You can became a parent in an instant, but it takes a lifetime to learn to be a good parents. After all children do not arrive with an instruction manual and each child is unique. Here are a few helpful parenting techniques to get you started on your lifetime journey of parenting.
1. Use Praise
It is important for parents to understand that giving attention to undesired behaviors tends to increase those behaviors, while focusing attention on desired behaviors increases those behaviors. Praise should not be given indiscriminately. Parents should provide their child with specific feedback that tells the child exactly what she did that the parents liked. Praise becomes more effective when it is reinforced with an encouraging touch and/or warm smile.
2. Ignoring Minor Misbehaviors
Parents should learn to ignore minor problematic behaviors that aren’t dangerous, such as whining about a sibling not being fair or a toddler throwing food on the floor.
3. Understanding Child Development
It is important for parents to learn about developmental stages and the developmental capacities that are characteristic of each stage. Parents who are aware of what their child is developmentally capable of feeling, understanding, and doing at different ages are able to be more realistic about what behaviors to expect from their child.
Parents should always keep in mind that it is important to remain calm when administering time-outs. Once the time-out is completed the child should be praised for her compliance. It is important to remember that time-outs are not to be used for punishment; instead they are intended to be a time away from all reinforcement.
5. Preventing Misbehavior
It is important for parents to plan and structure activities to help prevent their child’s challenging behaviors. Find ways to help your child stay engaged, busy, and active when they might otherwise become restless, bored or disruptive. In addition, help your child learn how to cope effectively with the demands of the situation.
6. Make Time
Often the demands of day-to-day life leaves very little time, if any for parents to spend quality one-on-one time with their children. It is recommended that parents spend at least one hour a week one-on-one with their child doing nothing but paying attention to and expressing positive thoughts and feelings towards him or her. The most effective time for a parent to create those special moments is when the child is engaging in an activity that he or she can be praised for, like coloring a picture, building a model, shooting baskets. It is important to remember that during this time, the focus is on being with the child and not providing corrective feedback, teaching, or alternative perspectives.