Helping shape your children’s behaviour and assisting them to be the best version of themselves, is a key part of being a parent. It can be difficult as well as rewarding. Here is some things to consider:
- Create a secure and loving home environment with clear boundaries. Children feel secure when they know who is in charge and who is boss, and it can never be them!
- Focus on things that your child is good at – always promote a positive self-image. Children begin to build their self-image by seeing themselves reflected in the mirror of adults’ reactions
- Listen to your child’s thoughts and feelings. Take the time out of your busy schedule to stop and really listen.
- Assist your child with age-appropriate chores or tasks instead of doing them for them.
- Embrace mistakes (yours and theirs) and encourage learning from them.
- Lead by example – behave how you want your child to behave.
- Follow through will rules and consequences. It doesn’t help to constantly make threats without following through with appropriate consequences.
- Stick to routine as much as possible. Often routines are unpredictable with little children around. It’s important to lay down rules for your children so that you don’t have to keep reminding them of what they must do during the day.
- Although not always easy – avoid losing your temper – Losing your temper will make you feel bad and send the wrong message. It’s fine if an 8-year-old — “who’s old enough to know better” — sees that her behaviour has made you cross, but it’s key that you stay in charge of your anger. Children take it for granted that anything their parents do is okay. So, if you yell, throw things, or grab your child, you’re teaching her all the wrong ways to behave.
- Be realistic about the behaviour you expect. Expectations of your child must be age appropriate.
- Always make time for play. Young children learn best through play. Through play, children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments. Have fun together as a family, take time out and play.
By Lara Hutton, Grade 00 Teacher at Trinityhouse Pre-Primary Randpark Ridge