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Parenting Tips: 3 Steps to a Happier Home
Constant Fighting Makes Everyone Miserable
Nothing ruins the peace of home faster than a sassy, back talking, screaming, whining child. How can you stop these bad habits? Here are three tips that can turn your family life from terror to tranquility. Like all parenting strategies, these take time and consistency to make permanent changes in the lives of your children. However, improvements can be seen in as little as a week with dedicated and consistent implementation. These parenting tips are not behavior specific. Rather, these three tips are aimed at improving the overall attitude of all the members of the family. This short parenting guide is designed to be something you can start today and implement over a life time.
The first thing to realize is ultimately the only person you have control over is yourself. You can only force yourself to change. However, parents have a unique and powerful ability to influence change in the lives of their children as they make changes in themselves.
3 Tips for Changing Negative Attitudes
Five Tips For Changing the Way We Speak
- Decide You Will Follow The Old Saying, "If You Don't Have Something Nice to Say, Don't Say Anything at All."
- Count to Ten Before Responding to Your Children
- Don't Be Afraid to Walk Away Instead of Speaking Negatively
- Apologize to Your Children When You Lose Your Temper
- Forgive Yourself and Your Children When Negative Words Are Spoken
One: Model and Mirror
Children are wonderful mimics and mirrors. Do you find yourself saying to yourself, or to others, things like, “Jane is so negative. All she does is whine and complain. I can’t stand it!” What you are saying maybe true, but maybe Jane is mirroring your negativity. The thoughts you think become the words you speak. The words you speak become the habits you make. The habits you make become the character you live. Children learn how to be adults first from their parents. If you want your children to be pleasant, you need to model those traits.
Do you want to be more or less like your parents?
Humans live to be praised. We will do almost anything to make others proud of us. Children crave and need parental pride and approval. Even the most disrespectful child does something right every day. Catch your children doing something good and make a big deal about it. Make sure everyone in the family knows you are proud of the good thing, no matter how small, that you caught them doing. This even works for sullen teenagers, although they may pretend to be indifferent.
Peace Makes Room For Happiness
Three: Common Sense Consequences
Positive reinforcement is vital and life changing, but children also need to know actions have consequences. It is important to remember that you disapprove of the action, not the child. The child will respond to loving reproof, but not angry vengeance. The consequence you choose for a disrespectful action needs to be known and understood ahead of time by the child.
“Johnny, if you stick your tongue out at me or your sisters, you are going to get a timeout for five minutes.”
“Susie, when you scream at me I will pretend I do not hear you. I will not respond until you talk to me in a nice voice.”
Consequences need to be age appropriate and immediate. If a consequence doesn’t immediately follow an action, even older children will have difficulty associating their actions with the consequences. Consequences for a five year old should obviously be different than those for a sixteen year old.
These three tips will not work overnight, but consistent use can quickly result in improvements. Remember, you can only force change upon yourself. When you change your outlook your influence will affect your entire home and will allow your children to change their own attitudes. The more consistent you are the faster your children will adapt to the new expectations. These parenting tips work with children from toddlers to teenagers. You just need to use common sense in putting them into practice. You know your children better than anyone else.