As parents, we strive to nurture, protect and guide our children through each stage of their lives. However, it’s not always a smooth and easy path. As they grow and develop, there are times when our kids display undesirable or unexplainable behavior—and we don’t always know how to help them when they struggle. While these parenting pains can be frustrating, there are positive parenting tips on how to stay calm and encourage more acceptable behavior. Positive parenting focuses on teaching children what type of behavior is acceptable. These techniques help to get the desired behavior we want and allow children to become mentally healthier and better adjusted. According to recent research published in the journal International Quarterly of Community Health Education, parenting styles influence whether or not adolescents have poor self-esteem, and those who do have poor self-esteem are prone to experiencing many challenges. Their study, which included over 500 students, found that there is a significant association between parenting styles and an adolescents’ self-esteem.
Give your child lots of nurturing physical attention
It seems simple, but children like hugs, cuddles and holding hands. Show them the affection they desire. If they aren’t overly affectionate, that’s okay. Know how your child likes to be nurtured and comforted.
Coaching Instead of Controlling
The next part of connecting to change bad behavior involves coaching your child and not controlling your child through helicopter or authoritative parenting. Think of yourself as your child’s life coach — someone who will encourage them to make good decisions and modeling appropriate behaviors. If you control your child, how will they ever learn to make decisions for themselves.
See Through Your Child’s Eyes
Many times parents dismiss kids’ feelings because they view them as immature or overdramatic. When your child is upset, take a step back, don’t judge and view the situation through your child’s eyes. Doing so will make it easier to be empathetic and validate your child’s feelings. This will bring you closer and will let your child know it is safe to tell you his or her sad feelings.
Don’t feed into their emotional outbursts.
If your child misbehaves, stay calm and give them clear instruction to stop misbehaving and tell them what you would like them to do instead. (e.g., “Stop throwing. Play with the truck on the ground.”) Use specific praise with your child if they stop. (e.g., “Thank you for playing with the truck on the ground.”)
Parent by example. (Model what you expect)
Think of your kids like a copy machine who will mimic everything you do. If you make poor choices in behavior, you are giving them permission to act in the same ways. Check in with yourself, and don’t lose it in front of the children.
Have realistic expectations.
All children misbehave at times, and it is inevitable that you will have some discipline challenges. Trying to be the perfect parent—and expecting the perfectly behaved kid—can set you up for frustration and disappointment.
Don’t ever give up on your child!
All of your child’s problems can be worked through with humor, goodwill and perseverance. With proper parental support, even the most troublesome teens can become amazing people.
Adopting these tips for your family may take a little adjusting, but stick with it, and you will see and love the results. When we take compassion and kindness into parenting practices, we are going to have much better outcomes and the whole family is going to be happier and healthier.