Actively Listening to your Child
Communicating with our children can be a difficult task at times. We feel like they’re not listening to us; they feel like we’re not listening to them. Good listening and communications skills are essential to successful parenting. Your child’s feelings, views and opinions have worth, and you should make sure you take the time to sit down and listen openly and discuss them honestly.
It seems to be a natural tendency to react rather than to respond. We pass judgment based on our own feelings and experiences. However, responding means being receptive to our child’s feelings and emotions and allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of repercussion from us. By reacting, we send our child the message that their feelings and opinions are invalid. But by responding and asking questions about why the child feels that way, it opens a dialog that allows them to discuss their feelings further, and allows you a better understanding of where they’re coming from. Responding also gives you an opportunity to work out a solution or a plan of action with your child that perhaps they would not have come up with on their own. Your child will also appreciate the fact that maybe you do indeed understand how they feel.
It’s crucial in these situations to give your child your full and undivided attention. Put down your newspaper, stop doing dishes, or turn off the television so you can hear the full situation and make eye contact with your child. Keep calm, be inquisitive, and afterwards offer potential solutions to the problem.
Don’t discourage your child from feeling upset, angry, or frustrated. Our initial instinct may be to say or do something to steer our child away from it, but this can be a detrimental tactic. Again, listen to your child, ask questions to find out why they are feeling that way, and then offer potential solutions to alleviate the bad feeling.
Just as we do, our children have feelings and experience difficult situations. By actively listening and participating with our child as they talk about it, it demonstrates to them that we do care, we want to help and we have similar experiences of our own that they can draw from. Remember, respond – don’t react.
Building Your Child’s Self Esteem
It’s often been said that children learn what they live. So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self esteem. Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities.
Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise. Find something about them to praise each day. You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished. Show your child that positive acts merit positive praise.
When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing. They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation. Suggest positive behaviors and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel badly, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.
Teach your child the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task. Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning. Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex. Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.
Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day – many times throughout the day, in fact. When they’ve behaved badly, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behavior. Tuck short, sweet notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail. Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.
Constructing Your Child’s Healthy Sense of Self Esteem
Your child’s self esteem is their mental foundation. A self-assured child is confident, secure, happy, well-adjusted and successful. They can solve problems that come their way, and it thrives under a loving parent’s nurturing care.
What are some good ways to built self esteem in your child?
Most importantly, accept your child for who they are, and help them do the same. Teach your child that nobody is perfect, and that everyone makes mistakes. Show them how to learn and grow from their mistakes, and let them know that you also make mistakes. Children with high self esteem are able to take lessons from mistakes and apply them down the road. A child with low self esteem become frustrated and resort to self-depreciating behavior, such as calling themselves ‘stupid’ and vowing to ‘never try that again.’
Help your child discover their abilities and talents, and encourage outlets for them to build on and improve them. Praise a child not only for improvements in abilities and skills, but also for the traits they naturally possess.
Encourage your child to make positive choices. Open an honest dialog with your child and discuss the possibilities with them. Children who learn skills for making positive choices when they are younger are well-prepared for the tougher choices they have to make when they are older.
Ensure that you spend lots of quality time with your child, at least once a week. Whether you are shooting baskets or going out to grab a hamburger, take time to talk and keep in touch. If you find it difficult to squeeze in quality time during a hectic week, take the time to talk about things during the drive to school or while they are helping you put the groceries away.
Interrupt your Child’s Interruption Habit
Trying to teach your child not to interrupt can sometimes be an exercise in frustration.
Telling them there’s a time to interrupt (in case of a fire) and a time to not interrupt (boredom) isn’t enough. But putting these principles into practice is easier said than done, especially for a very verbal or high-energy kid. That’s why now is a good time to revisit some basic lessons about good manners and teaching your child to wait their turn to speak.
First of all, set a reasonable expectation. School-aged children have a difficult time holding their thoughts for more than a few minutes. Indicate to her as best as you can that you’ll be with them as soon as possible and then stay true to your word.
Develop some ideas for them to occupy themselves with while you’re on the phone or otherwise unavailable. Keep a box full of puzzles, crayons, colorful markers or other quiet toys nearby that they can only use when you have to make a call. Set snacks and drinks on an accessible level so they don’t have to interrupt you for help.
When you need to make a call or have an important conversation with a visitor, head off trouble by saying you’re about to phone someone or have a conversation and estimate how long you expect to talk. Ask them if they need anything before you make your call or have your conversation with your company. Then do your best to adhere to that time schedule, and excuse yourself from the conversation long enough to check on them. Let them know you’ll be a bit longer if that’s the case and see if they need anything before returning to your conversation.
Reading is a great tool to teach manners. Find several books on the subject then read them together. Discuss afterwards what your child learned from the story and how they’ll handle a similar situation in their life the next time it occurs.
