Friday, November 16, 2007
Parenting is as much a learning business for us as traveling through childhood is for our children. Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs that nature has provided us with. Being a parent means not only being sensitive to each child and each situation; it also calls on us to stretch our imagination as we respond to the constant challenges our children present us with. Children can be demanding, difficult and defiant! No advice can possibly make you get it right every time, but a few points kept in mind would take you a long way in dealing with daily discipline.
The miracle of touch.
Out of the five senses touch is considered to have healing qualities. Whether it takes the form of hugs, horseplay or simply holding hands on the way to school, loving physical contact provides a simple and almost unconscious way of showing you care.
Keep the fun alive.
With all the commitments at home and work, most parents forget the word "fun" aspect of parenting. Young children love jokes and being silly. The familiarity of special words, pet names and silly voices always manage to brighten a child's day.
Parents sometimes expect too much of children. They ten to forget that children have a vantage point that is above three feet lower that an adult's! bending down to get a child's eye view of a situation can save most upsets, accidents and mishaps.
Good manners go a long way.
Little children do not always know or remember "the right thing" to say in every situation. They should be encouraged to use the terms such as please, sorry, thank you where appropriate. It's amazing the difference the right words can make. They can often help from the right attitude too.
Children need limits.
Being cool helps but children also need to learn the difference between what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and understand that behavior has consequences whether pleasant or unpleasant. Idle threats should be avoided at all times and always mean what you say.
Being in charge does not mean being a tyrant!
Parents often forget that children are individuals and tend to mould them into ideal persons that they want their children to be. Although there are times when "because i said so" is appropriate, more often than not it is better to give a reason for what you have said. Even adults make mistakes and children have reasonable ideas. In such situations parents should apologize in the same way we expect our children to apologize us.
Check your "dont's" No one likes a lot of negativity.
It sounds like nagging. Too many "dont's" can hinder a child's natural instinct to explore. Unless it is a life and death situation of something that will harm the child in some way, avoid using this word. Always check whether you are using it for your convenience or for child's safety. Good behavior should be rewarded with praise, encouragement or a hug rather than with sweet treats or money.
Children should be children!
Parents often make the mistake of expecting children to be mini adults and be have the way they want them to behave. Children are naturally clumsy, forgetful, and accident prone. Therefore they should never be punished for pure childishness. Bad behaviors should be dealt with justly and the punishment appropriate to the crime. Naughtiness is sometimes prompted by boredom or a feeling of neglect. At such times the solution will involve providing a stimulating activity for the child or giving him attention.
Being "in control" is not really "controlling".
Children do not need to be "Controlled" but when they deliberately misbehave parents should be "in control" of the situation. They should effectively manage and guide their behavior. Often the expression on your face or the tone of your voice will be enough to deter all but the most determined little ones. Yet there are times when just a stem face or a word would not do. Then appropriate and tangible action is required.
"Spare the rod" but do not spoil the child.
Children's behavior sometimes calls for sterner measures than just a small punishment by way of forbidding what he likes to do or sending him to the room. Deliberate, repeated defiance and purposely hurting another child are situations that need to be dealt with immediately. A well timed smack can be most effective way of correcting this type of behavior. A controlled smack (on the hand, leg or the bottom) will help your child associate this unacceptable behavior with unpleasant consequences and deter him from repeating it. make sure he understand what he did wrong and encourage him to say sorry. However, by your words and actions let your child know that although his behavior may have been unacceptable, he is always loved.
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