- 1) HOW CAN I GET MY BABY TO SLEEP?
- 2) MY BABY IS NOT TALKING YET! SHOULD I BE WORRIED?
- 3) MY TWO KIDS ARE ALWAYS HITTING EACH OTHER! WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
- 4) WHEN SHOULD I THINK ABOUT GIVING MY BABY SOLID FOODS?
- 5) MY CHILD IS BEING BULLIED! HOW SHOULD I HANDLE THE SITUATION?
- 6) HOW CAN I CONVINCE MY CHILD TO OPT FOR A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE?
- 7) WHEN AND HOW SHOULD I TALK ABOUT SEX WITH MY KIDS?
- 8) HOW CAN I CONVINCE MY CHILDREN THAT SMOKING, DRINKING ALCOHOL AND TAKING DRUGS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT THEY SHOULD DO?
- 9) I HAVE A REALLY BUSY SCHEDULE. HOW CAN I SPEND MORE TIME WITH MY KIDS?
- 10) MY CHILDREN HAVE LOW SELF-ESTEEM. HOW CAN I CHANGE THAT?
- 11) MY CHILDREN HAVE STICKY FINGERS. WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
- 12) WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN MY KIDS SASS TALK ME?
- 13) HOW CAN I STOP MY CHILDREN FROM SURRENDERING TO PEER PRESSURE?
- 14) WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DISCIPLINE MY CHILDREN?
- 15) WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILDREN WANT TO DROP OUT OF AN ACTIVITY?
- 16) MY CHILDREN WANT TO BE PERFECT IN EVERYTHING THEY DO. HOW CAN I STOP THAT?
- 17) MY CHILDREN ARE FEARFUL MOST OF THE TIME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- 18) HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILDREN FORM FRIENDSHIPS?
- 19) MY CHILDREN OFTEN BLAME ME FOR THEIR ACTIONS. HOW SHOULD I HANDLE THIS?
- 20) SOMETIMES, MY CHILDREN HAVE VIOLENT OUTBURSTS. HOW CAN I STOP IT?
- 21) HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THAT MY KIDS RESPECT BEDTIME?
- 22) MY CHILDREN ARE ASKING FOR A DOG. HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THAT I WON’T BE THE ONE TAKING CARE OF HIM?
- 23) I WOULD LIKE MY CHILDREN TO LEARN FOREIGN LANGUAGES. HOW CAN I HELP THEM WITH THAT?
- 24) HOW CAN I ENSURE THAT MY CHILDREN DON’T SEE INAPPROPRIATE MOVIES?
- 25) HOW CAN I TEACH MY CHILDREN THAT “NO!” MEANS “NO!”?
- 26) MY KIDS GET EASILY DISTRACTED. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- 27) MY KIDS ARE NEVER READY FOR SCHOOL ON TIME! WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- 28) I DON’T LIKE HOW MY FRIEND’S CHILDREN ARE BEHAVING. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- 29) I CAUGHT MY CHILDREN LYING. WHAT SHOULD I SAY TO THEM?
- 30) HOW CAN I DEAL WITH ANXIOUS CHILDREN?
- 31) HOW CAN MY CHILDREN LEARN HOW TO BE INDEPENDENT?
- 32) WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY KIDS GIVES UP EASILY?
- 33) SHOULD I BE WORRIED IF MY CHILDREN HAVE IMAGINARY FRIENDS?
- 34) I NEED SOME TIME OFF FROM MY PARENTING DUTIES. ANY ALTERNATIVES APART FROM A BABY-SITTER?
- 35) MY CHILDREN REFUSE TO GO TO SCHOOL. HELP?
- 36) MY CHILDREN MISBEHAVE AT SCHOOL. HOW CAN I STOP THEM?
- 37) MY CHILDREN ALWAYS BEG FOR ATTENTION. WHAT CAN I DO?
