Of course, we all know that becoming a parent is one of life’s most rewarding gifts; but the truth is, it can also be very difficult and emotionally exhausting. This is especially true when you feel like you’re trying your hardest to be a supportive and loving parent, but you are continuously faced with a strong willed child or frequent behavioral issues.
Check out our parenting tips below and leave a comment with your own tips you use in your family! Please also feel free to leave a question or two on our comments section below – we promise to answer each one!
1. Stop Looking for Someone to Blame for Your Child’s Behavior:
If you are blaming yourself for your child’s behaviors, it’s time to cut it out! It’s also not helpful to point the blame at your child, or your child’s other parent. It’s not whose fault it is that matters; it only matters that someone is now willing to step up, be proactive (instead of reactive), and try something new.
So if you’re looking for answers and trying to improve your parenting skills, then you’re taking responsibility. Maybe you messed up in the past, but let’s start here, today, with what you are willing to do for your child now.
The next step is to try to get your child in a position where he becomes willing to take responsibility for their behavior.
2. Avoid Confrontations:
Parents, you should never attend every fight you’re invited to! Don’t let children suck you into an argument or disagreement when they slam their bedroom door loudly or roll their eyes at you. The best thing to do is say, “Hey, don’t slam the door,” and then leave the room. Give your child a verbal reprimand right there on the spot, then try giving them some time and space to cool down. Trying to talk to them in the heat of the moment won’t get you very far.
Instead of confronting them in an aggressive manner, ready to punish or yell, communicate on a neutral level with them. If you make their defenses go up, you won’t get anywhere.
3. Use “Pull-ups”:
It’s also a good idea to be very specific with instructions in order to avoid a fight later. You can say, “Hey listen, when you put the dishes in the dishwasher, rinse them off first.” That’s called a “pull-up,” because you’re actually just giving your child a boost. It’s like taking them by the hand and helping them get on their feet. You may need to do ten pull-ups a night, but that’s okay. There are no hard feelings there. You don’t hold a grudge, you don’t cut them off when their talking, you’re not saying, “I told you so; I warned you about this.” These responses—blaming, speeches, criticism—all cut off communication between you and your child. If you can have a relationship with your adolescent where you’re still communicating 60 or 70 percent of the time, you’re doing pretty darn good!!
4. Don’t Personalize It:
If you get angry when your child stomps off to their room or doesn’t want to spend time with you, you’re personalizing their behavior. It’s understandable that this is easy for parents to do, especially if your teen used to enjoy spending time with you and was fairly compliant when he or she was younger. But if you take your child’s behavior as a personal attack upon you or your values, you’re overreacting. Your child is in adolescence; it’s their problem and it’s not an attack on you. Your teen is not striking out at you—believe us, teenagers will strike out at anybody who’s there. Always remember, adolescence distorts perception.
So if your teenage daughter comes home late, don’t take that personally. If she told you she wasn’t going to do something and then she did it, don’t personalize that. It’s not, “You let me down.” It’s, “you broke the rules and here are the consequences.” Just reinforce what the rules are and let your child know she’ll be held accountable. Remember this is best done by communicating on a neutral level with your child, not by yelling.
5. Be a Role Model:
If you tell your child the rules and then you break them, how do you think your adolescent will react? Do you think they will respect what you’ve said, or do you think the message will be, “Dad says that I shouldn’t lie, but he does sometimes, so sometimes it’s okay.” Another common example is distracted driving. If you sometimes text and drive, can you really expect your children to believe you when you tell them that it’s dangerous and against the rules? The bottom line is this – don’t be a hypocrite and you’ll be in a far better position to enforce your house rules.
6. Try Not to Overreact:
It’s easy to overreact to normal teenage behavior. They can act out of control, and they are often unaware and don’t care about other people’s feelings at times. But, some objectivity on the part of parent is vital! So if your child makes a mistake, like coming in past curfew, you don’t want to overreact to it. Don’t forget, the idea is not to punish—it’s to teach, through responsibility, accountability and giving appropriate consequences.
You should always ask yourself, “What does my child need to learn so he doesn’t make that same mistake next time? What can I do about that?” When a teen fails a test, the question should be, “So what are you going to do differently so you don’t fail the next test?” You may hold your child accountable, there may be a consequence, but you should always try to have a conversation that solves problems, not a conversation that lays blame.
If you are interested in attending a parenting education group, or one-to-one parenting sessions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 561-429-2140.
If you post a parenting question below, we promise to answer it! Also, please remember to leave your positive parenting tips that you have found effective in your home!!
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