Basic Parenting – Article 1
(This article will form part of a series of suggestions on basic parenting strategies – that we already know but sometimes need to remind ourselves of!)
Hurry Up! I’m gonna be late!!!
Have you ever heard yourself that to one of your children recently? Have you ever thought of slowing down?
I say this because if you think of the pace that children function at – IT IS SLOWER than that of us adults. Really look at how awkwardly they dress themselves, tie their shoelaces, pace their bags, get out of a chair or the car, or do anything else for that matter.
What we need to do is allow then the time they need to complete things that they start. This allows them to be independent, and creates a sense of pride in their own accomplishment. I watched a Steve Biddulph (parenting guru) movie recently in which he stated that NO Hurry = Love!
This concept though means that we as adults will need to make adjustments to how we accomplish our daily tasks. This is not only true for mothers but for fathers too. It may mean waking up a little earlier than usual; combining tasks, such as making lunch while you direct them to a task, a lots of breathing – DEEP – on our part, etc.
TRY IT! Let me know what you think and if this is something that has worked for you this month.
Basic Parenting – Article 2
Congratulations! Well Done!
Verbal praise. Remember how good that feels! To hear that your efforts have been recognised by someone else engenders pride in one’s self. It makes you want to do more of the same, and please that person again.
How quickly we forget as parents. I find it interesting how parents who visit me often use punishment first. This is not only in actions, but can also be in words.
This month, I was hoping that we could focus on what we say to our children. This will be especially trying when we are mad with them. This means that the next time they spill the milk accidentally, instead of saying- “You always make a mess!”; “You clumsy child!” etc. the we say something like- “Oops!”, “Think you put too much milk in that time”, “How about mummy shows you how to clean that up?”
Remember to praise them for the small things they do too. “You really are a big help”; “Thank you for putting away the milk”, etc. Exaggerate the big things too. “Wow you really are a fast runner – just like superman!”; “Boy are you strong – Mummy’s little Hulk”. Be specific with praise. That way children know what they ‘got’ right.
Remember one of the nicest positive things we can say to our children is: I Love You!
Basic Parenting – Article 3
Diaries, mobile phones, palm tops, laptops – where would we be without them? Without these kinds of visual reminders we would probably hear ourselves say things like: ”Where did I put it? Where am I going now? Who is my next meeting with?”
Interestingly we expect our children to simple remember things – and they like us forget. This then causes problems. Why don’t we help them remember where they’ve left their shoes, homework bag, hat, etc. do they have a specific place to keep their things? Is this consistent?
Visual aids can be used when we create routines for our children, when we want to target specific problematic behaviours, and when we want to reward children. There are many websites which provide examples of different types of visual reminders for children. For small children, interactive ones are the best. This means that they place a tick, star, on the chart, flip pages over, remove or add things.
Children learn best in pictures – use this strength for them and cut down your own frustration.
Basic Parenting – Article 4
Toys, lollies, internet access. These are all things children love. We as parents can use this to our advantage. How?
It will create incentive for children to do what we ask or need them to do. You enjoy getting paid at the end of the week or month, so do children.
One thing that I find is that parents sometimes reward their children first and then say things like “Remember that movie we went to – no you have to do….” I also find parents will use rewards with a diminishing effect. By this I mean they will take away from a reward. For instance if a child misbehaves parents will say ok, that means that you will only be able to play on your computer for half an hour instead of an hour, etc.
Try rewarding at the end of the ‘job’. This means that the child is taught delayed gratification, it will cut down on temper tantrums – e.g. in shops, etc. it also means that the child feels pride in the accomplishment of a task.
The trick though is to be specific about what a child has to do to get a reward. Also let the reward equal the effort. Small effort = small reward; big effort = big reward.
This is a strategy which works for teens too! There is a reward in it it for you too – they will do what you want them to do happily.