When Just a Few Parenting Tips Will Do
It would be difficult if not impossible to put together a list of parenting tips that would cover all possible situations. Even if that were possible, the list would be so long it would be impractical. A better approach might be to look at parenting tips in a rather general sense and go on from there.
Define the Objective Before Trying to Work the Problem
What can good parenting accomplish? One of the most important thing parents can do for their children is to work toward building strong and healthy relationships. Another very important part of good parenting is having the ability to correct and change problem behavior. This will most often involve nipping problems in the bud, which in itself is a valuable tip. In addition to correcting and changing the behavior of their children, parents need to work at minimizing those problems that may arise that are disrupting to the family as a whole. Minimizing does not mean sweeping problems under the rug. That practice can soon become self-defeating. Just as it makes sense to nip problems a child may be causing in the bud, the same thing needs to be done with problems beyond a child’s control, but may be harmful to the child and to the rest of the family as well.
Yelling Accomplishes Little
Yelling is a good way to release energy, but it does not belong in any list of good parenting tips. Some parents spend a lot of time yelling at their children. They aren’t necessarily being abusive. Two things are usually behind this type of behavior. One is that the parent is letting his or her emotions take over. The second is that the child soon learns to ignore the yelling, or tune it out, knowing it will seldom escalate into something else. There are even times when children use their parents yelling at them to their advantage. They know which buttons to push to precipitate the action and they’re likely to get away with it. There are families where the children, even the very young ones, are really the ones that call the shots.
Making the Right Way Easier
Parents could profit from taking a page from a good horse trainer. Such a trainer has learned that to get the desired results it has to be made easy for the horse to do the right thing and made difficult for the horse to do the wrong thing. Horses quickly learn to take the easier path. Children can as well, although there are at times exceptions. This approach is sometimes called praise and punishment. Punishment is not the right word. A withholding of praise is often punishment enough. Even children who habitually misbehave like being praised when they do something right. Some parents make the mistake of excusing bad behavior, which is really a misuse of praise. There needs to be a balance between discipline and affection.
Five Basic Tips That Should Resolve Most Issues
So far the parenting tips that have been touched on or alluded to have been these:
– Correct inappropriate behavior by nipping the problem in the bud.
– Don’t allow family problems to get out of hand. Nip them in the bud as well.
– Recognize that yelling seldom does a child, or a parent, any good.
– Make doing the right thing easier for the child and make doing the wrong thing more difficult.
– Work at finding a good balance between praise and discipline.
A Few Thoughts on Discipline
Discipline is a subject many parents struggle with, yet when it is applied properly the child will benefit greatly. The child will benefit even more from learning the importance of self discipline. As far as discipline is concerned, most parents will fit in one of three categories.
– Many parents are permissive. Some are even afraid to discipline their children for fear of damaging their feelings. Consequently the children have few rules to go by, and many of the rules that do exist are often ones they have made themselves.
– At the opposite extreme are the authoritarian parents. Children of these parents learn quickly what the rules are and learn quickly that they are to be followed. An important thing that is often missing however is affection. The parents often act as if the rules to be followed are more important than are those who are expected to follow them.
– The authoritative parent is the parent who has found the right balance. This parent has clear expectations for his or her children and the children are aware of what those expectations are. The difference between the authoritative parent and the authoritarian parent is that the authoritative parent mixes discipline with affection. Most children are happy to follow the rules.
It would seem that a list of tips for parents could be a rather short one. There are always the exceptional circumstances that have to be contended with, and on a few occasions outside help or guidance may be necessary. The best approach for a parent might be to work at being authoritative. It is something that does not always come easy for many.