Did you know that at least one in every seven children has suffered abuse at the hands of an adult?
It’s important that we remember that we’ve come a long way as a society. Part of our journey includes learning what good parenting is. Evidence has shown again and again that negative reinforcement, such as spanking, is a poor way to teach kids about right and wrong–and often constitutes abuse.
We know what we shouldn’t be doing, but what should we be doing? Keep reading for the latest parenting tips to give your child a healthy, happy upbringing.
The Most Important of All Parenting Tips: Show Unconditional Love
This tip is especially important in recent years with the rise in prominence of the LGBT community. Many children realize that they are a part of this community and want to come out of the closet. But thanks to strict parents who often adhere closely to their religion, they are terrified of doing so.
Not only that but there are generational changes. People wait longer to get married, spend less time in church, and use their free time differently.
Far too many parents withhold love, support, and respect when their children choose different lifestyles. Most commonly, this happens when:
- A child chooses a career or educational institution that a parent doesn’t approve of
- A child leaves the religion that the parent belongs to or joins another
- A child has a relationship with someone the parent doesn’t approve of
The most important thing you can do for your child, no matter what they do, is to love them unconditionally. That means no exceptions, even in the event that your child goes off the beaten path. Providing undying, unwavering support for your children in all circumstances is the most incredible gift that you can give them.
The types of parents who have the strongest relationships with their kids are those who don’t expect their children to be carbon copies. They recognize that a child will be who they want to be, even against a parent’s wishes, by no fault of their own.
Change Your Expectations
Parent tips often include a timeline of when your child will reach certain milestones. This can be crawling at a few months old, walking at a year, and talking soon after. But it’s important to know that childhood development happens at a different pace for each one.
That’s why the best parents adapt their expectations if the child continues to fail to meet them. If a child takes a long time to get potty trained, it’s better to be patient than get frustrated.
The same happens in more difficult years, such as raising teenagers. Parenting is a tough job, so it’s understandable that you’ll get annoyed when things don’t go well.
Having realistic expectations is best for all parties. You experience less disappointment and frustration. Your child feels less disheartened when you get frustrated with them.
Don’t Be Strict
It’s pretty clear to most people at this point that strict parents employ the least effective method of parenting. Rather than creating well-behaved children, it engenders resentment and kids that obey out of fear. It looks on the surface to be effective, but it almost always creates a rift that lingers for years to come.
This creates lifelong problems of pathological lying and difficulty with being honest. A child may struggle in relationships and when working with authorities.
Instead, collaborate with your children and outline realistic expectations. Instead of expecting them to be home at 10 pm every night, with no exceptions, be flexible. For example, allow them to stay out later, provided they give regular updates and stay with a trusted person.
Say your child breaks their arm because they were fooling around. You find them in Hopscotch Health pediatric urgent care. Many parents would first be furious, but the best parents show concern and only then discuss how to proceed with discipline.
Let Your Child Feel That They Can Come to You With Anything
Imagine your child does something risky, something that could get them in a lot of trouble. Now think about your reaction. Is it a negative one?
Many parents don’t realize that their smart children pick up on everything. They pay close attention to how you react when they do certain things. Then they unconsciously begin to avoid you when they know your reaction will be bad to their current behavior.
Your reaction means that kids will hide big, perhaps life-changing things from you out of fear of punishment and discipline. It might be bad grades one day, but the next day getting in a big fight at school. Hiding bad grades isn’t a big deal, but hiding the latter is much, much worse.
Give your child the feeling that they can approach you about any topic, no matter what it is. To do this, modulate your reaction to them. Instead of being harsh and negative, being positive and warm.
Tell them you love them first and foremost and that what they’ve done won’t change the love you have. Show them, as much with actions as with words, that this changes nothing. Your relationship will continue on, perhaps even stronger than it was before.
Your child’s ability to admit anything they’ve done to you builds trust between the two of you. With that trust, they’ll work with you on improving their behavior in the future. This way, everyone wins in the end.
Change Your Parenting Style Today
Parenting tips have changed a lot in recent years as we discover how ineffective old parenting methods were. The best parents are those who recognize that strict parenting and conditional love are horrible ways to treat one’s child. There are better solutions than yelling and scaring a child into obedience.
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