Top 5 Tips for Positive Parenting
As parents, you have to cope with the mess, noise and sometimes, temper tantrums, while at the same time teaching your kids the life skills they will need when they become adults. It’s hard not to wonder sometimes if you’re doing things the way you should, so here at the Stamford American International School we have compiled some handy reminders of the kinds of personal resources available to hard-pressed parents to help you out.
Before you begin, remember this: when you are in a dilemma and are unsure what to do, that feeling of hesitance can transmit to your kids. The best way forward is to have a clear idea of what is not negotiable in your family life when it comes to raising your children, and make sure everyone knows. If you can combine being supportive with having high standards, you can lessen your own and your children’s concerns, resulting in the reduction of any general angst.
1. Be clear
Without clarity, any kind of relationship can breed insecurity. Should your kids discover, for example, that if they argue or plead and beg they can wear you down and will eventually get their way, then you have opened the door to chaos. When boundaries become blurred, kids can feel insecure — even if what they have experienced could be described as a lot of little uncertainties, rather than a major calamity. Clarity, on the other hand, energizes relationships and fosters security. You will also feel a whole lot better about yourself and your authority as a parent.
In particular, you should also ensure that clarity is built in to relationships with adolescent children in your family, who are going through physical and emotional changes. While still setting clear boundaries, take a measured approach to ensure you haven’t become too directive, intrusive or demanding.
2. Be consistent
Without consistency in your family life, confusion will abound. Consistency is an important resource that supports positivity between personalities, including between parents and children. Children need consistent behavior that reinforces your family rules, reward systems and the effectiveness of your disciplinary approach. Remember that your actions speak louder than your words, and aim to avoid the crisis caused by inconsistent, aimless parenting.
Always be there to offer guidance and comfort with the aim of being responsive to your kids in order to promote positive self-esteem, emotional security and physical safety.
3. Be strong
Without demonstrating inner strength, you may breed instability. As with a lack of consistency, if you keep giving in to the demands of your children, they will get mixed signals and may become insecure. You should pay attention to their requests and needs, of course, but this doesn’t mean caving in every time they come up with some new demand.
With clear boundaries, your relationship and their personality will enjoy a good degree of stability, so try to strike the right balance. As a parent, you will want to be involved every step of the way, but remember to occasionally step back and let your child grow, develop and experience some of the realities of life without you.
4. Be committed
Without commitment, you and your children may lack the opportunity to experience growth in your relationships. Psychologists now understand that the environments in which children grow and learn have a strong impact on how the brain develops.
It is also important to encourage commitment to projects in order to instill a sense of responsibility and dedication in your child, which will promote attributes such as stability and trustworthiness. A good outlet for this is through their interests and hobbies. Ask them questions about the things they have a passion for and you could find you have opened a fresh route of communication. You may also find you have learned something new about them in the process, while bolstering their capacity to commit to something for the long run.
5. Be accountable
Without accountability decisions carry little weight, and when you or your children are held accountable you will generally perform better. If you’re addressing problematic behavior, for instance, find ways to hold your children accountable for their part in it. It’s possible to be firm but friendly, so focus on ensuring your children take responsibility for their behavior, rather than simply criticizing them as individuals.
To help School parents pick up more parenting tips, Stamford American’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) runs regular Community Information Sessions on parenting, family life and raising children in a foreign country.
If you are keen on visiting or learning more about Stamford American, please do contact us.