- 38) NO MATTER HOW MUCH I GIVE THEM, MY CHILDREN ALWAYS WANT MORE. TIPS?
- 39) IS IT NORMAL IF MY CHILDREN ARE SIX AND THEY ARE STILL WETTING THE BED?
- 40) MY CHILDREN ARE EXTREMELY STUBBORN. ANY ADVICE?
- 41) IT’S HARD FOR ME TO GET MY CHILDREN TO TALK. HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE THEM TO BE MORE TALKATIVE?
- 42) MY CHILDREN DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I SAY. HOW CAN I CHANGE THIS?
- 43) MY PARENTS DON’T TREAT MY KIDS THE WAY I DO. HOW SHOULD I HANDLE THIS?
- 44) MY CHILDREN ARE TOO LAZY. ANY ADVICE?
- 45) IS IT OK TO PAY MY KIDS FOR THEIR HELP, SO THAT THEY LEARN THE VALUE OF MONEY?
- 46) WHEN SHOULD I PRAISE AND WHEN SHOULD I ENCOURAGE MY CHILDREN?
- 47) WHEN SHOULD MY CHILDREN START SCHOOL?
- 48) I LOVE MY CHILDREN, BUT SOMETIMES I’M NOT HAVING IT, BECAUSE THEY DRIVE ME CRAZY. IS THAT NORMAL?
- 49) WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILDREN ARE BULLIES?
- 50) WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILDREN SWEAR?
Parenting often comes with numerous question marks and with answers that you have to figure out yourself. This is both fun and frightening, because the quest to finding the answers will have you either laugh forever about them (like that diaper that was supposed to be changed an hour ago) or just constantly wondering if you are the right person for the job, when the baby is crying in the crib and you don’t know how to make him/her sleep. Here are 50 of the most common parenting questions – I dare you to find a question you’ve never asked yourself!
1) HOW CAN I GET MY BABY TO SLEEP?
As much as I would love to give a clear, precise answer, the truth is – there isn’t one. Every baby is different and has his/her own sleep patterns and reasons why he/she wouldn’t sleep. There are babies who actually need a full year to develop a normal sleep cycle during the night. To help the baby associate the bed with sleep, you can put him/her in the crib when he/she is still sleepy and not fully asleep, so that he/she gets used to the idea that covered with a blanket in the crib = time to sleep. Also, try not to rush to the room as soon as you hear the baby crying, even if it pains you. If they know you will be there as soon as they start crying, they will develop a pattern – but babies are more resilient than we think!
2) MY BABY IS NOT TALKING YET! SHOULD I BE WORRIED?
It’s easy to panic about this, especially when you compare your baby to other babies who were born around the same period as yours and who can already talk in sentences. But, again, every baby is different and there isn’t a fixed time for these milestones. This development is at its peak when the baby is between 2-3 years; never underestimate their ability to catch up blazing fast, even if they have fallen behind.
3) MY TWO KIDS ARE ALWAYS HITTING EACH OTHER! WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Oh yes, ‘you have the same blood’ speech never quite works when it comes to the all-too-familiar sibling rivalry. One way to avoid that is to never have a ‘favorite’ child – always make sure that they both have the same love, care and attention, so that they don’t feel like they have to compete for your love. Set house rules that they need to respect (link to house rules article) and be firm and fair when it comes to disciplining them for disobeying. Handle their fights with calmness and focus on finding the root of the problem, instead of the culprit.
4) WHEN SHOULD I THINK ABOUT GIVING MY BABY SOLID FOODS?
There has been a lengthy debate over this, but research now shows that the best time to start giving your baby solid foods is when he’s between 4 and 6 months old, because…TEETHING! Until then, it’s recommended to stick to breastfeeding or infant formula.
5) MY CHILD IS BEING BULLIED! HOW SHOULD I HANDLE THE SITUATION?
