It is so easy to become a strict disciplinarian when it comes to raising your children. The fear is that if we are too lenient our children will get caught up with the wrong crowd. The truth is even if we are strict they still may make poor choices. Sometimes we impose unrealistic expectations out of fear which causes miscommunication, self esteem issues, and a lack of individuality. All of these internal issues are very harmful to your child’s personal development .
I would describe myself as straightforward no nonsense mom. My parenting style can be a bit tough because I am a single mom and sometimes I feel I have to work twice as hard to make up for the missing parent in the household. However, not only did I start evaluating changes that needed to be made in my financial life, emotional and physical life. I also realized I need to revaluate some things I was doing as a parent as well. A lot of us (including myself) live by the ‘do as I say not as I do’ rule. This rule is definitely not helpful when trying to give your child proper guidance.
As I was evaluating my parenting style I found myself being a little harder on my eight year old than I should. Mostly because I think my daughter is brilliant and has unlimited potential; however, there are times I do not think she applies herself as she should. Although, I thought I was doing everything correct as a mom, something shifted when I started making some changes in my parenting style. I started motivating and not nagging! Who like a nag? I’ll wait…
Once I started to use motivational techniques to help my daughter in school and even doing her chores I saw positive results instantly. There is nothing wrong with firmly correcting your children when they are wrong; however, you have to find the fine line between instructing and nitpicking.
Below are some techniques and Ideas I use to help my children and I plan to improve on them over time!
1.Easy on the Criticism– You do not have to criticize everything your child does wrong. We do not like people picking on everything we do as adults. Imagine your boss standing behind you telling you what you did wrong every second of the day. Yeah, pretty annoying right? Do you think your child like constant criticism? Of course not so give them room for error. If they make mistakes they will learn. Obviously prevent them from making mistakes that will cause them harm, but let some things go.
2.The Cause and Effect Principle- After they make a mistake that you feel needs correcting explain to them why it is helpful to make a better choice. If they understand the possible outcomes they can do better at not making the same mistake again. Also, help with giving them examples of alternative decisions they could have made for more positive results.
3.Open Communication– Not only should you express how you feel, but allow your child to do the same. Both parties should do so respectfully. No yelling. No cursing. No judging and interrupting. Just clear communication. Talk to your children rather than at them. I have learned that even though I am the parent my children do not need me to talk down to them as if they are less than. They deserve respect and should not feel belittled. Let your child explain how they feel when they are in trouble. Communication makes things a lot easier between you and your child. You want to establish trust and trust is key to having a healthy relationship. Clear communication allows your children to understand cut and dry what is expected from them.
4.Reward– Do something fun! All work and no play makes everyone uptight and boring. Let them know they did a great job. Of course we expect our children to do the right thing, but they also appreciate getting a reward. You don’t work for free do you? You work to be compensated. When they do a good job let them know it by doing something they love. Even an acknowledgment and a hug is a wonderful treat to give.
Keep the MOTIVATION flowing!
From the Desk of Tahnee Cole