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Five Choices To Improve Your Parenting

Today many parents struggle with the same issues. Regardless of whether your child is easy going or challenging making these new choices will guarantee to improve your parenting skill and your relationship with your child.

  1. Choose to use your words sparingly.

This means being clear in your communication. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Don’t belabor the point with long explanations and repetition. Believe that the more you talk, the less your child will hear. If you are wondering if your child understood your request or any part of what you said, ask them to tell you what they understood. “Can you tell me what you just heard me say?” In this way you are engaging them in a dialog instead of having a running monologue with an unhappy audience.

  1. Choose to not compare.

As much as you may be tempted to draw attention to another child’s better behavior, good grades or accomplishments, resist. Your child will not become motivated by being compared. Instead focus on encouraging all the good things your child does and take time to work through the challenging areas. Understand that young children easily forget and need reminders before new skills and habits become firmly established. Your child is a unique individual and your appreciation raises their self-esteem and strengthens the parent/child bond.

  1. Choose to follow through and remain consistent.

Understand that your consistency builds trust. If your word is good, your child will soon learn to understand the limits that you set forth and will not be testing them to be sure they are actually there. To the best of your ability keep the promises you make. Be certain to follow through with anything that you say you will do. Don’t make empty threats or promises.

  1. Choose to encourage instead of praise.

Use the power of language to your advantage. Learn how to give honest, specific feedback for your child’s efforts, feelings and good choices. Tossing out phrases like “Awesome!” or“Good Job!” do little to enhance your child’s sense of self. Instead check out the blog article on Encouragement and begin to speak a language that nurtures and supports learning. Honor progress not perfection.

  1. Choose to be real.

Children can be astute observers and they are fairly well tuned in on their parent’s feelings. If your child sees that you are angry or sad they may ask, “Are you mad daddy?” Instead of denying it, it is best to say something like “Yes. Right now I’m a little frustrated.” You don’t have to add a long explanation of why. Affirming your children’s perceptions helps them to learn to trust their sense of reality. Remember you are the child’s first teacher and from you the child will learn how to express or deny feelings. Who you are will have a big impact on who your child will become.

About The Author

Lois Olson

Founder of The Montessori Children's House Inc. Laramie, Wyoming Montessori Primary Certification 1973
Systematic Training for Effective Parenting facilitator certification
Thirty eight years of experience working with children ages 3-6
Twenty five years facilitating parenting groups
Ten years facilitating teacher training
B.A In Psychology

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