Nobody ever said that parenting would be easy. Being a good parent is even more difficult! Here are five guidelines to help you put into practice some principles of good parenting that you probably already know but for which you may need an occasional reminder:
1. Be consistent in your enforcement of rules.
Be certain that your rules have these characteristics: They must be clearly defined, reasonable and enforceable. Rules in the home help children feel more secure and comfortable when they are faced later in life with rules in school and community.
A seven-year study done by the National Institute of Mental Health indicates that self-confident children who succeeded in their undertakings usually came from homes in which there were rules that were reasonable, consistent, and enforced with affection.
2. Permit children to make mistakes and even fail sometimes.
Children learn by doing. rather than by passively absorbing the experiences of others. Making mistakes is one basis for future independence, self-direction, and intelligent decisionmaking.
When children know that they can anticipate consequences, they are being helped to develop an understanding of cause-effect relationships.
3. Resist the temptation to over-organise.
Don’t over-structure a child’s whole day with lessons, sports, and other activities. Children
need time to be leisurely and to enjoy unstructured play.
4. Maintain a sense of humour.
When something interferes with the daily routine, try to see a funny side of the situation.
For example, when there are toys, clothes, or other things left about randomly, gather them into a locked box and charge a “fee” (such as a kiss on your cheek) for later retrieval of an item.
If the bathroom becomes a mess, then draw a sad face on the mirror. Ah, but when things look improved, don’t forget to reinforce with a happy smile!
5. Take care of yourself.
It’s important for parents to take care of their own health and psychological needs. A parent who is over-worked or over-stressed will less likely be able to implement these recommendations. Thus, taking care of oneself— with adequate rest, leisure time, and proper nutrition—is also an important
part of being a good parent.
The GROWING TOGETHER NEWSLETTER is issued by;
GROWING CHILD Inc., and is distributed free, courtesy of:
THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION,
2, Springrowth House, Balliniska Rd.,
Springtown Ind. Estate, L’Derry BT48 OGG
Tel: 028 71365363. Fax: 028 71365334.
Web Site: www.lifestartfoundation.org