Parenting is TOUGH. You worry about how to correct and discipline your children if they do something wrong. We worry about instilling good behaviors and raising them in the best possible way we know.
Mom and dad are the most common caretakers. There are others who assist with raising our children – grandparents, relatives, daycare providers – but at the end of the day, it’s our job, our responsibility. We don’t want our kids growing up thinking all we do is scold them when they do something wrong, so you need to be sure you balance the discipline with compliments. When your child does something kind and thoughtful, make a big deal about it. When they help with the household chores, make a big deal, and thank them.
We all worry about keeping our kids out of trouble, so here are a few parenting tips to start with your children when they are young to help them become the best young adults possible.
Be a friend as well as a parent
There are many who may disagree with this or surprised by this, but you shouldn’t be. One of the biggest factors in being a good parent is to have a good relationship with your kids.
You want them to feel as though they can talk to you about anything, that they feel loved, that they know you care and want the best for them. If you do nothing but discipline them for the things they do wrong and never offer praise for the things they do right – you’re going to lose that special bond, quick.
When they begin school, there will be outside influences upon them. Friends, teachers, other role models that they come in contact with. They are going to learn behaviors from these people. It is up to you, as their parent, to know these people, understand their role in your child’s life, watch how they engage with your child and activities they are involved in.
Bond with Your Kids
My husband loves spending time in the garage tinkering with … anything. His latest obsession is working on a custom-built engine with a darton sleeve installation. It is extremely time-consuming, but it is something he enjoys and finds relaxing. With the boys at that age where they are interested in driving and cars, it’s been a great bonding experience for them to spend time with their dad working on his project and talking about everything. It warms my heart to see the boys and their father connecting over a common interest.
Discipline for Safety
My kids have been little daredevils since day 1. Seriously. Anything they would see on television they would try to do, regardless of how dangerous or crazy it seemed. In fact, the crazier the better seemed to be what attracted them the most!
I can’t tell you the number of wooden jumps and railings they have destroyed over the years with their skateboarding antics. A trip to the local museum one afternoon put the thought in my head about safety glass. I made a few inquiries and found a great company that made glass railings and that ended the broken wooden banisters and steps! While I was on a safety kick during their daredevil years, I also made sure our home was equipped with fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and ensured we had plenty of helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads. I’m happy to say that we’ve had no broken bones to date!
Don’t Give In or Give Up
Like we said, parenting is hard. You can still be a sweet and loving parent while dishing out appropriate discipline and consequences for behaviors that are not welcome in your household. Being consistent, and having both parents using the same techniques and rules, teaches your children what is acceptable and what is not.
I remember a time when I first started working from home, trying to figure out a way to bring in some type of income to help with the family finances, I was stressed. I was working on building a new website completely from scratch, designing the graphics and layout design, etc. I had such tunnel vision, that I didn’t have time for the boys and a good amount of time I had their sister watching them while I was trying to get things done.
That was not her job, and I soon realized that I could not do what I was trying to do on my own and still be an effective parent. I was stressed and yelling at the kids for, well, being kids. It was my job to teach them to be responsible, to engage them during the day and most of all, to be consistent with them. One day they couldn’t do something and the next day, because I was busy and focused on working on my website, I let things slide and would more often than not say, “go do what you want and leave me alone.”
Any parent who has uttered those words knows that is a complete recipe for disaster. So I finally gave in and decided to get some assistance from a Toronto SEO expert to help me get my website where I wanted to be. Delegating that particular task gave me the freedom to spend more quality time with my children and less worrying in front of the computer.
As parents, we are the role models for our children. They emmulate everything we do, they watch our every move, hear everything we say. You need to find a balance between nurturing and firmness that works for you and your children to instill in them the morals and actions you want. It doesn’t happen overnight, but that’s what good parenting is all about – sticking to your core beliefs and raising your children to be productive, compassionate human beings.