When what every parent fears is happening, it’s your responsibility to do something about it. Teach your children to stand up for themselves and to never let anyone convince them that they are not worthy of being respected. Speaking with principals, parents or even the bully doesn’t always improve the situation; the only thing you can really do is to show your support for your children and teach them to be assertive. While violence is never the answer, they have to defend themselves, especially if the bullying is physical – consider signing them for Aikido classes, which is a Japanese martial art that not only teaches defensive techniques, but also how to apply them without seriously injuring the attacker.
6) HOW CAN I CONVINCE MY CHILD TO OPT FOR A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE?
Child obesity is growing at an alarming rate and the best way to prevent that is by getting children accustomed to healthy food from a young age. Get used to preparing a single meal for the whole family, instead of cooking according to everyone’s preference and give several healthy choices. Try to avoid fast foods as much as possible and instead of praising your children with sweets when they do good deeds, schedule fun, interactive activities instead. It’s preferable to not rely too much on electronics, like game consoles or watching TV; do something outdoors or play board games with them. If you see them having a penchant for a certain sport, channel that interest by signing them up for classes. A healthy start is likely to be continued even when they become teens.
7) WHEN AND HOW SHOULD I TALK ABOUT SEX WITH MY KIDS?
It’s not the most pleasant topic, but it’s a very important one, because you are the most recommended person who can teach them good values about it. Children are curious by nature; they will want to know everything about their body parents and how they came into this world. The birds and the bees just isn’t working anymore as an explanation. Do not shy away for naming the intimate body parts – they exist, just like any other. To explain childbirth, you can speak metaphorically, mentioning seed instead of spermatozoon; once children are older, you can say where that seed comes from and where does it go. Instead of responding awkwardly about sex, tell your children about the emotions involved (people who are in love do it), rather than discussing the act itself. Again, when kids grow older, you can start talking to them about responsible sex and the consequences it has when it’s not. Make the discussion funny and engaging – just because it’s a subject difficult to grasp, it doesn’t mean that you have to avoid it altogether.
8) HOW CAN I CONVINCE MY CHILDREN THAT SMOKING, DRINKING ALCOHOL AND TAKING DRUGS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT THEY SHOULD DO?
First off, try to set an example for them and don’t do those things either. It’s never too early to teach your children about the dangers of such habits; you can take advantage of every opportunity, like seeing a photo shoot in a magazine where the person is seen drinking. It’s better for them to be aware of their dangers before they start doing them – afterwards, things get more complicated. When they are in their teens, have honest discussions about this issue – ask them what they thing about them and be non-judgmental, keeping the communication lines open. If they drink, make it a clear, firm rule that they are never allowed to drive or to let someone else drive who is under the influence. Let them know that even if there is no one who can pick them up from the party, it’s OK if they call you to bring them home.
9) I HAVE A REALLY BUSY SCHEDULE. HOW CAN I SPEND MORE TIME WITH MY KIDS?
Organizing things like a pro is the way to go. Make weekly calendars where the entire family’s activities are written down. This way, you will be able to find open windows to schedule something fun with everybody, so that they can get a sense of belonging. Create bonds with them by finding every day something positive they did and never let a routine activity (like carpooling) pass, without chatting with them and asking how are they doing. It’s not the time you spend with them, but the quality of it!
10) MY CHILDREN HAVE LOW SELF-ESTEEM. HOW CAN I CHANGE THAT?
It’s heartbreaking when your children fail to see their true value. If they don’t have the strength, it’s up to you to boost it. Discuss with them about what’s wrong and try to challenge them to get a reaction. Adjust your expectations to their performances – often, children have low self-esteem because they fail to live up to them and this is because many times, the expectations are too high. Teach them that it’s OK to fail and there is nothing to be afraid of, as long as they learn to get up afterwards.
