ParentWhiz Guide to Effective Parenting Skills
It’s Not Magic.
Effective parents do things a certain way and all parents can learn to…
- Deal with problems one at a time and don’t pile up grievances toward the child that lead to an explosion of frustration.
- Use systematic, predictable management – not arbitrary, willy-nilly discipline.
- Take a deep breath (or 20) when you feel like you are about to blow. Walk away and come back calm. Tell your child you are going to calm yourself down.
- Set clear, simple, reasonable, child appropriate rules and consequences.
- Learn to discuss and negotiate with older children and adolescents.
- Follow through with confidence. Don’t give warnings, hoping your child will “just get it.”
- Reward small actions that build on the larger skills you want your child to learn.
- Identify early signs of trouble like irritability and argumentativeness, and redirect for success.
- Learn to cope with whining, tantrums, threats, hitting, grabbing and persistence without feeling put out by it all.
- Spend time with the child just having plain old fun.
- Respond to good behavior with praise, attention, encouragement rather than ignoring it because “Isn’t that just how the child is supposed to act?”
- Award points for good behavior, or the absence of the problem behavior, and let points be cashed in for simple rewards that are not food and that don’t cost money.
- Speak in positive terms.
- Help your child learn to find alternatives.
- Tell the child what he is doing well, before talking about the problem.
- Explain how you want your child to act and praise her when she does it.
- Use praise, rewards and consequences quickly after the behavior – then move on.
- Don’t use corporal punishment, repeated scolding, or lecturing.
- Keep a regular schedule and provide highly nutritious food at regular intervals.
- Make sure everyone in the family gets the right amount of sleep.
- Use consistency as the base of everything and never deviate from your effective strategies, no matter how frustrated you are or how persistent the problem is.
- Remember, parents are the adults and you are modeling powerful things to your children, whether they are effective or not. Choose what you model carefully.