And as always, children learn what they live. Your child is very unlikely to learn not to interrupt if they hears you, your spouse, or their siblings constantly interrupting each other. Your actions have a strong influence on your child, so be a good example and ask permission to speak before speaking, and apologize when you inadvertently interrupt.
Physical Punishment is Ineffective and Harmful
Effective discipline does not involve physical punishment of children. Recent studies have shown a direct link between physical punishment and several negative developmental outcomes for children including physical injury, increased aggression, antisocial behavior, difficulty adjusting as an adult and a higher tolerance towards violence. Research has also shown that physical punishment poses a risk to the safety and development of children. It is crucial for parents to gain an awareness of other approaches to discipline because it is all too simple for physical punishment to turn into child abuse and result in severe physical injury, detrimental emotional damage and even death. Each year thousands of children continue to die as a result of physical abuse. Children have a right to be protected from physical abuse, and laws in every state demand severe punishment for those found guilty of physically harming a child.
Most parents do not want to use physical punishment as a form of discipline. A child that lives in an abusive environment is likely to grow up and either be abusive themselves or have severe social, emotional, physical and cognitive delays in development. Parents’ disciplinary methods serve as strong models to children that teach them how to deal with life’s day-to-day challenges. It is important for parents to model appropriate behavior and to establish expectations as well as limits. Children have a right to live in a safe, secure and nurturing environment, and their dignity must be respected. Parents must consistently use fair and logical consequences whenever children fail to follow rules. They must keep in mind that a child is not a miniature adult, but only a child and that discipline must be age appropriate and fit the child’s temperament and maturity.
Adults who recognize they have a problem with physically abusing their children should immediately seek professional help and ensure their children are taken to a safe environment to avoid harming them further.
Positive Discipline without Hurting your Child
Children always seem to find a way to ‘push our buttons’ at times and really try our patience. It’s easy to feel irritated, sad, angry, annoyed, confused and hurt. It’s at these times when our parenting skills are really tested, and that it’s imperative we maintain a kind but firm stance when it comes to doling out the discipline. And let’s face it – none of us ever want to hurt our child with physical or verbal abuse. We want to teach our child that such things are wrong, and punishing a misdeed or inappropriate action by yelling or hitting is hypocritical at best.
Our goal when disciplining our children is to teach them to be responsible, cooperative, kind and respectful. The best way to teach this is to always remain consistent, follow through with the same punishment for the same misdeed, and to discuss the discipline with your child openly and honestly afterwards.
Always keep in mind that the age, maturity level, and temperament of your child should always be considered when enforcing a set disciplinary action. Disciplinary actions should be discussed and understood in advance so that children know what they have coming when they’ve misbehaved and can give pause and hopefully choose an appropriate route to avoid it. And most importantly, remember that it’s not the child you dislike; it’s his or her chosen behavior, action or misdeed.
If you need to, give yourself a brief ‘time out’ before responding with appropriate discipline. Sometimes we need a short cooling off period before dealing with our children’s misdeeds in order to avoid a misdeed of our own. Yelling and hitting should never be an option.
Keep an open mind as a parent, and be willing to learn with and from your child. We all make mistakes and it’s important to realize that not every form of discipline works with every child. Children are just as unique as adults are, and forms of discipline should be tailored to fit the individual needs of both parent and child. But with a little forethought, patience, firmness, love and understanding, the discipline can have a positive outcome for all involved.
It is a fact that many children today have access to the World Wide Web which allows them to be in touch with a lot of information that is exposed every day in our society throughout this media. If you have children, it is very important that you have some sort of monitoring so that you may be able to be fully aware of their actions while they are connected to the Internet. To monitor children on the Internet is as important as giving your kids advices on several aspects of their lives; you will find out, if you talk to them, that they are exposed to many different topics and opinions which may have been impossible for them to acquire otherwise.
Monitoring children Internet gives you the option to be fully aware of the actions that your kids take while they are connected to the biggest and most impressive net of information that has ever been conceived by mankind. If you monitor children on the Internet you will find out many different things that you were unaware of; it is a proven statistical fact that more than half of the kids that surf the Internet today have been exposed to pornographic material which was handled in an unnatural manner, this means that your kids are getting wrong information about delicate subjects without your knowledge, that is why monitor children Internet is extremely important for anyone.
However, it is not pornographic content which is extremely dangerous for your kids to acknowledge, there are many other dangers that you needs to have avoided or controlled while your kid is online, and the only way to accomplish this is my monitor children on the Internet using specific software or programs. Your kids are always exposed to danger while they are connected; for example, have you any idea of the amount of hours that your kids spend chatting with others? Of course you don’t, and do you know that most of these conversations are out of direct control from your kid?
At least half of the time that your kid spends chatting with anyone he is talking to people that he doesn’t even know, there are criminals that pretend to be someone else in order to get information from children and then using it for their advantage. That and many other reasons are why you should monitor children on the Internet for their own safety. It is also very important that you keep track of all of their activities while you are monitoring children Internet so that you may have all of the required knowledge to lead them in the right direction.