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See The Most Important Principles Of Nurturing Parenting

One of the most difficult times in terms of parenting is when kids start to leave the imaginative playing behind and enter a world full of rules, struggles and insecurity. As they make the transition from kindergarten to school, they will discover that not all adults are as protective as you are and that not everyone reacts the same as you to their behavior. It’s a time when more than ever, they learn the true meaning of consequences. Children often feel cornered when things don’t turn out the way they wanted to or when other children at school receive more attention, since they were so used to being the center of their parents’ lives. When children feel cornered, they might throw tantrums, walk away from situations which pose a challenge and even engage in aggressive social interactions. It is important for them to have well-developed coping skills which help manage aggression. Such coping skills are fostered by avoiding negative interactions and stress at home.

Parents sometimes are surprised to hear their children having behavioral problems in school, but this usually happens because they were granted too much freedom and not enough discipline. As children begin to socialize outside the protective environment you used to control as a parent, your anxiety increases. Are they all right? Do they disrupt classes? Do they get into fights? Do they pay attention to their teachers? Are they going to be able to make friends easily? Once your kids get into trouble, you will have a sense of guilt for not having dealt with the problem earlier, but all this can be avoided by being responsive, observant and nurturing.

Nurturing parenting effectively deals with children’s signs of aggression and fosters social skills. As long as it’s consistent, children will be able to also develop their problem-solving techniques and learn positive behavior, instead of using violence as a resort. Here are a few principles which are meant to help your children develop positive emotions and skills.

1) ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS

As parents, it’s normal to wish for our children to be the best, brightest and most talented, but if we demand more than they can handle, it’s a recipe for disaster. Parents need to be sensitive to the interactions with their kids. When they throw tantrums, we often have the tendency to take over. For instance, we are about to go out and our children suddenly start crying. Instead of offering support and guidance, helping them figure out what’s underneath that tantrum, we choose to send them to their rooms and close any possible communication channels. If our children have developmental issues which makes them progress slower than other children, we have to adjust our expectations and lower the bar. Instead of blaming them for not being as good as others, we have to monitor them closely and offer support so that they can develop those skills that are lacking.

2) OFFER POSITIVE ATTENTION

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Positive attention is a principle meant to teach children new behaviors. By nature, children always want attention, whether it’s positive or negative. When the positive attention is lacking (praise, encouragement), children resort to tantrums or aggression to get negative attention in return. Therefore, never cease to praise your children, even if the milestones don’t seem to be that significant. Praise both the small and the big things. Praise them when they get good grades, but also praise them when they wash their plates or when they refrain from throwing clothes on the floor. Giving your children attention will develop pro-social behaviors.

3) DON’T DISCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN

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Children know what’s expected of them, more than parents realize it. And when they fail to live up to the expectation and receive criticism for it, that criticism sticks more than the praise. Parents should mind their words, so that children don’t grow up having a negative image of themselves. A parent who keeps telling children that they are too incapable, that they will never become like this or like that, is projecting a negative future image. Instead, try to encourage your children to cope with the situation. Tell them that next time it will be better or push them to make another attempt or tell them what they should do differently. You have to build their confidence and not crush their spirits.

4) DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN WITHOUT MAKING THEM HATE YOU

When you get into arguments with your children, anything you can say might be interpreted as a lack of love for them: “You are angry because you don’t love me! You are shouting because you hate me!”. Losing your temper can easily make you say inappropriate words that you will regret later, after the damage had already been done. That’s why you simply don’t have to lose your temper and develop an ethical approach when it comes to discipline. This means that no matter how upset you are, your children need to be aware that even in those moments, you still love them, but you expect them to improve. Any physical punishment is out of the question, because not only such punishments can strain your relationship and have a serious long-term psychological impact on the children, but also because, simply put, they are ineffective.

 

5) UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILDREN’S DIFFERENT TEMPERAMENTS

Children are wonderful in their uniqueness, even if this is something that comes both with strengths and limitations. It’s the limitations that sometimes make life harder for parents, especially when combined with temperament traits, which are a person’s innate way of behaving. Kids can be impulsive, moody, insistent, intense – and parents often forget that such behaviors are most of the time not intentional. You can’t change these traits – you can’t suddenly make a child talkative, after all his/her life, he/she had been hiding in a shell. Any attempts to change such behaviors would only be futile; children need to learn to adjust themselves to fit in with the world and nurturing parenting is accepting and tolerant towards their nature.

6) KNOW HOW TO USE YOUR POWER

Parents need to use their judgment to distinguish between the situations that need their intervention (dangerous behavior) and the situations where children can be in control (like choosing what to wear or how to do their homework). Children actually need their parents to show their power, because if parents are in control, the children feel safe. This is the case for the first years of their lives, where their decision-making skills aren’t developed enough to solve problems on their own. However, parental control doesn’t need to be tight, but rather adaptable according to the situation, giving children a sense of control when they earned it, to avoid power struggles. Kids love to feel that they are useful and can actively help the family; such cooperative relationships boost the self-confidence.

7) REMEMBER THAT IT’S NORMAL FOR CHILDREN TO MISBEHAVE

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Nobody’s perfect and we can’t expect our children to never give us headaches. It will happen and disciplining will sometimes have its awkward moments when we will be wondering if we are doing it right WHILE we are doing it. But if we detect those behavior issues in time and manage them accordingly, children will eventually move past them. There will be bumps along the way and progress sometimes might be made with baby steps – or, worse, even end up reversed. But progress is not always about moving forward without ever taking steps back – it’s something we have to accept and be patient about.

8) ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL MOST DEFINITELY FAIL. OCCASIONALLY.

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As a continuation of the previous point, of course that you will sometimes say or do things you weren’t supposed to. But it’s all right – we’ve all been there. We will often feel frustrated, angry or simply incompetent, asking our kids to leave us alone for a bit to regroup, instead of just handling the problem. For parents, it’s a learning experience too and nothing will happen to the kids if one day you are late one hour with dinner. Children are more resilient than we think and as long as they see us trying our best, no harm is done.

9) REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN

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We stress out about so many things we need to do for our kids, that sometimes we completely overlook the fun part. Parenting can be spontaneous as well – there can be moments of randomness, when out of nowhere, you just decide to take your kids out and see a movie. Remember that while parenting has to be consistent, it doesn’t exclude flexibility. There is always room for exceptions from the rule, there will always be that day of “You know what? Let’s have a pizza!” and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. Parenting is all about adapting to your children’s traits and skills. Let it go and enjoy your children’s milestones – don’t try to be perfect, just do your best.

 

Witnessing your children’s emotional, social and educational development is wonderful, because you are not just discovering what kind of people they are becoming, but you are also discovering what kind of parent you are. Enjoy the process and trust your gut – if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Make sure you foster positive behavior and remember to enjoy the entire roller coaster, both when you are in the loop and when the speed is descending.

How are you dealing with your children’s tantrums?

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