Positivity, consistency, and support. Hang around behaviorcorner.com and you’ll be hearing a whole lot about these three words! Why? What’s so important about these three words?
Take a look…
Being a parent who is positive, consistent, and supportive is bound to succeed in raising their children. These traits are really the greatest gift you can give to your children.
Check out what can happen:
• Children quickly learn how to behave.
• Children learn how to live up to your expectations.
• Children have a confidence in knowing where the boundaries lie.
• Children have a greater chance of turning out to be successful members of society.
Hello?? Aren’t those things exactly what all parents want? Guess what? Your children want all of these things too! They may not ever admit to each and every one on the list; but I assure you that they crave consistency, clear expectations & boundaries, and your loving support as they succeed in life.
Of course, as all of us frazzled parents will tell each other, all children test the limits by disobeying. Some more than others! These are most likely the times where the yelling begins and the battles in your house rage on.
Try to remember that defiance and testing happens because your children are attempting to figure out which expectations are hard and fast rules and which they are allowed to bend. Use your discretion here, and be ready to give explanations of any “gray areas” that life throws our way. Doing this will help your children to understand the exceptions to the rules of life.
It is super important to remember that children are most stable and have the strongest bond with those who lovingly hold them accountable. Childhood misbehaviors are always trying to tell us something. Use each misbehavior as a learning tool and an opportunity to consistently enforce the expectations.
Sounds doable? Think you can pull that off? Take baby-steps and don’t strive for perfection.
I have strong opinions on ‘perfect’…
There is no perfect parent. (Sorry!) There is no perfect child. (Doubly sorry!) There is no perfect way to raise your children. Perfect does not exist.
The best way to do ‘perfect’ is to keep your children’s best interests in mind. To do so, start by thinking.
Think about your parenting style.
Think about the ways in which you react to your children.
Think about the positive and negative consequences you use.
Think about how often you are consistent in following through on not only expectations but also on doing what you say you will do. If you want your kids to take you seriously, that is a MUST!
After all of this thinking, you’ll likely discover that you have made mistakes (who hasn’t?) along with many parenting strategies that you would like use more of.
Of all people, I am one that totally knows that our best intentions don’t always go as planned. You and I are human. We let our emotions get the best of us sometimes. Our children are masters at pushing our buttons, and we don’t always do and say what is most beneficial in the heat of the moment. (Remember the frazzled parent comment? Yeah that’s been me more than I would like to admit) Anyway, I get it. I’ve been there, and I continue to work on always getting better.
Give yourself a break if your idea to remain calm and your resolution to not engage in verbal battling goes right out the window. Although I don’t recommend you making a habit of this, it can be a good lesson for your children to see that you too are not perfect. Your behavior should be spoken about once everyone is calm so that your children can gain an understanding of not only their behavior but yours as well.
It is okay to make mistakes. Let me tell you why.
Our children learn from us. We are the primary role models in their lives. When we admit that we made a mistake and talk about what we will do differently next time, it builds respect and teaches our children how to take responsibility for their actions.
Our children’s future rests in our hands. Let’s use this short time we have before they become adults to have fun, teach them right from wrong, show them how to learn from their mistakes, and show them how wonderful it is to be loved unconditionally!
The journey of parenthood is not an easy one. It is not a calm one. But it is the VERY best journey that one will ever take.
Let’s enjoy the frazzled times together as we find some humor along with practical parenting tips for our own individual journeys. I am so honored to be able to join you on yours!
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Barb, LMHC, CPC, Ed.M, CAS