Before we have children of our own, we see people with children that seem uncontrollable, and we think, “I would NEVER let my kids do that!”
But in all reality, we have no idea what we are talking about until we have experienced it ourselves. And once we do progress into parenthood, we’re constantly brainstorming on how to keep our kids from being spoiled or ungrateful.
Honestly, our children will never be perfect, and they will throw their tantrums from time to time, but how can we teach our children what behaviors are acceptable? There are four things to consider: Praise, Discipline, Quality Time, and Consistency.
Teaching Kids Good Behavior:
The easiest of the four, although sometimes opportunities go unnoticed. When our toddlers begin to walk and take their first steps, we praise them, shout their name, and clap for them, but when they get older, and we ask them to pick up their toys or clean their room, we tend to forget that they cherish the attention and pride we have in them.
When your children (whether they are toddler or teenager) have a positive attitude and reflect the behavior you admire, reward them with words of praise or gifts. This will encourage them to continue to do those things when they seek more praise and positive attention.
This one is a little harder. Parents always say, “This hurts me more than it hurts you,” and often we do not explain to our children WHY it hurts us more. We do not want to discipline our children, but it is a necessity so that they know what is acceptable and unacceptable.
Discipline also teaches our children that decisions have consequences and trains them with respect. The respect we instill in them will also be utilized when they are away from us; they will more likely respect the law, knowing that failure to do so will result in unpleasant outcomes. What child WANTS punishment?
They will realize that poor behavior will result in a not-so-fun outcome, and this will discourage them from continuing these types of actions.
Too many times we get busy in our lives; it is almost impossible not to, but what we don’t realize is that with all of the time we are spending to do necessities, such as with our careers or time online, is time away from our children.
They want to spend time with us; they want our attention, and sometimes they are willing to do anything to get it-: good things or bad. So, reduce your child’s temptation to do anything for attention, and set aside some time to focus on them.
This is the key to success, and most definitely the hardest one of them all. Whether we are praising good behavior or correcting poor conduct, WE MUST BE CONSISTENT.
Failure to do so will cause confusion and mixed signals to our children. This is a vital step. I am not saying that we can be 100% unfailing; there will be times when we falter as well but do not let that keep you from “getting right back in the saddle.” Giving a normal reaction to specific types of behavior will allow our children to know what consequences to expect when they are making decisions, especially those when we are not around.
If you like this post, check out this post on raising children to listen.