazy or messy or loud. Instead, shower your child with praise when you see them helping out without being asked, cleaning up their room, or using their inside voice. “I really love it when I come into your room and all your clothes are put away nicely!” will make a child feel good and encourage him to repeat this wanted behavior.
13. Don’t ask your child what they want to eat
They eat what you have prepared for the meal, or they don’t eat. No child has ever starved because they refused to eat your delicious casserole. But plenty of children have become small tyrants, treating the kitchen like a restaurant, because the parent asked them what they wanted to eat for dinner.