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 nine 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, 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.
Avoid tendentious statements or using hurtful words. Comments such as "What stupidity!" or "You behave more like you're a baby than your little brother!" they can cause the same damage as physical blows. Choose words with care and be compassionate. Tell your children that all people make mistakes and that you still love them, even when they do not approve of their behavior.
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?
The most positive approach is to recognize the good actions of the children: "You made the bed without being asked, that's great!" or "I was watching you while you played with your sister and you were very patient". These comments will be much more effective in encouraging long-term good behavior than ongoing reprimands.
Aim to find something to praise every day. Be generous with the rewards: your love, your hugs and compliments can do wonders and are usually enough gratification. You will soon discover that you are "cultivating" to a greater extent the behavior you would like to see.
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.
It is recommended that you implement a system: a warning followed by consequences, which may be a penance or loss of privileges. A common mistake made by parents is not to go ahead with the consequences. You can not discipline children for a bad answer one day and ignore the fact the next day. Being consistent teaches them what you expect.
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 quality time together. 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.
Many parents find it rewarding to schedule time to spend with their children. Schedule a "special night" each week to be together and let your children help decide how to spend time. Look for other ways of relating, for example, put a note or something special in children's lunch boxes.
Adolescents seem to need less individual attention from their parents compared to younger children. Since there are fewer opportunities for parents and teens to spend time together, parents should make every effort to be available when their children express a desire to speak or participate in family activities. Attending concerts, games and other events with the teenager is a way to convey affection, and allows you to know other aspects about your child and your friends that are important.
Do not feel guilty if you are a working father. Children will remember the little things you do, for example, prepare popcorn, play cards, look at stained glass windows.
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.
Serve as an example of the qualities you want to cultivate in your children: respect, cordiality, honesty, kindness, tolerance. Be generous Do things for others without expecting retribution. Express your appreciation and praise. Above all, treat your children the same way you expect other people to treat you.
6. Make communication a priority
You can not 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.
Make your expectations clear If there is a problem, describe it, express your feelings and invite your child to seek a solution together. Do not forget to mention the consequences. Make suggestions and offer alternatives. Also, be willing to listen to your child's suggestions. Negotiate Children who participate in decision making are more motivated to take them forward.
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" (for example, "At this point, my child should use the potty"), it may be useful to read about it or talk with other parents or with child development specialists.
The environment that surrounds children has an impact on their behavior; therefore, you can change that behavior if you modify the environment. If you continually have to say "no" to your 2-year-old son, look for some way to restructure the environment so there are fewer things banned. This will be less frustrating for both.
As your child changes, you will have to gradually modify your parenting style. Most likely, what is effective today with your child is not so effective in one or two years.
Adolescents tend to look for more role models in their peers and less in their parents. However, do not stop orienting and encouraging your adolescent child or giving appropriate discipline while, at the same time, allowing you to become increasingly independent. And take advantage of all the moments you have to start a relationship.
8. Show that your love is unconditional
As a parent, you have the responsibility to correct and guide your children. However, the way in which he expresses his corrective orientation has a great influence on the way in which a child receives it. When you have to confront your child, avoid blaming, criticizing or looking for faults; all this can weaken self-esteem and cause resentment. Instead, make an effort to educate and encourage, even when you discipline your children. Make sure they know that, even if you want and hope for something better next time, your love is unconditional.
9. Be aware of your own needs and limitations as a parent
Face it: you are not a perfect father. As head of the family, you have strengths and weaknesses. Recognize your abilities: "I am loving and dedicated". Promise to work on their weaknesses: "I must be more consistent with the discipline." Try to have realistic expectations for yourself, your spouse and your children. You do not need to know all the answers: be lenient with yourself.
And try that the upbringing of the children is a work that can be handled. Concentrate on the areas that need the most attention, instead of trying to tackle everything at once. Admit when you feel exhausted. Take time out of parenting to do things that will make you feel happy as a person (or as a couple).