11) MY CHILDREN HAVE STICKY FINGERS. WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
First, you need to establish if it’s a one-off incident or if it’s some kind of a pattern. Find out why they did it. Explain to them why such acts are wrong and how hurtful it is for other people. Make them see the importance of returning the item to the rightful owner, as well as apologizing for the deed. If teens do it because of the peer pressure, discuss with them about how it’s cool to be ‘uncool’ and how not doing what everyone does is a sign of bravery.
12) WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN MY KIDS SASS TALK ME?
When kids sass talk their parents, it makes them feel like they are in a position of power, especially if they do it in public. If you tell them that it’s time to go home and they don’t bargain for more time, for them, it will be a sign of weakness in front of their own friends. When they sass talk you, don’t engage in their game. The backchat makes you lose your authority, while pretending not to care when they are doing it in front of others still leaves you in a position of power. Communicate to them how their behavior makes YOU feel, instead of how wrong THEIR behavior is. Don’t remind them of the things they are supposed to do; instead, tell them what you are going to do if they don’t do it.
13) HOW CAN I STOP MY CHILDREN FROM SURRENDERING TO PEER PRESSURE?
Kids have to be taught that “NO!” is an acceptable answer and if people refuse to, it’s their fault and not your kids’. It takes great strength to refuse to follow the crowd and many children don’t resist because of fear of rejection. However, encourage them and tell them that it’s braver to be different than to do what everyone else is doing. Discuss about the consequences of the acts their peers are doing and be an example yourself, by not discouraging their opinions, just because they are different from yours.
14) WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DISCIPLINE MY CHILDREN?
First off, here’s what not do to. Don’t hit them. Ever. If the children are very young, try to distract them from their tantrums and use an object or a toy which usually calms them down. Be firm in your punishments and never say things you won’t be able to comply with (like stopping them from playing video games for a month). Not going with a punishment all the way will only diminish your authority.
15) WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILDREN WANT TO DROP OUT OF AN ACTIVITY?
You have to establish if it’s an activity that impacts them negatively or if it’s a simple avoidance strategy. Talk to them about the reasons why they want to quit and observe how good they are at it and how much they like it. For instance, if they take tennis classes, watch them play and see their reactions. Some activities take longer to soften up to, but generally, don’t let them quite during a course or a season. Wait for them to finish before making a decision.
16) MY CHILDREN WANT TO BE PERFECT IN EVERYTHING THEY DO. HOW CAN I STOP THAT?
Perfectionism is both a blessing and a curse, because on one hand, it’s what pushes them to surpass themselves, but on the other hand, they are never satisfied with the work they do. Teaching them that failing is part of our lives is a must – make them see and accept their errors, rather than getting hung up on them. Choose encouragement instead of praise, especially when it comes to trying new things. Perfectionists often avoid getting out of their comfort zone, because they fear that starting something new is a recipe for failure.
17) MY CHILDREN ARE FEARFUL MOST OF THE TIME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If your children have various fears, help them distinguish between being fearful and being precarious. For instance, instead of fearing to climb a tree, tell them that they just need to do it with caution. Acknowledge their fears and foster bravery – if they fear to sleep with the lights off, show confidence in their ability to deal with it.
18) HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILDREN FORM FRIENDSHIPS?
Have frequent conversations with them and talk about interests, good values, loyalty and respect. While a competitive nature shouldn’t be discouraged, don’t let them become sore losers; instead, teach them that winning isn’t always about receiving a medal. Allow them to come home with classmates and encourage them to participate in group activities, as well as to engage in conversations with people sharing their same preferences.
19) MY CHILDREN OFTEN BLAME ME FOR THEIR ACTIONS. HOW SHOULD I HANDLE THIS?
Kids can be masters of manipulation; they are so good at it, that parents sometimes do give in and feel guilty even when they shouldn’t. Instead, teach responsibility – for every action there is a reaction and every single thing they say or do can have consequences. While parents are in some way their children’s friends, there are also clear boundaries; the moment you let them make you feel guilty is when you lose your authority. Instead, ignore their attempts and focus on the problem.
