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Here Are The 5 Most Effective Positive Parenting Solutions

Parenting is a little bit of everything. There are the joyful moments, like when you see your children rushing towards you after their first day of kindergarten. The first night they sleep alone. The first goal they score. That time they learned how to say “I love you!”. However, not all is fun and games – sometimes frustration and anger take over and you feel as if you are going through an endurance test. Parenting is a responsibility and whatever you say or do can be used against you by your own children; that’s why your role is to make sure not that your children are the best version of your own persona, but of themselves and this is something you can achieve through positive parenting solutions. Using this type of educational approach, you can teach your children to respect themselves and to be proud of their own achievements. Here are 5 simple tips for implementing it.

1) KEEP YOUR PROMISES

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If you promised to go to your daughter’s concert, you do it. If you promised to go to your son’s baseball game, you do it. Don’t ask children to do what’s expected of them, if you can’t comply with it either. A broken promise – that empty seat – is something that a child always remembers and which could probably make him/her lack a sense of belonging in the family. You have to stick to agreements no matter if they are positive or negative. If you promised to go and see your children hitting milestones and you didn’t, you are practically building a wall between you and them and hurting their self-esteem. And if you don’t keep a negative promise (“No TV for you all week!”), you will teach your children to defy you, losing your authority as a parent. A trustworthy parent creates a secure, predictable and consistent environment.

2) TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT RESPONSIBILITY AND CONSEQUENCES

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As parents, our natural instinct is to protect our children and take the fall for them as often as possible. However, the older they get, the more we have to teach them to be responsible about their own behavior. It’s also recommended to let them experience the consequences of their actions. You can’t always interfere in their business, just because you are too afraid to see them failing. Failure is what strengthens us – if we can get back on our feet after a tumble, it means that we just became better human beings. For instance, if your children forgot to take their lunchboxes with them one day, it’s not a tragedy. You don’t have to rush and bring the sandwiches to school. It’s not about being the bad cop, but it’s an opportunity for them to learn how their action (forgetting the lunchbox) triggered a consequence (hunger). Of course, this is a trivial example, but it’s a starting point. When children’s actions and behaviors are harmful, you have to step in and explain yourself what the possible consequences are, instead of waiting for them to happen. Say those things to them only once per occasion – even if the kids don’t show any signs of listening, they actually do, more than you think. Repeated critique and nagging is tiresome, boring and useless.

3) LET YOUR CHILDREN KNOW THAT THEY ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU

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Usefulness is something that children take great pride in. They love when they are given the chance to contribute to the household. They love when they help cleaning the house and you let them know that without their help, the house wouldn’t look that spotless. They love to arrange the cutlery and tell your guests, when they compliment you on your dinner, that they helped as well. They love to be part of the family in the true sense of the word. Create safe chores for them and if they are not all that excited, turn them into fun activities. For instance, challenge your children to clean their rooms, while you will clean the living room and then give grades to find out who did it better.

4) ALWAYS OFFER POSITIVE FEEDBACK WHEN APPLICABLE

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You can never praise your children too much. If they are behaving in a way you like, make sure to always compliment them on it. If they get good grades, if they washed the dishes, if they ate the apples you put in their lunchboxes. Compliment them even on small accomplishments, like not throwing the clothes on the floor – but make sure it is indeed an accomplishment. Rather than criticizing them for not eating the rice, try to acknowledge the fact that they came to eat when you called them. The rule of thumb is that for every negative comment, you should say 6 positive things – this practice is called ‘descriptive praise’. Keep in mind that children prefer attention in this order: positive attention, negative attention, no attention. This means that when the positive attention is lacking, they will choose to do something negative just to gain your attention, because even that is better for them than your ignorance.

5) DISCIPLINE LIKE A PRO

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As a parent, you have to learn how to control your emotions and the positive parenting solutions are all about keeping your cool even in the most frustrating scenarios. Anger is never a solution when it comes to disciplining. It’s just a way for us to vent out our frustrations, but it seldom has a positive outcome on the child. When you yell at children, their mistakes, which are the reason behind the yelling, become a big blur. Their focus will be your anger and after the day is over, that’s what they will remember and not why you were angry in first place. Be empathetic towards your children and listen to what they have to say. When you ask them: “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!?”, do let them answer and don’t turn the question into a rhetoric. Learn what triggered their actions, how do they feel and tell them how it makes you feel. As parents, we often try to monopolize the whole conversation just because we are the wiser ones, but children too need to be treated adults. It should be a conversation in the true sense and not a monologue. If you feel that you are about to explode, calm down by breathing deeply and put yourself (yes, yourself!) in time-out and not the child. Walk away, let them know that you’ll be back and regroup. Take no prisoners and never negotiate with children, because the moment you start a negotiation with them, you practically lost the battle. If you let them argue your points, you are losing your parental authority. Be firm and consistent. “YES!” means “YES!” and “NO!” means “NO!”. The moment: “Yes, you will hand me your tablet for the entire week!” becomes “Maybe I will keep your tablet just two days!” and “No, I am not buying you the latest iPhone!” becomes “I might consider buying you the latest iPhone!”, the child actually feels insecure, because you are not a reliable leader.

What are your favorite positive parenting techniques?

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