With kids being home in the summer, it’s the perfect time to practice purposeful parenting! Parenting can be difficult at times – it takes courage, commitment, and consistency. It is being flexible when necessary and understanding that even with misbehavior, children are trying to communicate their need for help. Discipline is to teach, so it is important to understand positive intent in order to help children be successful.
A child’s purpose in life is to grow, develop and learn. A child must learn how to make sense of the world around them, communicate fully, discover and develop all bodily powers, deeply connect with people, and understand how everything works!
Your purpose as a parent is to provide a safe environment with loving guidance in which children can grow, develop, and discovery the world. So, how do we set our children up for success?
- Spend TIME with them.
T – Talk with them, not at them, and listen to what they have to say
I – Instruct them by setting clear expectations
M – Monitor them to keep them safe
E – Encourage them with praise and loving guidance
- Give acceptable choices that encourage problem solving.
- Set limits and boundaries based on their current stage of development and temperament.
- Use positive reinforcement. Praise and notice the positive behavior and attempts at good behavior. It will encourage more of the positive behavior.
- Use an assertive parenting style that sets clear expectations with positive consequences. This encourages positive behavior and negative consequences and helps children change the negative behavior. Say what you mean and mean what you say!
- Be a good role model for your children. If you want your children to be kind, you must be kind. If you want your children to show empathy to others, you need to be empathetic, etc. Remember that how you handle problems in front of your children when you are upset gives your child permission to do the same.
- Nurturing and showing unconditional love.
- With words – “I love you to the moon and back.”
- With actions – Meet their physical, mental and emotional needs.
- With touch – Give hugs and kisses.
Remember, how you parent directly impacts who your children are and who they will become. It’s okay to ask for help! Click here to submit your questions to our experts and we will get back to you as soon as they can.
[Judy Green, CIT, is a Parenting Educator with Methodist Family Health’s Arkansas CARES program.]