Effective Parenting Techniques
Parenting is never a walk in the park. Anyone who says otherwise will need to review his/her definition of “parenting”. From birth, until kids move out of the house you will be dealing with tiny to grown individuals with changing characteristics, swinging moods and evolving personalities. Some parents would describe their parenting journey as getting a “taste of their own medicine”.
There are literally thousands of books, journals, magazines, and blogs that can shed some light on the mysterious and challenging world of parenting. But if you’re still confused and are looking for some solid support, then here are some effective parenting techniques from real parents that work to help
Practice the 3Fs
Studies show that the most effective parenting technique is authoritarian. Now don’t get this wrong; the authoritarian parenting style is focused on setting limits, being responsive to the children’s emotional needs, and reasoning with them.
The authoritarian parenting technique follows the guidelines of the 3Fs, namely Firm, Fair and Friendly.
- Set the rules. State consequences of actions and make sure you stick to them when inappropriate behavior should occur.
- Don’t overdo the punishments. Be fair. Maybe a simple Time Out is enough in certain situations. When it is a case of recurring negative behavior, consequences should be clearly stated so the children know exactly what to expect. Rewards, when earned, also relay a message of fairness.
- Unfortunately, there are parents who think they shouldn’t be friendly with their kids. This mindset hurts relationships more than the media. Being friendly does not mean going out to bars and late nights. Being friendly simply means telling your children that they are behaving inappropriately and reminding them of the “agreed upon” consequences without yelling at them.
If you practice the 3Fs as a parent, you help boost your child’s self-esteem. Remember that sense of self is learned from you. Children will find it from your tone of voice, expression and body language.
So choose your words well. Do not make loaded statements such as “What a stupid thing to do!” Let your children know that it’s okay to make mistakes. You may not love their behavior but you love them.
Make Time for Your Kids
We get it; you’re busy but your kids don’t understand that. Kids want to know that you’re there for them physically and emotionally. Skype or social media will never be a replacement for bonding when physical connection is possible.
If you and your partner are both working, try to get up a little early in the morning so you can eat breakfast as a family. Try to come home earlier too to share dinner and talk about how the day went for each member of the family. Schedule “family time” at least once a week or look for other ways to connect with your children (i.e. sneak some notes in your child’s lunchbox).
Limit the time on devices and as much as possible, don’t use them while at the dining table. That includes you, mom and dad. Work can wait. Your family can’t.
Kids who are not getting the attention they want from their parents often misbehave. They will try to catch your attention, even if it means doing something ‘bad’. For them, getting reprimanded is better than not being noticed at all.
Adolescents, on the other hand, may need less undivided attention but they would appreciate it if you would notice them nonetheless. Look for opportunities to bond with adolescents; express a desire to talk or to participate in their activities, attend concerts, games and other events with your teenagers. This way, you get to meet their friends too.
Adjust Your Parenting Style When Required
Just because experts say that authoritarian parenting is the best technique available doesn’t mean that you should stick to it all the time. It’s time to reassess your parenting style when you often feel “let down” by your children’s behavior. If this happens frequently, then maybe you’re setting too high expectations.
What is your environment like? The environment affects your children’s behavior so you might be able to change the behavior by changing the environment first. If you’ve been saying “no” to your children lately, then maybe you can be less frustrated if you alter the surroundings. Maybe if you do so, fewer things will be off-limits so you wouldn’t be saying “no” most of the time.
As your child grows and changes, your current parenting style will have to change too. Young children look up to you as their role models. Teens tend to look to their parents less and more on their peers. The key is to listen to your children and grab every opportunity to make a connection.
You Are Parents and You Are Humans
How can you be a better parent if you do not accept your flaws and areas for improvement? You know that you have strengths and weaknesses. Work on your weaknesses and refine your strengths. Set realistic expectations and be forgiving of yourself.
Parenting can be a manageable job if you don’t try to address everything at once. Try to prioritize and focus on areas that need the most attention first. Work your way down the priority list. When you’re burned out, take some time off to do things that will make you happy as a couple or as a person. Don’t worry because focusing on your needs does not make you a selfish person. It just makes you a human who cares about your well-being.
If you can follow and master these effective parenting techniques, then you can be the best parents for your kids!