Raising kids is the most challenging thing you will ever do. Principally, because you are learning as you go. We do not enter parenting knowing exactly how to handle every situation.
Here are 6 things that you can do that might be helpful.
- Listen to your children – sometimes we are so busy that we forget to spend time or listen to our kids. It happens to the best of us. When you are spending time with your child, try and minimize distractions like thinking about laundry, making dinner, or returning phone calls.
- Get to your child’s level and look at them at eye level. Giving them your complete attention when you interact with them.
- Reach out and gently touch their arm or hold their hand when they are upset communicates to them that they have your full attention and mpathize with how they are feeling.
- Stick to your rules! We teach kids about right and wrong… so when we make mistakes, say “opps, I made a mistake, or I did something wrong.” This helps them learn that it’s okay to make mistakes and get things wrong.
- Be consistent in your discipline but flexible. This means when you say no, you must follow through and not give in.
- If you change your rules, be sure to let them know that maybe you were too harsh or just “made a mistake”. Do not be afraid to let them know when you make a mistake… We are all human.
- When the consequence or punishment does fit the “crime” stick to your rule! Kids will notice when we are inconsistent and will use that in their favor.
- Be a good role model! Don’t ’do anything you do not want your kids to do. Kids will copy what we do. You might need to change your own behavior.
- Model good habits! Your kids are watching you go to work every day, see you making dinner, doing chores, and paying bills. It is important that they see you managing your responsibilities. It does not have to be perfect, just honest hard work.
- Control your emotions. If you lose your cool in front of your kids, they might get scared, tearful, or become anxious, especially if they are younger. If you find your self arguing with someone on the phone or your partner, don’t let them see you exhibit mean behavior. Remember, anytime you lose control, yell or argue with someone they are learning how you react in tough situations. Instead, show them how to keep cool and problem solve in a calm manner. When you do this, they learn what emotional intelligence looks like.
- Be flexible. Sometimes parents struggle with unrealistic expectations and goals for their kids and themselves. If this occurs, parenting can seem like big burden and overwhelming. If you find yourself feeling like this often, you might need to learn how to be more flexible with yourself, your kids, and your parenting. Being a perfectionist is Stressful!
- Show lots of love! You love you kids, undoubtedly, but do you show them? Do you give them kisses, hugs, and hold their hands? Doing these things make children feel safe and loved. Another way to show love is to spend time together. This means putting down your phone and generally making time to interact with your kids. Initiate interactions with your kids; play games, go outside, watch movies together, show interest in what they like. All these things show kids that “you get them.”
- If you are struggling with parenting your kids, we are here to help. At Psychological Assessment and treatment Services, we can offer one-on-one consultations to see how we can help you. We also have Parent Groups that teach “common sense parenting” skills. Call us today 888-666-3089.