Parenting a child is one of the most important responsibilities any of us ever undertake. Yet, it does not require any special training or prior experience. It has been said that parents make most of their mistakes with their first child, overcompensate with the second child, and finally get it right with the third child. In this day and age, most families have 2 children or less, so there is no time to lose!
Parents are generally the most important people in a child’s life. Unfortunately, parents often underestimate their own influence in raising children and teenagers. Parenting any child is a challenge and requires solid skills. Parenting children with brain-based issues requires “superior” parenting skills if you are going to be really helpful to them.
Parenting is a skill we learn mostly from our parents. If you do it right, your children are more likely to do a good job with their own children, and on and on. Do it wrong and generational problems are likely to follow.
Here are 5 critical steps in the parenting process which will lead to more peace and harmony in your home:
1. Establish Total Focus As A Parent
The most important step in the parenting process is goal setting. It is critical as parents to know clearly what you are trying to accomplish. With clear goals you act in a way that is proactive and positive, consistent with your goals. Without a clear vision of what you want for yourself or your child, you become reactive, ineffective, and easily frustrated. And you need to look at these goals every day.
2. Teach Your Children To Set Goals
In order for children to be successful in the world, it is critical to teach them to set their own goals. As with adults, when children know what they want, they are more likely to match their behavior to get it. Being goal-directed helps keep our behavior on track. Teaching children to make short and long-term goals and focus on them daily will make a huge difference.
3. Focus On Stabilizing Any Of Your Own Psychological Or Neurological Problems
As a parent, having an unrecognized, undiagnosed, untreated mental illness can be devastating to the emotional development of a child. If you are experiencing persistent symptoms, it is imperative to have an evaluation by a competent professional. In order to effectively parent any child, let alone one having difficulties, parents must look at their own attitudes, behavior, and mental health.
4. Think Clearly And Logically When Dealing With Your Child
Parenting requires clear thinking. It is especially important in raising difficult kids. When you have dealt with a difficult child year after year, your thoughts and expectations may become negative and you decrease your chances of being able to step back to take a realistic, calm look at situations that arise. Correcting your own negative thoughts will be very helpful with this. Doing this will not only help you with your ability to deal with your child in a more rational and effective way, it will also improve your mood and self-esteem.
5. Remember The Two Critical Ingredients For A Great Relationship
The essential ingredients for building positive relationships with children are:
Time: Studies indicate that parents spend less than 7 minutes a week talking with their children. It is not possible to have a good relationship on such little time. Children need actual, physical, quality time with their parents. Some parents complain that their children are too busy or are not interested in spending time with them. Force the issue with your kids and tell them that they are important to you. Try spending 20 minutes a day with your child doing something they like. During this time, avoid nagging or criticizing in any way and notice and point out positive behaviors.
Willingness To Listen: Good communication is essential to any relationship and absolutely essential to the parent-child relationship. In order to get your child to talk to you, you must first show that you are willing to accept and listen to what they have to say. You must also believe they have the capacity to solve many of their own problems if they are allowed to talk through them.