7 Parenting Tips

  1. Help Your Child Develop a Positive Self-Image
  2. The parents’ tone of voice, smile, physical affection, and ability to attend and be attuned to the child’s needs give the child a sense of good feeling and a sense of trust in oneself and the world. This may also be called unconditional love, which is essential in the development of core positive self-image and trust in self and others, especially during the first year of development.

    Without these experiences, the child will be left with excessive feelings of frustration and anger, self-doubt, and mistrust in self and the world.

  3. Praise Your Child for Good Behavior
  4. It’s important that the child develop a mature and stable self. Unfortunately, parents who are physically and verbally aggressive tend to cause the child to develop a negative self-image and inner self-hate that often lasts a lifetime.

    Thus, it’s important for the parent to praise the child for his good behavior. It’s important to find things to praise your child daily.

    Try to catch him doing good things, such as finishing his homework on time, saying no when appropriate, praising him for his interests, and exploring different fields of science, math, or arts.

  5. Set Limits and Be Consistent with Your Discipline
  6. Discipline and setting limits are essential to the child’s emotional growth. It helps the child learn reality, and respect others’ property and rights. It helps build a sense of frustration and strengthen their ego. It helps internalize these rules and beliefs that will help guide the child on how to be assertive, set limits, and not let others violate her rights.

    Thus, having clear rules lays the groundwork for what is expected of the child. Having clear rules, such as doing homework before watching TV and not taking others’ belongings without permission, will teach the child to be responsible for her things and learn to respect others and expect others to respect her things.

    If a child misbehaves, you can use time out or loss of privileges. The time out is not intended to punish the child but to remove the child from the tense situation and ask the child to go to the corner and to reflect, think, and take responsibility for their unacceptable behavior, taking away rewards or privileges (favorite TV show or phone) and restoring them once the expected behavior is resumed.

  7. Teaching Your Child How to Deal with Anger
  8. One of the most important things to teach your child is how to deal with their anger. Many parents are anxious and do not know how to teach their children how to cope with their anger because they never learned how to deal with their own anger- since their parents never showed them.

    Some parents have a phobic reaction to anger; they readily push away and deny their anger. Unfortunately, because we may suppress or deny our anger, it does not make the anger go away. These parents who tend to push their anger away often let their anger build inside and simmer until they can’t hold it in and lash out, verbally or physically, at the child or other family members. Often, a child will learn and internalize how to deal with his anger by observing how his parents react to others and his anger.

    Expressing anger in a direct and assertive way will help the child internalize a healthy coping style and learn to value his own needs while not violating others’ needs. For example, “Johnny, I am upset with you because you keep on hitting your young brother and taking his toys by force. This is unacceptable behavior.”

  9. Listening, Not Advice Giving
  10. Many of us have had the experience of sharing problems with friends before we even had a chance to fully express how we feel. Our friends are too busy telling us how to fix our problems, often leaving us feeling more frustrated. Unfortunately, many parents fall into that same trap, trying to fix their children’s problems before they have a chance to get to know what their children think and feel.

    That is not understanding; it’s advice-giving communication. It has been my experience that this type of communication often leaves the child feeling more alone, frustrated, and disconnected from himself and the parents. This gives the message to the child that his voice is not important.

  11. True Understanding of Your Child
  12. Feeling understood is one of the most important things that we all yearn for as human beings. Children, too, need understanding, perhaps more than adults, since they have not yet developed the emotional and intellectual maturity to know how to communicate their emotions.

    A true understanding is based on two steps; empathy and communication. A true understanding requires that you think and feel what your child experiences. It requires that you see the world from her point of view and communicate that understanding back to them. This step is essential to help the child confront her unpleasant feelings and help integrate them rather than push them away or keep them bottled up inside. It’s a process that helps the child to understand herself better and become emotionally more mature and whole.

    Once this empathic communication is achieved and the child has accepted her feelings, the parent can inquire if there is a need to solve the problem, whereby both the child and the parent can express their solution to the problem.

  13. Show Realistic Love
  14. While unconditional love is very important, unconditional love is not enough to help the child build a mature and stable sense of self. Many male-dominated cultures tend to use this model as their primary parenting style to raise male children. The basic idea behind unconditional love is that your child should not worry about losing the parent’s love, regardless of his behavior. This parenting style contributes to the development of a sense of superiority and an inflated grandiose ego and leaves the child without any opportunities to develop and realize his true potential.

    On the other hand, female children are often raised with many excessive restrictions and demands or conditional love in many of these traditional societies. This approach is also deficient because the child will internalize the message that she is inferior and that the only way she can love herself and others is through work, putting others’ needs first.

    Thus, regardless of gender, a healthy parenting style uses authoritative parenting, showing a balance of conditional and unconditional love.