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Seven Surprisingly Common Parenting Mistakes

By Guest Author   |  Thursday, November 29th, 2012

(Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog by Sharon Anderson, a prolific writer on parenting advice and a very warm and affectionate person)

Parenting children with discipline

If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much. ~ Jackie Kennedy

 

Perfect parents are as fictional as Santa Claus. If you’re a parent, or will be one soon, you are going to make mistakes. Trying to change this fact is a pointless endeavor.

 

The only thing that any parent can do is try to minimize the number that they make. Here are seven of the most common parenting mistakes. How many have you made?

 

Trying to be a Friend

 

It’s pretty common for a parent to want to be their child’s friend but when it comes down to it, your child needs a parent, not a friend. Your role as a parent is to provide structure, rules and a shoulder to cry on. It’s very difficult to be viewed as both a friend and an authority figure. And unfortunately, it’s the latter that your child needs the most.

 

Talking too Much

 

Learning when to talk and when to stay silent is a parenting skill that can take years to master. When your child isn’t listening to you, what you say is pretty much the definition of irrelevant. Learn to recognise such situations and try to find the self control to keep your words of wisdom for a time when they will actually be listened to.

 

Pushing High Expectations

 

There’s nothing wrong with encouraging your child to do well at school but there is a line. And when you cross that line, your words of encouragement can actually prove the opposite of motivating. Encourage your child to study but don’t tell him/her that you expect certain grades.

 

Comparing Siblings

 

If you have two or more children, it’s important to keep the comparisons between them to a minimum. Even subtle comparisons have the capacity to lead to long term insecurities. If one of your children is smarter than the other, keep that fact to yourself. Unconditional love is particularly important when there’s more than one child in the house.

 

Not Picking Your Battles

 

Saying yes to everything your child asks for obviously isn’t feasible but a little bit of leeway can go a long way towards keeping arguments to a minimum. Letting your child stay up all night obviously isn’t good parenting but is an extra twenty minutes on front of the television really worth an argument? Sometimes saying no simply isn’t worth it.

 

Right Words, Wrong Actions

 

If you want to instil certain values into your children, you need to demonstrate those values yourself. Saying one thing and doing another is not how you teach a child anything. If you don’t want your child to swear, keep your own swear words to a minimum.

 

Being too Helpful

 

It might be tempting to make things as easy as possible for your child but doing so isn’t going to benefit him/her in the long term. A child has many lessons to learn and most of those lessons are easiest learnt through experience. It’s important for you to be there for your child but don’t allow yourself to be the solution to every one of their problems.

 

Sharon Anderson, the writer of this article is a very warm and affectionate person. She is currently working with Country cubbies, who sell a wide range of different cubby houses and play forts.

Parenting Advice to Curb the Habit of Stealing in Kids

By Noah Brown   |  Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Generally children of 5 to 6 years begin to develop conscience at that stage and at times they find it tough to resist their temptation to steal something that they want.

Strictly make your child understand that stealing is wrong and you would not forgive it.

Many children steal because they think that there is nothing wrong about it. Some steal because they want to get attention.

Screaming or slapping your child won’t solve the problem. You need to figure out the root cause and nip it in the bud.

 

Read more: http://wisieforkids.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/parenting-advice-to-curb-the-habit-of-stealing-in-kids/

 

A Calm Way To Achieve Your Parenting Goals

By Bob Lancer   |  Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
Parenting Goals

“If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.” ~ Brian Tracy

When your child resists your attempts to lead, guide or direct his behavior, notice how you handle that.

 

As you improve your handling of the situation you will enjoy more satisfying results with your child.

 

The process usually begins with examining how you are feeling.  Look at your attitude toward your child.

 

To the extent that you feel frustrated, powerless, resentful or insecure when you seem to be out of control of your child, to that extent you actually diminish your ability to constructively direct the situation.

 

The fact is that you can direct your life toward where you want to go – but you may not be able to direct your child’s life in that moment.

 

Focus on maintaining an attitude of calm confidence toward the situation and think about the kind of relationship you really want with your child.

 

The next step is to consider your goal for the situation.  What is it that you really want your child to do?

 

It may be to stop running wildly around the living room.  It may be to display more respectful behavior.  It may be to stop playing too roughly with his sibling.

 

Once you are clear about what you want from your child, the next step is to decide on your best option for bringing it about.

 

A common parenting mistake is to struggle to come up with a reaction to a child behavior problem that will stop their child from behaving in that way for all time.

 

Just focus on accomplishing what you want with your child in the present moment.  During instances when you need control over your child’s behavior in the present, you overload yourself if you expect to come up with a response that will prevent him from ever making this mistake again.

 

When you calmly, confidently consider what you can do in the present situation to produce the outcome you want, you have the best chance of coming up with a constructive idea.

 

When we feel stressed, we block our ability to accurately analyze the situation and formulate solutions.

 

When your child resists your attempts to lead, guide or direct his behavior, remain calm, consider your goal for his behavior and then observe the situation to recognize your best opportunity for achieving that parenting goal.

Improve Child Behavior Without Time-Outs

By Bob Lancer   |  Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Responsible Parenting

No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I’m not talking about the kids. ~Bill Cosby

 

There’s lots of talk these days about using “time outs” to improve child behavior.

 

But there is far too little talk about the even more important influence of quality time “IN” with your child.

 

Just spending time with your child, sharing space together, as you remain in a calm and loving state, nurtures your child’s spirit.

 

Your presence provides your child with a sense of security and supports the child’s feeling of being worthy of love.

 

Additionally, your peaceful presence provides your child with the influence of your modeling.

 

As you function in a calm, orderly, intelligent manner around your child, you teach your child to function similarly.

 

Spending a sufficient amount of quality time with your child can help your child to display better self-conduct, and thus diminish the kinds of behavior problems that you might try to solve with time-outs.

 

Time-IN with your child, however, is not automatically constructive.

 

HOW you spend time with your child is just as important as how much time you spend together.

 

If you display much anger and stress, if you over criticize and complain, if display an impatient and disapproving attitude toward your child, your presence disturbs the child in a way that leads the child into disturbing behavior and unhappiness.

 

It’s also possible to be overly placating with a child.  Saying “yes” when you ought to say “no” sets the child up to becoming overly dependent and demanding.

 

Awareness is the most important guide for quality time with our kids.  We need to be attentively aware to recognize the kind of influence we are having on our children.

 

Avoid parenting in an automatic, unconscious way.  Observe your child closely to accurately read his or her feelings and needs.  Children express their needs non-verbally far more than they do so verbally.

 

The more CONSCIOUS time you spend with your child, the better you will understand your child, and from there you can provide your child with the influences and interactions that lead to improved child behavior and beautiful child development.

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