Parenting is a challenge for both parents of a baby as well as a teenager. Sometimes it is wonderful, and at other times it may be stressful, exhausting and overwhelming.
Parenting is a lot easier when viewed through rose-coloured glasses. Rather than looking for ways to change a child’s behaviour, parents need to adjust their thoughts and feelings about parenting. To become calmer and positive, parents should change their parenting styles and philosophies and change themselves instead of making their children fit into a mould that works for them. At schools, the kids are properly parented by the staff but eventually, the real parents will have to initiate to make the kid succeed in life.
Ways to establish a stronger and positive relationship between parents and their kids are as follows:
Rethinking Your Perception
Sometimes it’s your reaction and not attention. Situations like “when your baby throws food or when your toddler’s high pitch is irritating, you” makes you want to yell. Think about the reasons behind this behaviour of your kid which you consider is “bad”. It’s your negative reaction which becomes good enough for the kid trying to seek attention. These negative reactions can only keep the behaviour going.
This behaviour that you consider ‘bad’ is appropriate for your child’s development if it is not hurting your child or anyone else. So do not stress about such behaviour even if it is annoying and you are embarrassed about it. It comes to an end sooner if less attention is paid.
Keeping low expectations
Kids will be kids! It is important to keep your expectations in check, which are not age-appropriate as these will only lead to failures and disappointments. You cannot expect your little one to greet all your friends and relatives and have table manners. Teaching your children these adult behaviours will encourage them to follow them, but expectations should be controlled, especially when your child is hungry.
Lower expectations lead to less frustration. There are times when the child’s not so pleasing behaviours come out like during their vacations or in big gatherings as they are very excited at that time. Also, some kids are introverts and aren’t comfortable talking to adults.
Each phase will pass
Do you remember the phase when your child was born? It was a phase when you were not sleeping and feeding your baby every two hours. You might have felt like this stage will never end, but it did. Similarly, each phase ends with time and so do most undesirable behaviours. However, if concerning behaviours persist, then talk to your paediatrician.
Share the Emotional Responsibility
Sharing tangible responsibilities is easier for parents like,” asking your partner to help your daughter in wearing shoes or to change the baby’s diaper or dropping the child to school”. But sharing emotional responsibilities is of utmost importance as you need not carry the whole weight on your shoulders. If you are feeling overwhelmed or really worried about your kid’s performance in school, share all this with your partner. This will lessen your burden.
Connect Instead of Correct
Rather than correcting, try to connect with your child. Once the connection is established, then try to address the bad behaviour as sometimes such behaviours are from the kids having feelings of abandonment or those who need attention. Parenting becomes easier when you try to connect, as children feel less frustrated and feel that they are being listened to and thus exhibit positive behaviour. They become more confident, are capable of making better decisions and have higher self-esteem. This is possible only when parents try to connect to their children daily by spending 15-30 minutes with them, listening to them without any distractions, playing a game or doing projects together.
To build their self-esteem and character, share values, strengthen emotional intelligence and create special memories, it is important to engage children in meaningful activities.
Coaching Instead of Controlling
Be your child’s life coach by encouraging them to make good decisions and behave appropriately. Authoritative parenting works wonders in coaching your child without controlling and thus connecting to change bad behaviours. This decision making capability can never be built in a child if you try to control him/her.
See Through Your Child’s Eyes
There are times when your child is upset and needs you. In that case, view the situation through your child’s eyes and do not dismiss feelings considering them as immature and overdramatic instead validate them. Your child needs to know that it is safe to share his/her feelings with you.
Parent the Child You Have, Not the Child You Want
Parenting will feel much easier when you understand the fact that every child is different with different needs, qualities, flaws and should be parented accordingly. Parent the child you have and not the one you thought would be before he/she was born.