20) SOMETIMES, MY CHILDREN HAVE VIOLENT OUTBURSTS. HOW CAN I STOP IT?
Never engage by responding in the same manner. Whenever something like this happens, keep your cool – calmness means control. If things are escalating, try to push the conversation for the next day. Instead of responding to the aggressive behavior, find out why your children are feeling the way they do – what is it that frustrates them and what are they expecting of you. Ask what’s on their mind and catch a moment when you are both calm, to settle things down.
21) HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THAT MY KIDS RESPECT BEDTIME?
Bedtime is one of those moments that parents hate, because they rarely go down without any drama. To avoid that, always keep a strict schedule and teach them that 8:30 means 8:30. If you give in once, they will try every time to stretch your hand, because you showed them it’s possible. Prepare them for bed 15 minutes in advance, telling them that it’s time to go to sleep. If they ask for 15 more minutes, allow them to, letting them believe they are in control, when in fact this was the plan all along. By doing that, by the time they will be supposed to go to bed, you will be able to remind them that they have already said that they would go in 15 minutes.
22) MY CHILDREN ARE ASKING FOR A DOG. HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THAT I WON’T BE THE ONE TAKING CARE OF HIM?
This happens quite a lot. Children ask for dogs and they SWEAR they will take good care of them. Instead, by caring, they actually mean PLAYING with them, while you will be the one literally doing the dirty job. To avoid that, buy them books about dog breeds, so that they can learn about all their requirements and needs. Talk to them about the responsibilities involved and set up a calendar with the times they are supposed to feed him or take him for a walk.
23) I WOULD LIKE MY CHILDREN TO LEARN FOREIGN LANGUAGES. HOW CAN I HELP THEM WITH THAT?
The younger they start learning, the better they will grasp them. Play movies and TV shows for them in their original language. In time, they will get accustomed to associating the images to the words. When they are old enough to read, encourage watching movies with subtitles. Buy audio books and courses which are appropriate for their age. Extracurricular programs and traveling to foreign countries is also extremely helpful.
24) HOW CAN I ENSURE THAT MY CHILDREN DON’T SEE INAPPROPRIATE MOVIES?
The movie rating system is a very good indicator of the nature of the scenes. If parental guidance is advised, make sure you do stay and watch the movie with your kids, so that you can offer them explanations in case they don’t understand the significance of certain actions and words. Watching movies is also a good way to expand their vocabulary. In case you are afraid that they might see inappropriate ones when you are not around, most TV sets and operators offer parental control, so that no matter what buttons they press, they will never stumble upon unsuitable content.
25) HOW CAN I TEACH MY CHILDREN THAT “NO!” MEANS “NO!”?
This is probably one of the most headache-inducing parenting questions out there, because reasoning with a child often feels like an endurance test. Children must learn that “NO!” is a definitive answer and it’s up to you to be firm in your decision; otherwise, you would call it “MAYBE!”. If they start having tantrums because of your denial, instead of giving in, explain to them why they can’t have it their way. Make sure that your partner has the same answer – otherwise, you would end up looking bad. “NO” meaning something else than “NO” also teaches children that consent doesn’t matter and such a perception can be toxic.
26) MY KIDS GET EASILY DISTRACTED. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
The obvious answer here is to minimize the distractions. If they are doing homework, don’t let them do them with the TV on. Make sure that the lights are not bothering them in any way, especially if they are fluorescent. If they have smart phones, have them turn them off if they get caught up with messaging, instead of finishing the task. Organize the activities and let them know that they can’t skip them, but do them in order instead. For instance, rather than letting them go out and play, with the promise that they would finish the homework afterwards, have them do their homework before, promising that you will let them go outside once it’s done.
