A parent has responsibility for good upbringing of his or her child. Your parenting style to a large extent influences the future of your child, shapes his or her behavior, impacts his/her development, determines how well prepared the child is to realize his or her full potential and become the person or adult he or she is meant to be.
Good communication is key in raising your child. Talk to your child. Let your child understand you. There are times you would need to be firm. Learn to use effective communication this will prevent resort to caning for training which can result in physical abuse of a child.
Help your child communicate freely with you. Learn to communicate and listen to your child. Don’t presume anything, communicate with him or her. Make use of positive and effective communication in your interactions with your spouse and others this will help your child pick up good social skills and relate better with you and others.
Let your child talk about how his or her day went. Help your child express himself or herself and take time to listen. Model positive communication. This will help you raise a problem solver and not a confrontational child.
Meet Basic Needs
Meet your child’s specific needs these include physical needs and emotional needs for love and care. When you fail to provide these basic needs you are neglecting the child. Love your child unconditionally but you do not have to say ‘yes’ to everything your child demands sometimes you can’t afford it and sometimes you should not. Explain to the child when you can’t.
It is not enough to teach your child good values your life must demonstrate what you teach. Training is best done by example children learn better and faster by copying what they see around them. A parent is a child’s model. What you say and do in the presence of your child matters. Be a good example in the use of language, dress, conduct and attitude. Teach your children the values of honesty, respect, determination, love, consideration, patience, perseverance and justice.
Create a family routine and structure. Cook meals. Teach your children to do household chores early and create fun doing this.
Connect with each child
Love each of your children unconditionally. Understand each child as a unique individual. Communicate, listen to, notice your child. Help him/her develop his/her unique talents and gifts.
Give individual child attention even if it is for a few minutes a day. Let your children know through your actions 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 one another. Let them know how lucky they are to have one another.
Be there for your child. Show interest and participate in activities that are meaningful to him/her. Be a friend to their friends. Honour school invitations, know the teachers. Be his/her number one fan.
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 feelings and needs. Children these days are facing tremendous challenges due to advancement in technology they are bombarded with all sorts of negative media. Guide your child and build his/her self-esteem through communicating your love to him/her.
Play together. Do not be neglectful show positive physical contact touch, hug, smile and play with your child. Express your affection to your child. Know where your child is and who he/she is with at all times.
Discipline your child in love. Correct in love. Discipline with kindness and firmness. Let your child know what is expected of him/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.
Communicate clear expectations of how to behave concerning the use of language, honesty, attendance at school, drinking, sexual conduct, sharing in household chores, participation in after-school activities, etc.
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 next time.
Do not exert power over your child, use your parental authority reasonably. Treat your child with respect. Know when to give your child choices, how to support him/her in making decisions and behaving appropriately. The more controlling a parent is the more rebellious teenagers are likely to become. Provide guidance but respect your child’s feelings and choices.
As you discipline and set boundaries affirm your child, appreciate his/her uniqueness and peculiarities and fulfill your responsibilities to him/her.
Never lose control.
Do not yell. Do not rebuke him or her sharply, criticize or put him/her down. Listen to his/her explanations before disciplining him/her.
Do not take your problems out on your child. Keep your anger from erupting into violent acts and hurtful words. Do not beat your child or any child in anger. Do not beat him/her in public.
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.
Never fight before your child. Do not fight or quarrel with your spouse in the presence of your children. If you do, settle it quickly and make up. Let your children learn that conflict is inevitable but how you manage it is important.
Handle conflicts effectively
When your child exhibits challenging behaviors or when he has made wrong choices, evaluate the impact of your parenting style in your child’s life.
Look beyond the rebellious behavior to the causes behind it. Ascertain to what extent you are responsible for what is happening as well as other influences at work.
Communicate with your child. Ask questions to make him express his feelings, needs and concerns. Pay attention to your own attitudes, habits and approach to parenting in terms of discipline, love, guidance and meeting the basic needs of the child. 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 your child.
When faced with a difficult or stressful relationship with your child you can seek for help from a counsellor or child psychologist.
Help your children know God
Raise your children God’s way. Help them build a relationship with God. Inspire them to love God’s Word. Be a praying parent. Pray for your children.