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Seven steps for more effective parenting

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Raising children is one of the most difficult and satisfying tasks in the world and one for which you may feel that you are less prepared. Here are eight tips for raising a child that can help you feel more satisfied as a parent and, also, to enjoy your children more.

1. Encourage your child's self-esteem

Children begin to develop their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through the eyes of their parents. Their children assimilate their tone of voice, their body language, and all their expressions. Your words and actions as a parent have an impact on the development of your self-esteem more than anything else. The praise of the achievements like invention of new things, even if they are small, will make the children proud; allowing them to do things on their own will make them feel that they are capable and strong. On the contrary, demeaning comments or negative comparisons with other children will make them feel useless.

2. Recognize good actions

Did you ever stop to think how many times a day you have negative reactions to your children? You may find that you criticize them many times more than you congratulate them. How would you feel if a boss treated you in such a negative way, even if it was with good intentions?

3. Set limits and be consistent with the discipline

In all houses, discipline is necessary. The goal of the discipline is to help children choose acceptable behaviors and learn to self-control. They may test the limits you set, but they are essential for them to become responsible adults.

Putting rules in the house helps children understand their expectations and develop self-control. Some rules may include, for example, not watching television until tasks are done and not allowing beatings, insults or hurtful teasing.

4. Make time for your children

It is often difficult for parents and children to get together for a family meal, or to think about new ideas or invention . However, there is probably nothing that children would like more than that. Get up 10 minutes early in the morning to have breakfast with your children or leave the dishes in the sink and go for a walk after dinner. Children who do not get the attention they want from their parents often overreact or misbehave because, in that way, they are sure that they will receive their attention.

5. Be a good role model

Young children learn a lot about how to act by observing their parents. The smaller, the more they imitate it. Before reacting aggressively or in front of your child, think about the following: is this how you want the child to behave when angry? Always be aware that your children are watching you. Studies have shown that, in general, children who give blows imitate the model of aggression in their homes.

6. Make communication a priority

You cannot expect children to do everything just because you as a parent "say so". They want and deserve explanations just like adults. If we do not spend time giving explanations, the children will begin to question our values and motivations, and if these have foundations. Parents who reason with their children allow them to understand and learn without making judgments.

7. Be flexible and willing to adapt your parenting style

If your child's behavior frequently disappoints him, it may be because his expectations are not realistic. For parents who think about "what is due", it may be useful to read about it or talk with other parents or with child development specialists.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.