Children learn more from what you are than what you teach. W.E.B. DuBois
A parent has the responsibility for good upbringing of their children. The parenting style to a large extent influences the future of a child, shapes his/her behavior and determines how well prepared the child is to realize his/her full potential and become the persons and adults they are meant to be.
Loving your child unconditionally
Meet the specific needs of your child these include physical needs and emotional needs for love, warmth and care. When you fail to provide these basic needs you are neglecting your child. Love your child unconditionally but you do not have to say ‘yes’ to everything he/she demands sometimes you cannot afford it and sometimes you should not. Explain to the child when you cannot.
Listen to and notice your child. Give each one of your children attention. Let your children know through your actions that everyone of them is important to you and you would need to check on each one of them. This will stem sibling rivalry. This will help them love themselves and know how lucky they are to have one another.
Being a role model for your child
Be an example of the kind of person you want your child to be. Model good values to your child in your speech, behaviour and actions. Never fight before your child. Do not argue or fight with your spouse in the presence of your child. If you do, settle it quickly and make up. Let your child learn that conflict is inevitable but how you manage it is crucial.
Model courtesy, good behaviour and forgiveness.This will help you raise a problem solver. Treat others well. Do what is right. Teach them kindness.
Establish routines and structure. Teach your children to cook meals. Teach them to do household chores early and create fun doing this. Teach your children values. Create your own set of family values and paste it where everyone can see it.
Teaching your child values
According to studies it is believed that a child’s personality is developed before age six. Teach values early. Set good examples for your child. Teach your child moral values that will help shape his/her life and future. Values of honesty and integrity, respect, kindness, hardwork, accountability and determination. Teach your child sex education to help him/her imbibe the virtues of emotional responsibilities and chastity.
Bring up your child be the best of him or herself. Raise each child to be well rounded and a good person. Imbue to your child the moral principles and standards that mould him to choose the right thing to do.
Teach your child to behave. Set limits. Have clear and consistent rules your child should follow. Discuss problems calmly and firmly. Let your child know what is expected of him or her. What will not be tolerated and what will be appreciated.
Set boundaries or limits with positive or negative consequences. Be consistent about this to get it established. Do not yell at your child. Do not rebuke your child sharply, criticize or put him/her down. Listen to his explanation before disciplining. Learn to manage your emotions. Do not take your problems out on the child. Do not allow violent acts or hurtful words. Don’t beat your child in anger. Do not beat your child in public.
Do not exert power or control over your child. Never be overbearing but use your parental authority. Know when to give your child choices, how to support him or her in making decisions and behaving appropriately. Provide guidance but respect your child’s feelings and choices.
As you discipline and set boundaries affirm your child, appreciate his or her uniqueness and peculiarities and fulfil your responsibilities to your child.
Connecting with each child
Spend quality time with your child. Connect with each child to correct and train the child. Let your child talk about how his day was and take time to listen. Acknowledge and appreciate each child’s uniqueness. Encourage your child to talk to you about everything. Let him know he can talk to you about anything that you will listen attentively, calmly, counsel, rebuke with love and understanding, guide and direct.
Learn to effectively communicate with your child. Listen attentively to your child. Do not presume anything let him or her feel heard and understood by you. Make use of positive communication with your spouse and others this will help your child imbibe good social skills and relate well with you and others.
Being there for your child
Be there for your child. Show interest and participate in activities that are meaningful to him or her. Get to know your child’s friends. Honour school invitations, know the teachers. Be his her number one fan.
When a complaint is made concerning your child listen to his her side before responding. When your child makes a wrong choice disapprove of the misbehavior and help your child handle such situation differently in future.
Expressing love for your child
Have dinner together. Use it to catch up on the day’s happenings. Make it positive and happy. Allow your child express himself herself, his her feelings and needs. Children these days are facing tremendous challenges due to advancement in technology, social media and all, they are bombarded with all sorts of negative media. Guide your child, build his her self-esteem through communicating your love to him or her.
Play with your child. Show positive physical contact, touch, hug, express your affection for your child. Know where your child is and who he or she is with at all times.
Behahiour problems in Adolescents
Managing problem behaviour. When your child exhibits challenging behaviour or when he/she has made wrong choices, communicate with your child clearly and calmly. Focus on the problem using effective and assertive communication.
Listen attentively to understand. Ask questions to make him express his feelings, needs, concerns and get to the root of the problem. If appropriate give the child a chance to help solve the problem.
Keep to boundaries. Don’t give in to bad behaviour. Make your child know your concern is for his/her safety and well-being now and in the future.
Look beyond the rebellious behaviour to the causes behind it. Evaluate the impact of your lifestyle and parenting style in the life of your child.
Pay attention to your own habits and approach to parenting in terms of discipline, guidance and meeting the unique needs of the child. Model healthy conflict resolution offer sincere apology and seek forgiveness for genuine shortcomings.
Do not apportion blame but decide on what should be done from now on in your relationship with your child. Do not try to make up for past mistakes by becoming overly permissive but set out in a new direction with the child.
When faced with a difficult or stressful relationship or behaviour you cannot handle on your own seek the help of a mediator, counsellor or child psychologist.
Teaching your child to love God
Help your children know God. Raise them God’s way. Help them develop personal relationships with God. Teach them to pray. Be a praying parent. Pray for your children. Learn to take everything to God in prayer.