27) MY KIDS ARE NEVER READY FOR SCHOOL ON TIME! WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If they feel fatigued in the morning, consider sending them to bed earlier. When they get ready, don’t let them get distracted playing games on their gadgets. Most of the time, children bargain for 10 minutes more before getting ready – if this is something that happens often, try waking them up 10 minutes before they are supposed to, so that they have time to get rid of the “morning numbness”. If getting dressed up also takes a lot, consider preparing the clothes they need for school the night before.
28) I DON’T LIKE HOW MY FRIEND’S CHILDREN ARE BEHAVING. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Parents feel protective of their children – it’s ok if they discipline them, but it’s a no-go when others attempt to. It’s a difficult situation to be in, if they behave in an appropriate manner. To avoid any kind of conflict, let them know that when they are at your place, they follow your house rules and when disciplining them, discuss with their parents about the ways they do it and do it as you normally should with your own children – staying calm, patient, explaining what’s right and wrong, without raising your voice.
29) I CAUGHT MY CHILDREN LYING. WHAT SHOULD I SAY TO THEM?
You have to teach your kids not to fear the consequences of telling the truth, but rather those of telling a lie. Many children lie because they fear the punishment – even if what they did was wrong (like, breaking a window), as long as they are aware of it and regret it, try to avoid harsh punishments and discuss instead about how such things shouldn’t be repeated again. Don’t overreact when you find out the truth – instead make an attempt of understanding why did your child lie.
30) HOW CAN I DEAL WITH ANXIOUS CHILDREN?
Surpassing the anxiety is all about reinforcing the idea that your children are more powerful than they realize. Empathize with their fears and show an understanding of them, but at the same time, teach them how to tackle them and help them develop the required skills. Avoidance isn’t an option – if your children have a hard time dealing with a fear, make baby steps and don’t expect them to surpass it at once. If they have a fear of climbing ladders, have them climb 2-3 steps every day, then increase the number day by day until they build up some confidence.
31) HOW CAN MY CHILDREN LEARN HOW TO BE INDEPENDENT?
Don’t be a helicopter parent. Don’t be the kind of parent who never lets her/his kids to try things on their own, because she/is afraid that they might get hurt or fail. Instead, let them explore the world and teach them that failing and falling is part of their development. Encourage self-help activities and come up weekly with lists of tasks and activities (like taking out the garbage). Don’t hand them over the answers, but instead, ask them more questions to help them figure answers on their own.
32) WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY KIDS GIVES UP EASILY?
Teach them the value of perseverance and that this is how many people achieved greatness. If your children don’t feel like finishing what they started, give them words of encouragement. Don’t let them take shortcuts and make them aware that success is the result of hard work. If your kids are involved in activities, unless there is a serious concern, don’t let them quit halfway through and motivate them by reminding them the times when their perseverance paid off. For instance, when they set up a lemonade stand and they had no sales for an hour, but later, things started to move.
33) SHOULD I BE WORRIED IF MY CHILDREN HAVE IMAGINARY FRIENDS?
Imaginative play is or should be part of every child’s life, because it boosts the creativity. Having imaginary friends is a way of developing social skills in an environment they fully control. It’s akin to playing with action figures and pretending you are fighting the bad guys. There is no reason to worry – usually, by the time children will be in school, they will get rid of them, because they will have the chance to create real human connections.
34) I NEED SOME TIME OFF FROM MY PARENTING DUTIES. ANY ALTERNATIVES APART FROM A BABY-SITTER?
First things first – don’t feel guilty about it. You work 24/7 anyway, so it’s totally find to want some time away, even if it’s just for a night. You can always count on your mom friends to save the day. You can ask them to stay with your kids or to have them over to their place, also offering to do the same with their kids when they will need it. Ask friends, neighbors and relatives – there is no way that everyone has something to do at exactly the same time.
35) MY CHILDREN REFUSE TO GO TO SCHOOL. HELP?
If applicable, ask your partner to help you with this. It’s always good if you have someone to back you up. Ask your school counselor and your teacher for advice and try to switch up tactics and approaches if you can’t get them to go to school. Convince them of the benefits of school – how they will be able to make new friends, learn new things and grow to be strong and independent.
