Parenting New Year Resolutions
We all start off the New Year with great intentions of how we will change ourselves. Despite our great intentions of self-improvement they can grind to a halt because life intervenes and we can’t sustain the changes. Don’t let that put you off trying to change one or two things to improve your relationship with your child. I have given you ten possible ideas, all of them simple, that will make a difference. Each of them will be great in their own right, but some of them taken together could have a major impact. Wouldn’t it be great if your New Year resolutions benefited not just you but your children too? So try them out and stick with the ones that work best for you.
- Remind your child regularly and often that you love them and then show that in how you treat them: they’ll believe you more if they see it in action rather than simply being told it.
- Create routines and rhythms to your child’s day and week: children love the predictability of it and when they know what to expect they get less anxious and grumble less.
- Always follow through on a promised reward or threatened consequence: your child needs to know that you mean what you say so that they can learn to trust you no matter what.
- Remember that a lot of children’s misbehaviour is often them trying to express their frustration so be patient and tolerant if they are frustrated and let them know that you can understand their frustration.
- Help your child to recognise their feelings by labelling the feelings you think they are having: this teaches them a language that they can use in the future instead of showing their feelings by their behaviour.
- Its okay to criticise your child’s behaviour but never criticise your child: if they feel personally criticised it could make them feel bad about themselves and damage their self-esteem.
- Remember that you are the strongest role model for your child so make sure you walk the walk as well as talking the talk: your children are soaking up your behaviours and will happily replicate them whether they are positive or negative.
- Start to “catch your child being good”, especially if you feel you usually only notice them being bold: even if it just gets you thinking about your child positively it is a good thing but it should also increase the chances of further good behaviour being shown.
- Use time-out to give you or your child a chance to calm down, not as a punishment for misbehaviour: time out as a punishment often leads to more rows than it solves.
- Never underestimate your own stress in dealing with your child’s behaviour and so take enough time-out to react calmly to them rather than responding in the heat of the moment: we can make the some of the worst decisions when we are cross so avoid “acting out” your own anger or frustration