Three Quick Parenting Tips
Often times when I am out and about I see positive parenting happening. And sometimes I don’t ~ I see examples of parenting that could be improved upon. We’ve all seen examples and maybe have been examples of both. When I see a happy, content child I often see a happy, content parent. And frequently when I see a frustrated, angry child I see a frustrated angry parent. Parenting is a tough job, it is a 24/7 commitment without time–off or vacations. Often time parents are stressed and find themselves doing and saying things they never thought they would. You are human, be kind to yourself and don’t judge yourself. I believe you are doing the best you can.
In my counseling practice in Topsfield, Massachusetts I frequently work with parents who are stuck in a pattern of parenting that is not as effective as they would like. Here are my top three parenting tips for helping you switch up your parenting style to one that may be more beneficial:
Parenting Tip # 1
Take inventory of all of your child’s privileges including all electronics and take inventory of how and if you use consequences. Consequences include both rewards and punishments. Notice which you do more of. Also notice how you use your words. Are you critical more than encouraging and positive?
Parenting Tip #2
If you are like most parents you may find that you punish more than reward. Flip it. Reward more than you punish. Remember the privileges you took inventory of? Instead of taking them away in the form of a punishment have your child earn them. Be clear with your child about your expectations and the consequences and have your child offer suggestions for rewards and punishments. Try to avoid having the rewards be or cost money. Have a conversation with your child about the rewards. How would they like to be rewarded? Explain to your child that they have not “lost” anything. It is up to her/him/them to earn the privileges.
Parenting Tip #3
Catch your child being good. Praise should be more frequent that criticism and it needs to be genuine. Praise for effort not only success. As an example if your child did not do as well as you would have liked on an exam but you saw them studying and preparing for the exam try saying “You must be disappointed with your grade after all of the studying you did to get ready for it. I am proud of you for putting that much effort into your schoolwork.”
I hope you found these tips helpful in changing the way you parent. If you would like to learn more about switching your parenting style call a local mental health professional and of course you can always call Harmony Counseling in Topsfield MA, 978-561-1927 to arrange an appointment to learn additional ways to parent more effectively.
~Katherine Ryan, LMHC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and owner of Harmony Counseling in Topsfield, Massachusetts where she enjoys helping adults, children and teens become unstuck.