36) MY CHILDREN MISBEHAVE AT SCHOOL. HOW CAN I STOP THEM?
That dreaded phone call! You would rather hear how they got a D- instead of having to listen how they got in fights and feel embarrassed about it. Talk to your children about their misconduct – understand why it happened and what was their involvement in it? What triggered it? Did they respond to an insult? Did they try to defend someone? Did they cause it just because they don’t like that person? Teach them about the dangers of their actions and how they have to take responsibility for their part. If they got suspended, use that time to try to improve their behavior, instead of turning it into a vacation.
37) MY CHILDREN ALWAYS BEG FOR ATTENTION. WHAT CAN I DO?
First, you have to ask yourself WHY they are doing that. Most children act out like that because they wrongly believe that if they are attention-seekers, they will manage to emotionally connect with their parents. Give them a sense of belonging and create bonds with them. It’s also important to give your children chances to do things on their own to feel empowered. If you take this power away from them, they will use power-seeking methods like begging for attention, as a way to tell you that you can’t have control over every aspect of their lives. Remember to praise them whenever they do something right, no matter how small, and to always use the positive reinforcement, instead of focusing on the negative.
38) NO MATTER HOW MUCH I GIVE THEM, MY CHILDREN ALWAYS WANT MORE. TIPS?
You give them a finger and they take your entire hand. Give them what they want when they deserve it. Give them what they REALLY need always. If they keep nagging you, don’t ever throw a ‘MAYBE…’ there, because that’s pretty much like saying ‘YES!’ straightaway. Also, when cornered, instead of succumbing to their request just so you can move on, simply walk away and avoid arguing more. Remember that you are the parent and you get to decide. Be positive and separate your needs from their own, giving adequate priority.
39) IS IT NORMAL IF MY CHILDREN ARE SIX AND THEY ARE STILL WETTING THE BED?
At this stage, such accidents shouldn’t happen anymore. Before taking action, do a check-up to cross out other issues which could cause them. Otherwise, make sure they know how to detect the sensation of urination and how to deal with it properly. Don’t overreact, so that they don’t stress out over the issue – instead, stay calm and explain to them that it’s not acceptable to have to change sheets every day.
40) MY CHILDREN ARE EXTREMELY STUBBORN. ANY ADVICE?
Remember that someone who wins a battle doesn’t necessarily win the war. Pick your battles wisely; if you get in an argument with them about something insignificant, let them have it and then become more engaged when things get serious. To convince them to do something, don’t just tell them your request, but what will happen if they comply with the request. For instance, don’t just ask them to start their homework, but tell them that they can play on their Xbox when they finish homework.
41) IT’S HARD FOR ME TO GET MY CHILDREN TO TALK. HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE THEM TO BE MORE TALKATIVE?
If your children are tough nuts, it’s time to bring the nutcracker. Give them time to open up. Teach them that you will listen and that no subject is too insignificant. Take advantage of shared family meals, when you can ask them about their day and to tell you something good and something bad that happened. Even during carpools, you can still encourage them and ask them questions like: “Did you meet anyone new today? Did you learn something interesting? Was there something you enjoyed in particular?”
42) MY CHILDREN DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I SAY. HOW CAN I CHANGE THIS?
This is, yet again, one of the most popular parenting questions that every parent had to find an answer to at least once. Pretty much all the children are or have been affected by “selective hearing” at some point – yes, even you. The trick to make them listen to you is to get close to them and make eye contact. Avoid shouting at them from the other side of the house – actually, avoid shouting in general. The more you shout the less will they listen, because shouting is noise. Instead, lower your voice, articulate your words and make sure your children know what is expected of them. Go through your demands one by one, instead of firing them all at once. Don’t repeat them over and over again, but take action. If you told them that you will turn the TV off if they don’t come to dinner in 10 minutes – which they didn’t – do it.
