child development, family time, momblog, Relationships

Actively Listening to your Child

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Communicating with our children can be a difficult task at times.  We feel like they’re not listening to us; they feel like we’re not listening to them.  Good listening and communications skills are essential to successful parenting.  Your child’s feelings, views and opinions have worth, and you should make sure you take the time to sit down and listen openly and discuss them honestly.

It seems to be a natural tendency to react rather than to respond.  We pass judgment based on our own feelings and experiences.  However, responding means being receptive to our child’s feelings and emotions and allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of repercussion from us.  By reacting, we send our child the message that their feelings and opinions are invalid.  But by responding and asking questions about why the child feels that way, it opens a dialog that allows them to discuss their feelings further, and allows you a better understanding of where they’re coming from.  Responding also gives you an opportunity to work out a solution or a plan of action with your child that perhaps they would not have come up with on their own.  Your child will also appreciate the fact that maybe you do indeed understand how they feel.

It’s crucial in these situations to give your child your full and undivided attention.  Put down your newspaper, stop doing dishes, or turn off the television so you can hear the full situation and make eye contact with your child.   Keep calm, be inquisitive, and afterwards offer potential solutions to the problem.

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Don’t discourage your child from feeling upset, angry, or frustrated.  Our initial instinct may be to say or do something to steer our child away from it, but this can be a detrimental tactic.  Again, listen to your child, ask questions to find out why they are feeling that way, and then offer potential solutions to alleviate the bad feeling.

Just as we do, our children have feelings and experience difficult situations.  By actively listening and participating with our child as they talk about it, it demonstrates to them that we do care, we want to help and we have similar experiences of our own that they can draw from.  Remember, respond – don’t react.


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child development, family conflict, family time, momblog, Relationships

6 Best Tips to Prevent Shouting at Your Kids

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Parenting is definitely overwhelming. Although it is generally happy and fulfilling, it can also be toxic and exhausting at times. When things are not going well such as when our kids fail to listen to us or when they behave in a nasty way, we can have the tendency to yell at them. Is it normal? Or is it even acceptable?

Most moms and dads regret it when they suddenly and unintentionally shout at their children. But no matter how much they want to stop themselves from doing such, they admit that yelling seems to be a natural response.

I understand this sentiment. There are just times when our kids could easily bring out the unexpected beasts in our supposedly soft and loving hearts. But as much as possible, we don’t want this to happen. We want to continually be our children’s protector, nurturer, and safe refuge.

Not shouting at our kids is essential in making them grow mentally healthy and emotionally secure. Studies even point to the ineffectiveness of shouting in disciplining our children. When we yell at them, we do not address the main cause of misbehavior since they won’t usually be receptive to explanations during moments of distress.

To help you prevent from shouting at your children, I have compiled six of the best ways that you can use to make sure that you enforce positive discipline:

1. Identify what triggers your shouting.

In order to address the problem which is yelling, then we also need to know the cause of your response. Look back at the times that you have yelled at your children. Was it because of certain misconduct? Then go the extra mile in order to prevent such misbehavior. If your children usually mess up during meal times, why don’t you start teaching them table manners according to their age? If you have a toddler, then you could set up paper floor mats that could catch the dirt as she feeds. Do whatever it takes to prevent your triggers from arising.

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2. Make your commands doable and easily understandable.

Your children surely have not fully matured yet, right? Then you must work on the instructions that you give them. If you want them to clean the living room, then be specific with your orders and give them one at a time. Ask them to pick up the scattered toys first, then only after that shall you order them to put the toys in the ottoman or do other things related to it. Do not bombard them with a lot of orders because they will surely fail you at some point in time and that could just cause your emotions to rise again.

3. Offer warning signs to generate teamwork.

Be able to communicate to your children that you might be at the brink of a disastrous response and that you don’t want to reach that point. It would be nice if you could directly tell them that you are already losing patience and that you may now be triggered to shout. Such warning signs, when communicated peacefully, can generate teamwork because children would most likely rather prevent you from losing your cool than do otherwise.

