3 Quick Parenting Tips
To Create a Happier Home
Let’s face it we are so busy trying to survive the hectic day sometimes it is difficult to know how to even begin making positive, little changes that will create a peaceful family life. As a therapist in Asheville, I often get asked many parenting questions related to respect and compliance. I have 3 little tips for you to try today! These tips will help transform conflict into peace while preserving your child’s self esteem. All children want to feel loved, and all parents want to feel respected and heard. Sometimes it is hard to synchronize respect and love, but with a little practice and patience we may have a chance to see it come together.
Parenting Tip #1: Stop Yelling and Wear a Sign
That’s right, go ahead and throw the white flag up to yelling. It may be the most difficult thing to do when you are about to pull your hair out and feel like exploding, but there is something to say about this tip. If you have been asking your kids to clean up their room for the past hour, and all you are getting from them is “I’ll do it in a minute,” it’s time for the sign. Try this: Get a piece of paper and write down your anger and frustrations while including consequence for not following through with your request. Example “Dear KIDS, I am FURIOUS that I have asked 3 times for your room to be cleaned and you don’t budge to clean it. I AM SO MAD right now that I feel like exploding. Don’t ask ME To Drive you anywhere until I see some respect. Love MOM.” Tape it to your shirt or hold it up and go stand right in front of your kids. Even if kids can’t read, they
will want to know what it says. Go ahead and share the news or have their older sibling read it for them. You will be amazed at the response! Don’t back down on your consequence and if they refuse to follow through well it looks like you will be saving gas money. Also, look at all the energy you just preserved from not yelling; take that extra energy and go for a run or walk in the neighborhood. Use signs for anything you need to get your point across, don’t over use them, save them for times when you really need to make a point.
Side tip: You can also take the sign and place it anywhere in the home to make a statement. Example: On dirty towels in the floor (towels go in laundry, not floor), dishwasher (HELP unload me ASAP so PARENT won’t loose it). GET SUPER creative with your signs.
Parenting Tip #2: Maximize Praising
So we love to tell our kids what a good job they have done. We say it all the time, “Good job, way to go, I am so proud.” These statements are great and there is no condemnation for using them. If you want to really increase a positive behavior and reduce a negative behavior try using some descriptive praise. You will be so surprised at how well this can help increase a peaceful home while fostering your child’s self esteem. Example: If your child has been struggling to keep up with his stuff, homework, or supplies catch him in a moment where he is being responsible with his belongings and praise him like this: “Wow, now that is what I call a boy being responsible and organized, you brought your homework home and you have your pencils in your bag. You must really care about keeping track of your belongings.” Or say your daughter is struggling to read, you might say. “Now this is what I call a girl motivated and determined to learn, you are sounding out words and I can see that brain working really hard.” If you are new to descriptive praise don’t be surprised if your kids look at you like you are crazy, but after a while the praise sinks in and they are eager to keep trying. You can use descriptive praise just about any time you need to see a boost in progress. Don’t falsify the praise; be honest and sincere.
Parenting Tip #3 Give Them 15 Minutes
So your child is struggling behaviorally, emotionally, and academically. You don’t know what to do, and you’re just about to burst! Give them 15 minutes a day of your undivided attention using no negative talk toward them, and allow them to lead the interaction. You may be sitting there thinking, “I DON’T have 15 minutes to do this.” I would ask you, how many minutes are you spending arguing or nagging? If your child is lacking positive attention from you they may be struggling and getting your attention in a negative way. Just pick a time for you and your child to play together, talk, or color. Let your child lead the activity, let him tell you what he wants, don’t ask too many questions or make comments on how he should be doing something. All he needs in that 15 minutes is your presence, participation, and love. These 15 minutes are not an earned privilege, they are just unconditional moments where you connect with your child. You will be amazed what positive attention will do for a child. Not only will it reduce negative behaviors, it will dramatically improve their self esteem and worth. Just give it a try and see what happens. You will also be amazed at what they tell you and how smart they are. As a therapist, I usually spend 45 minutes with children one on one, I can’t tell you how blessed I feel at the end of those sessions.
So there you have it! 3 easy parenting techniques to start using today. Give it a try and be confident in each skill you use. If you find yourself eager to learn more, please contact me for a free phone consultation. I would love to see if I can help you and your family become more peaceful and happy!