43) MY PARENTS DON’T TREAT MY KIDS THE WAY I DO. HOW SHOULD I HANDLE THIS?
Parenting is tricky in itself, but it’s even more difficult if your own parents think you are doing it wrong. If the parents and the grandparents have different visions when it comes to raising their children and grandchildren, respectively, this could cause friction. To avoid that, make sure they know your house rules, as well as when should your children be disciplined and how. Don’t let them undermine your authority by allowing your kids to do everything you forbid them to, but instead try to reach a consensus and listen to what they have to say as well.
44) MY CHILDREN ARE TOO LAZY. ANY ADVICE?
If we would be talking about working to get something they really want, laziness would probably be out of question. Again, most of the time, it’s an avoidance tactic. Be firm in your position, even if that means nagging them. Set the bar lower only if it’s entirely your fault, by having too high expectations in first time. To make them feel pumped for achieving their goals, break them down in more days – if they can’t grasp 10 words in one day, have them learn them during the course of 5 days. Laziness also comes sometimes from an overwhelmed feeling – they have so much stuff to do, that they don’t know how to start and end up not starting at all. Break the tasks down in a reasonable manner.
45) IS IT OK TO PAY MY KIDS FOR THEIR HELP, SO THAT THEY LEARN THE VALUE OF MONEY?
Uhmm…not necessarily. There are other ways to teach them financial independence; as a matter of fact, helping their family with various chores teaches them not to take everything for granted. You can provide them with pocket money and encourage them to write down how they intend to spend it – this way, they will learn to make the best out of what they have and possibly motivate them to take side jobs to earn more (like walking the neighbor’s dog).
46) WHEN SHOULD I PRAISE AND WHEN SHOULD I ENCOURAGE MY CHILDREN?
Before they become adolescents, children are fond of the reward system. They do something right and you reward them, regardless if it’s with a praise or with something more palpable. Later, as they will start facing more challenges and will find it difficult to stay focused and achieve their goals, an encouragement from their parents is extremely helpful. Encouragement not only motivates them to continue with their quest, but it’s also an assurance that you believe in their strength.
47) WHEN SHOULD MY CHILDREN START SCHOOL?
To wait or not to wait a year more?, that is the question. On one hand, they get an extra year at home. On the other hand, they will finish school one year later. To make up your mind, ask for professional advice to establish their readiness for school. Consider how socially and emotionally prepared they are and make sure that the school of your choice doesn’t have different programs, depending on the age they start.
48) I LOVE MY CHILDREN, BUT SOMETIMES I’M NOT HAVING IT, BECAUSE THEY DRIVE ME CRAZY. IS THAT NORMAL?
Liking and loving is not the same thing. You can dislike your children’s behavior sometimes, while still loving them. The lack of a positive feeling doesn’t exclude the other one. It’s perfectly normal to sometimes feel frustrated and to have a hard time expressing your love for them, especially after they angered you. However, never let the day pass without them knowing that even though mommy/daddy is sometimes upset, she/he always loves them.
49) WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILDREN ARE BULLIES?
Know every single detail – what they did to whom, when and why. Express your feelings towards such actions and how disappointing and hurtful it is. Talk about respect and don’t let them deflect the blame towards the victim. Never allow your children to pass the responsibility on someone else. Discuss with the family/families of the bullied as well; you can actually try to have your children with theirs face-to-face, so that the victims can get a closure.
50) WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILDREN SWEAR?
Never overreact – it’s your reaction to those words which give them power; the more shocked you are, the more will they be tempted to use them. Teach them why they are not socially acceptable and if you do decide to let them swear in your presence, make sure that they are aware that it’s the only circumstance in which they are allowed to. Never let them use swearing as an insult aimed towards someone; at the most, they should only swear when they are in pain or want to vent out their frustration.
Did we miss any important question? Do you have different answers for ours?
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