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Six Parenting Tips Every Parent Should Know

Six Parenting Tips Every Parent Should Know … Good parenting has become a lost art. Like many parents I learned the hard way what worked or didn’t work with my children. I hate to think I used my children as a trial run at parenting, but they somehow lived through it. (o: Here is some advice I hope keeps you from making unnecessary mistakes:

  1. Never make a threat you’re not willing to enforce. A threat starts something like, “We’re turning off this TV program if you don’t straighten up”, or “We’re leaving this toy store right now, if you don’t stop hitting your brother.” Sometimes I really wanted those McDonald’s fries or whatever the activity we were doing.  If that was the case, I never used the threat strategy because I wanted it too.
  2. When telling a child “no”, give him some alternative activity to do. For instance, I remember my son and his friend were climbing under tables at the mall and, in general, being out of control. The typical reaction on my part was to yell, “Stop. Don’t do that.” That’s a correct but incomplete response. I needed to tell them what I expected as well. For instance, “Stop climbing under that table, and stand right here in this square,” while pointing to a tile on the floor. It worked!
  3. Don’t overcorrect.  Fit the punishment with the infraction. Kids can be too loud and/or too hyperactive sometimes. That just being a kid. Sometimes just calmly saying, “Kids, you aren’t doing anything wrong, but this is hard on my adult nervous system. Please quiet down.” You’d be amazed. I did this with my children, and they laughed and did what I asked.
  4. Unnecessary discipline is out. This is a trap that easy to fall into. It goes something like this…several adults are standing together talking. Next to them are their children who are also talking.  A movement from the kiddos gets an adult’s attention. A common reaction from one of adults is to start shouting, “Stop, children! Quit. Behave right now!” Wait. They hadn’t talked any louder than the grownups. The question is, are they in danger, or they irritating anyone? It may fall into “don’t overcorrect” category. A calm “be-quieter-and-stand-over-there-so-that-you-aren’t-blocking-anyone” will do.
  5. Don’t give a child something when they are crying. I’m not talking about a hungry baby or helping a child with basic needs. That is okay. Try to discern if this is selfish crying or not. Give a child something just because they cried can get out of control.
  6. Let your no be no. If I told my kids something, I tried hard to stick with my answer. For example, at the grocery store my child asks for candy and I say, “No, you can’t have candy.” The child continues the request until it turns into a full-blown tantrum. If I give in, then it just reinforces to the child. She thinks, “Wow, if I just throw a tantrum, mom gives me what I want.” Giving in a child’s demands only reinforces bad behavior and teaching a child that if I bug Mom long enough, I will get what I want.

I hope this helps. (o:

Leave a comment on a good parenting tip you have.

Karen Gaus, Author & Speaker

Karen Gaus