Positive Parenting works
- Catch them being good
“Notice their efforts. Say things like ‘thanks for keeping your room tidy’ or ‘your handwriting is very neat’. Get in the habit of telling them ‘what they are doing right’ and they will do more. When we criticise, they feel demoralized and may feel our expectations are unrealistic. A mistake is part of learning, and is not a reason to punish. Punishment is counterproductive anyways and simply lowers self-esteem and damages relationships.
The child should be more important than any behaviour.
- Angry? Press the Pause button and Step back
When you notice you are beginning to feel angry Shiela has advice for coping with this. You needs the ‘Time out’ to calm down. Take action for yourself; not against the child. Move away if you are going to ‘lose it’ and breathe deeply until you calm down.
3.Help them manage their feelings
Identify how they feel and help them with their feelings
Try to identify how they feel by naming their feeling ‘I’m guessing you’re feeling angry..’ and allow them to get their feelings out; so it takes the ‘heat’ out of it and they don’t have to show it through their behaviour. Help them with their feelings ‘What could you do instead of what you did?’. Listen to the child with warmth and understanding. Shiela advises coming down to their eye level, speaking quietly, making eye contact and using the child’s own name. If they are angry tell them ‘I’m happy to listen, when you calm down.” Misbehaviour that is ignored decreases over time.
- “I” Messages
Avoid ‘You’ statements as they are heard as criticism; for instance ‘You never’ ‘You always’ makes them feel blamed and is counterproductive. Instead tell them how you feel and what you need. ‘I feel upset and I need you home for dinner on time because I have gone to trouble making a meal.’ State your expectations in an ‘I’ message (“I expect”) and you may get a better response,” she says.
- Treat child with respect
Children learn from the behaviour they see, and parents are a primary influence. “You are the parent therefore get in charge of your own behaviour,”
“Be a good role model to your child. Treat them as you would treat your best friend. My experience is that what I put out; I get back”
- Lighten Up
Families can’t survive on rules alone. Shiela reminds us to have fun with our families because children don’t stay young forever. “Do activities together and have fun with it,” says Shiela. “Bond with your family. Rule with love not laws, settle for less and be flexible. The more time you spend together and positive attention you give, the less they will demand and the better relationships will be at home.”