One way to assist you in communicating to your children is to emphasize their ability to control their own living. When you frame conversations by helping them understand the impact of their choices, children are willing to interact with you. For example, rather than saying, “Sit down and study for that test you have tomorrow,” interact to help them understand the ramifications of not studying: How they may receive a poor grade: How it can create an unfortunate habit for them. Being reminded that they have a choice whether to do their homework or not but should understand the rationale for not doing it and the subsequent ramifications.
- making ultimatums
- making threats
- making assumptions
- name calling
- limiting their power
The language that you use with your children can limit your effectiveness for parenting. Your tone and mannerism also impacts how they “hear” you. Children want to be validated by having their parent hear them and show them respect.
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Any of us can recount stories about bullies from our own experiences in school. While we may not have been a victim, we may have been a bystander or even a perpetrator. We can vividly tell stories about the elementary school student that was targeted because they were not popular or the child that was constantly harassed at recess. There are numerous reasons why students may bully others. This works under the premise that experiencing bullying is not just a “rite of passage” and there are skills you can equip your children with to help them thrive. Parents must remember anyone can be a bully. Bullying in schools is a source of public outrage in media outlets. While your child’s school or school district may have various programs to address bullying and institute peer mediation, positive choice making and social skills to curb bullying, as a parent there are numerous things you can do to equip your child. Here is an inspiring story on athletes stepping up to take a stand
While no one has the right to be bullied, help with the understanding that some children are more susceptible to being a victim then others. Those who are isolated or seek excessive attention by pestering or overcompensating for insecurity may be more likely to be bullied. There is no rationale for bullying being tolerated in schools. However, understanding your children’s tendencies will help you help them navigate through school and provide them with the tools to be successful in their adult life, where bullying doesn’t necessarily end.
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Disciplining is one of the most important facets of parenting. When we reflect on our own experiences with discipline as a child, we should think about how those methods made us feel and whether they are in line with our parenting philosophy. Providing discipline is essential to help groom children into becoming responsible adults. As the adult, you must remain calm and confident, especially when you are frustrated with unacceptable behavior. We must work to maintain both the self-esteem of our children and a healthy relationship with them.
As parents there are countless questions around disciplining that must be resolved within the household. The more proactive that you can be prior to the event, the better the outcome. Will you give an allowance? Will you have “time-outs?” What time will be curfew, and what is the punishment when they inevitably fail to come home on time? All of us grapple with these decisions about discipline and want to do what is best.
There is a lot that fosters positive discipline in the home. Here are some basic ideas to help guide you in setting the stage for positive behavior. There are external and internal forces for parents to consider when thinking about discipline.
External Factors: things you have control over…food (providing healthy snacks), sleep (nighttime sleep is sufficient), routine (having the day mapped out is helpful and knowing what to expect), and environment (keep living space calm, comfortable and organized to foster positive behavior).
Internal Factors: things out of your control…all children have unique personalities and their own temperament that affects interaction with people and events in their world. As a parent you can show support by respecting their thoughts, being honest and listening.
Raising children requires patience. Discipline teaches how to make positive choices. The ultimate goal of discipline is to keep children safe.