Being a good parent is both the hardest and the most rewarding thing that you will ever do. Parenting has not traditionally been taught but the skills are either obtained from experiential learning or learned from our own parents. Our parents are not always the best role models to follow. so it is little wonder that many new parents are looking for help to parent differently and better, and there are ways to do this.
1.PRAISE YOUR CHILD
When your child is doing what you have asked them to do, reinforce the good behavior by praising them. Most specialists agree that it is better to use
‘labeled praise’ as it involves telling your child exactly what you were pleased with. Labeled praise is more effective as it targets exactly the behavior.
For example: ‘You are a good girl for putting on your shoes ‘. This is much more specific and leaves the child in no doubt as to what they have done well. rather than just saying ‘good girl’, which is not specific enough.
2.USE BEHAVIORAL INCENTIVES
It is better to focus on one behavior at a time, and when your child is not doing what he is asked to do, sometimes a behavior chart is the answer.
The chart can be bought, at the News Agent and is placed on the wall. Explain carefully and clearly to your child what you expect them to do. It may be as simple as being ready for school on time. Every time they do what they are asked, a sticker goes up on the calendar. After 30 days of good behavior, a reward can be given. ( It works better if the reward is prenegotiated, and then the child is working towards this goal).
Some parents say that this is bribery, but it doesn’t always have to be a material reward, it could be something like a family day out. Or going to a movie with Dad and just spending special time together. As long as the reward is special and different from a normal day.
3.USE CONSISTENT DISCIPLINE TECHNIQUES
Children misbehave for two main reasons, often because they don’t want to do what you have asked them to do.
The second reason is that they are seeking attention, and even negative attention is better than no attention at all.
Once your child is between three and four years of age you can reason with them. Explain the behavior that you want from them simply and clearly and be consistent. If the bad behavior continues, and sometimes it does, use time out. don’t use time out for anyone under 4 years, as they are not old enough to understand the concept. Time out allows the child to calm down for a short time while remaining within your sight.
Pick a time-out corner in the next room, marking a spot on the floor for the child to stand on. He remains there for 4 minutes, no longer, when he returns to you, talk about why he was having time out and once again, what you expect of him.
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4.COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CHILD
Talk to your child about school, and try to find out what is upsetting them. When children run into difficulties they will need to learn to problem-solve, and this is a skill best learned early in life. Problem-solving and social skills go hand in hand, and if your child is aggressive to others, no one will want to play with them. On the other hand, someone may be showing aggression to them, so it is important for children to learn about the consequences of their actions early in life. Before a child goes to school he/she needs to learn that it is important to cooperate and to take it in turns when playing.
By the age of four children can learn flexible problem-solving strategies, and by five years can see the other person’s point of view.
5.MAINTAIN A STRUCTURED ROUTINE
Contrary to the popular belief of many, children thrive on routine and limit setting. Keep mealtimes and bed in a set pattern every day. Not too much TV on school nights and around 10 hours of sleep when a child first starts school. When children get overtired they get angry and their behavior deteriorates. If you are going to have a late-night with the children, keep it for weekends and holidays.