4. Set realistic standards.

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Your kid is not an adult; thus, you cannot expect her to be behaving like an ultra-disciplined adult who has been trained to follow all orders without room for mistakes. If you have a toddler, then don’t expect her to be eating mess-free. If you have an infant who keeps on crying at night, then don’t get mad at her for keeping you awake. After all, our expectations usually set the foundations for our behavioral responses.

5. Reflect on your day and your life.

Have you had a bad day? Has it been months since you last had your own time for yourself at the salon or a coffee shop? Have you been feeling anxious because of career disappointments? It is important to examine yourself most especially when you have been delivering not-so-acceptable behavior towards the people around you. Be able to know how to address your own frustrations so that you can also live peacefully with your children.

6. Practice. Practice. Practice.

innocenceYes, it can be hard. Even when you become intentional in changing yourself, your child, and the circumstances, you could still suddenly yell at your child when certain situations happen. If ever you fail, do not ever think that it is the end of your journey to positive discipline. It could take time and a great deal of effort. Keep on practicing. But whenever you fail, do not forget to make a personal apology to your child about what you have done. Let her know that you are capable of asking forgiveness and that you need her help to remove the yelling tendencies.


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child development, Child's Education, Relationships

THE SACRED “O” – OBEDIENCE AMONG YOUNG CHILDREN

How is your parenting so far? Can you easily let your child pick up the toys that are scattered on the floor? Or are you having difficulty in terms of teaching her the concept and practice of obedience?

We all know that parenting is a challenge. If you think that the most difficult stage is when your child is still a newborn baby, then you could be underestimating the gravity by which your naughty toddler or your extremely curious child can pull your own energy down to the lowest.

To make parenting a lot easier, we need to develop the character of our children. After all, their character will also be a big factor in determining their future success.

Here are helpful tips to teach obedience to your young children:

1. Model Obedience

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The best way by which your children can learn obedience or any other values in life is through observation. It is almost impossible to teach your children something that you cannot do yourself.

So how do you model obedience? Are you supposed to obey your children like they are your bosses? Definitely not!

Modeling obedience can be done by following the laws of the land such as traffic regulations. It can also be seen when you strictly follow your house rules such as no television watching at certain hours of the day, no wearing of shoes on the carpet, and no junk food. Whatever it is that you want your children to do, you must also be willing to show them the act.

2. Get on a Talk

If you want your children to brush their teeth, you cannot simply order them to do so. You need to explain the importance of brushing their teeth.

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Get on a talk. Make sure that they fully understand the need to do a certain activity. Explaining things to them will make them voluntarily do something without questioning the purpose behind their obedience.

3. Be Firm & Consistent

Children draw on patterns. Their behavior usually develops according to the patterns that they observe at home, in their neighborhood, or in their preschool.

You will need to be consistent in your rules so as to develop predictability among your children. You cannot restrict them from shouting at you when you allow them to talk horrendously with other people.

You also need to be firm with your decisions. Once you have proclaimed that junk food must not be eaten during meal times, then do not be swayed by their tantrums, sad faces, or constant pleas. Sudden change s in your decisions can give them the impression that it is okay not to obey because you will change your mind anyway.

4. Offer Consequences

TP09_StepsToddler11Consequences in obedience training are not only about giving punishments but also about offering rewards. It is important to plan your punishments and rewards. You cannot be random about these in order to make sure that your emotions won’t get in the way of proper discipline.

Rewards can be in many forms. It can be as simple as outdoor play, a cone of ice cream, or an hour of swimming. On the other hand, consequences can also come in various forms such as limited playtime or keeping away of their favorite toys. Just make sure that the punishment isn’t harsh or detrimental to their development.

5. Examine Yourself

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Look at yourself as a parent. Are you imposing standards that are almost impossible for the age of your children? Do you get annoyed by their normal behavior and misbehaviors? As a parent, you need to have a heart and mind that are full of understanding, patience, and love in order to help your children grow to their fullest. Have some room for mistakes. Be gentle with your kids because it is through lovely and positive discipline that you can help them embrace obedience as part of their character.

 


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