5 Steps to More Effective Parenting

Raising a happy, healthy child is one of the most challenging jobs a parent can have and also one of the most rewarding.

1: What you do matters.

Whether it’s your own health behaviours or the way you treat other people, your children are learning from what you do. This is one of the most important principles. What you do makes a difference? Don’t just react on the spur of the moment. Ask yourself, What do I want to accomplish, and is this likely to produce that result?

2: You cannot be too loving.

It is simply not possible to spoil a child with love. What we often think of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child things in place of love – things like leniency, lowered expectations.

3: Focus more on your children’s positive behaviour than negative behaviour

Parents should be intentional about focusing more on their children’s positive behaviour than on their negative behaviour. The more parents scold or reprimand, the more the bad behaviour gets repeated. When they receive a lot of scolding, children start to internalise the belief that “I’m a bad child who misbehaves and gets scolded”. As such, they don’t feel motivated to correct their behaviour, because it has already become a part of their identity.

4: Teach your children to view challenges positively.

People who view challenges and obstacles positively are far more likely to become successful than those who don’t .

Successful people look at challenges and think: “It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be fun. I’m going to learn a lot through the process of overcoming these challenges.” On the other hand, people who aren’t so successful look at challenges and think: “It’s going to be hard, so I’d rather do something easier. I’ll try to avoid these challenges, but if I really can’t I’ll find a shortcut instead.” These differing attitudes develop in childhood and adolescence. As such, good parents hone their skill of enabling their children to view challenges positively.

5: Help your children develop social skills.

Here’s a list of social skills that you can help your children develop:

  • Sharing
  • Giving feedback
  • Accepting differences
  • Respecting others’ rights and property
  • Identifying others’ feelings
  • Seeing things from others’ perspective
  • Making eye contact
  • Managing negative emotions
  • Listening
  • Not interrupting
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Disagreeing respectfully
  • Cooperating
  • Helping others
  • Complimenting others
  • Being polite

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