Barbara Johnson has rightly quoted – “To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”. The right parenting begins with the quality time you spend with your children. It is the natural instinct of a child to learn from their parent’s behavior. As a result, the decision you make now will have a long-term impact on your children. Therefore, we feel it is important to share a few tips for effective parenting.
Let us begin by taking a hard look at how we spend our lives. I hope these suggestions assist you in becoming a dependable person for your children.
- The power of listening
The issue with parenting is that we believe we know everything. To be fair, we do it rather frequently. When we are convinced of our own inevitability, though, it is easy to rush in with a solution rather than spending enough time analyzing the situation. Especially when we are stressed, we often tend to underestimate the importance of process over the outcome in children’s development. We forget the importance of listening to them.
By listening, we mean understanding their intent and emotions behind the words they speak. Not interrupting them and paying attention is what a child expects out of their parents.
Listening intently to a child can help him or her relax. When children don’t feel like they’re getting enough attention, their emotions can quickly develop into a rage. Simply admitting that you are aware of how your child is feeling might help them begin to process and calm down.
- Don’t Overcompliment your Child
As a parent, we are obsessed with complimenting our children. As we try to help them feel better about themselves, we may actually be doing more harm than good. When you praise your child for performing basic tasks like pressing the elevator buttons or climbing the stairs, they often begin to expect these compliments all the time. This behavior eventually leads them to seek your approval for everything.
However, it does not mean that you should drop praise from your disciplinary playbook. If you use it the right way, it’s a valuable tool for reinforcing good behavior, boosting your toddler’s self-esteem, and making them feel loved and appreciated.
Be specific about your compliments, instead of saying “Wow that’s a great drawing!”, say, “Wow look at that tree you’ve drawn and you’ve included birds too!” This encourages your toddler as it lets them know that you’re taking notice of their work.
Emphasize the effort more than the outcome. When your toddler starts a new activity rather than praising them about how well they do it you should complement their enthusiasm and progress that they’ve made. Don’t brag, by overpraising your child in public. Saying something like: “My child already knows how to count till 30”, not only tends to annoy other parents but also puts a lot of pressure on your little one to perform. This is counterproductive praising.
We all want our toddlers to be happy. So instead of just giving them compliments, we must offer them chances to feel good about themselves. We can create opportunities for them to be self-sufficient and compassionate. This will not only help their self-esteem but will also allow them to spread this feeling of worthiness to those around them.
- Have a daily routine
As adults, our reaction to routine varies. While some of us heavily rely on routines, others seem to find it rather dull. However, toddlers are different. Having a daily routine has a lot of benefits for young children.
Routines can help limit regular outbursts. A lot of outbursts that occur in toddlers are primarily triggered by hunger and tiredness. Therefore, by developing a routine for meals and sleep, the child becomes emotionally prepared for the next task.
Routines also help children to learn the essential and basic life skills (brushing their teeth, getting dressed, etc). A simple daily routine provides a basis for toddlers to learn other important life skills such as basic hygiene, time management, responsibility, independence, and confidence.
If children know what to expect, such as watching a film together one evening or making burgers together on the weekend, then they have something to look forward to.
Developing your own family ritual will give your toddler the feeling of security at home, as well as setting them up with good habits for life.
- It’s OK to be imperfect
“Life is perfectly imperfect,” so give yourself grace! No matter how hard we attempt to run our lives as smoothly as possible, especially as parents, the universe is usually always there to remind us that sometimes, some things are just beyond our control. Sometimes, we just have to trust our gut and do what we feel is right and comforting.
You’re always going to find yourself questioning your decisions about whether or not you got the right pram for your child or whether you shouldn’t have let them have that last piece of chocolate the other night.
As long as you’re getting the big decisions right about their safety and well-being you’re doing just fine!
With each and every passing day, you will learn more about your toddler as well as about yourself as a parent. All you can do right now is, try to be the best parent you can be.
Remember, “No role brings greater joy or blessing than being a parent”