Emma’s Top 10 Tips
- Be Consistent: If you decide to lay down a rule you must have the self-discipline and confidence to enforce it. If children know what to expect they are less likely to challenge you.
- Routine: Children developmentally thrive within a routine. It makes them feel safe and secure. Plus, a routine makes life a lot easier for you, the parent!
- Establish Discipline and Boundaries: Children must know their boundaries. As children grow they start to play up and test their boundaries. It’s up to the parent to establish these boundaries and enforce them with real consequences.
- Positive Reinforcement: You must look for opportunities to praise. Take the focus off the negative behavior and focus on the positive steps they take in life like good manners, eating well, listening, playing nicely and any new achievement. This will give them great confidence and encourage more of that same behavior. Children want to please you!
- Don’t Label your Children: No matter what the label whether it be naughty, problem child or something else; if you label your child they will conform to that label.
- Spend Quality Time: No matter how busy you are, each child needs quality time with each parent. A small amount of quality time, full of interest and devotion goes a long way to a happy and content child.
- Don’t allow Disrespectful Behavior: You must teach children socially acceptable behavior. Teaching your children manners will get them a long way in life. Children are like sponges, we must set an example and they will follow.
- Balanced Diet & Plenty of Sleep: Not only do children need a lot of sleep and a balanced diet to develop and grow. This can actually affect their behavior. Enough sleep and healthy meals and snacks at regular intervals can prevent meltdowns.
- Over-Scheduling: Kids need time to be kids. One or two activities a week are wonderful but they also need free unstructured playtime.
- Set Realistic Expectations: Not all children are the same. Some are followers and some leaders. Some get A’s and some C’s. Get to know your child and what they are capable of.
Raising children is certainly a lot more challenging than we anticipate. In order to have happy, healthy children we need to give them the foundation to grow as such.