Successful parenting is demanding on a good day. It can feel like a nightmare on the hard ones. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Many parents struggle with the highs and lows of raising children. Sometimes it seems like you can never win. The job of a parent, however, does not have to fluctuate between these extremes.
There is a happy middle ground, one that offers positive results–no more endless power struggles. Get your child to cooperate without endless frustration. If you want to learn how to create a win-win relationship with your child, read the following tips.
1 – Positivity
There is a good reason you hear so many clichés about how a positive attitude makes all the difference. The foundation for lasting success in parenting is to cultivate a healthy outlook. Your child can easily pick up on your stress, frustration, and negativity, which can adversely affect their behavior.
Your goal is to establish a productive relationship with your child. To this end, work on developing a positive attitude. If you exhibit relaxed energy, it will influence your child to do the same. Instead of only seeing the negative aspects of your child’s behavior, concentrate on their strengths. How can you guide those strengths to work to your advantage? Is there a way to improve the situation by focusing on what you can control and letting go of what you can’t?
Find whatever works well between you and your child. Stay on this course until it stops working. Then find something new that works instead. Let this process play out naturally and adapt as your child grows and develops.
2 – Patience
Patience is a key pillar in the foundation of effective parenting. Because of how children develop, they do not process information the same way an adult does. Keep this in mind when interacting with your child. Communicate with them in a way they understand. This will ease unwanted frustrations.
It’s also important not to take your child’s temper tantrums personally. This is their way of expressing disappointment, not a reflection on your parenting skills. Most children cannot communicate their frustrations maturely. It’s best to let them get their feelings out and then return after they have calmed down.
The same is true for you. If you are losing your patience, notice it and walk away. Do something productive that gets your negative energy out and comes back when you’re in a better place. When you’re calm and collected, interacting with your child will be easier and more productive. Your child will feed off your calm energy and respond in kind.
3 – Persistence
Another key to effective parenting is staying consistent in routines and expectations. Children thrive in a structured environment. They want clear expectations of what you require of them. Establish a daily schedule and stick to it. This predictability will help foster a sense of comfort in your child, which will improve their behavior.
Otherwise, if there is no consistency or the routine frequently changes, it becomes hard for your child to adapt. Uncertainty may cause them to act out for attention. When left to their own devices, children will often choose unhealthy or even destructive ways to entertain themselves.
With your method of consequences, persistence is crucial. Stay consistent. If you lay down the law one day but then give free rein the next, your child will not take you seriously. Always follow through and deliver the message that unwanted behavior will have consequences. Whatever those consequences are (loss of special privileges works well), implement them.
4 – Persuasion
Think of persuasion as finding the right incentives for your child. What motivates them, one way or the other? It’s often easier and more productive to use incentives that inspire your child. This is especially true for defiant or strong-willed children. These kids often display blatant disobedience because you expect them to do what they want.
Strong-willed children do not adhere to this premise. Instead of getting stuck in never-ending power struggles, try the art of persuasion. Give your child a meaningful incentive. It doesn’t have to be a sugary treat, which is not recommended. Be innovative and find creative solutions. If your child loves to go to the park and swing, use that. Maybe they have a favorite show or video game. You can also build up to a reward earned over time, like a new bicycle.
Instead of getting into a shouting match when telling your child to get in the car because you said so, try a fresh approach. Say something like, “If we leave now, you’ll have more time to play with your friends because we’ll get there early.” Find whatever motivates your child and use it to generate positive results. When children are excited about something, they will go to great lengths to earn it.
5 – Payoff
The goal of effective parenting is to cultivate a relationship that works well for you and your child. This will provide more opportunities to enjoy the rewarding experiences instead of enduring the frustrating ones. When most of your interactions with your child are positive, it will foster more of the same. This will build a reliable foundation.
Once this foundation is in place, you can branch out from there and try fresh approaches. Keep exploring and find what works. Before you know it, you will have a set of daily routines and expectations in place that remain consistent. You will find it’s easier to maintain than to endure constant frustration. By following the above steps, you will enjoy the benefits of effective parenting and say goodbye to the days of endless struggle. Savor the payoff of your hard work. You’ve earned it.
Hi – I’m Alina and I am a soon to be mom going through the journey of becoming a parent. I am a writer at heart and I love sharing about pregnancy tips and other busy mom hacks.