When your child listens to you, you have less stress. A less stressed parent means a happier parent, which equals a happy child. I’m pleased to present today’s guest blogger, Aradhana, who shares with us a few *positive* ways in which you can help your child obey your rules.
Of all the beautiful things that parenthood is, it is also extremely challenging. Raising a child is no easy job. Right from posing additional financial responsibilities to requiring high degrees of patience and perseverance, parenting can get quite demanding. You may be trying your best to inculcate good values and habits in your child, but there could be many instances that your kid may defy you and your ideology.
Little kids don’t have an evolved sense of judgment and understanding about telling the right from the wrong. They may tend to display traits of rebellion and disobedience if things don’t always go as per their understanding of the ideal scenario. As habits formed during childhood go a long way in shaping an individual’s personality in the future, it is important that you work towards correcting your child’s defiant streak from early stages itself.
Here are six easy ways to get your child to obey the rules you set for him:
- Set Prior Expectations – The best way to avoid unforeseen outbursts of emotions in your child is to prepare him about the behavioral traits that you expect from him in various situations, much in prior. This is especially necessary for social situations like your child’s school, playground or even the supermarket. You should additionally stick to a routine in terms of your child’s daily activities like eating, sleeping, playing, etc. The more accustomed your child is to a set routine, the less resistant he will be to follow it and vice-versa. For example, if your child usually watches TV until late at night, he will surely voice his displeasure the day you ask him to go to bed early.
- Don’t Be Bossy, Be A Friend – By all means, avoid nagging your child. Remember, your kid is too young to understand that your sermons are for a good cause. You need to make him believe that you are on his side and don’t want any different from what he does. Make sure that your way of expressing your concern is more friendly than bossy. Instead of saying “No, you can’t watch TV till you finish your food”, say, “You can surely watch TV, but please finish your food first.” While making a timetable for your child, take his advice on the activities that form a part of his daily schedule, whether it is an hour of coloring, video gaming or playing a game of soccer.
- Be Appreciative – Often parents reprimand their child for unacceptable behavior but forget to appreciate him for good conduct. It is important that you encourage positive traits in your kid’s behavior by appreciating him when he displays them. These small words of encouragement can do wonders to boost your child’s morale and help reinforce positive actions. Never mind how small the action it is; if it is a good deed, it is always worthy of praise. Depending on the scenario, use statements like – “I am really proud of you for giving that kid at the park a turn on the swing” or “You behaved like a good boy at the party today”.
- Demonstrate Ideal Behavior – You are your child’s idol; his inspiration. During his formative years especially, you are one of the greatest sources of learning for your child. The way he sees you behave will form his understanding of acceptable and ideal behavior. It is, therefore, important that you are on your best behavior in front of your child. Avoid saying or doing anything that can impact his behavior, negatively. For example, if you and your partner disagree on something, avoid creating a scene in front of your child by indulging in a verbal battle. Try to solve the issue at hand as calmly as possible.
- Avoid Giving In To Unreasonable Remands – You may think that by giving in to your child’s disobedience, you are avoiding an argument from stretching too far. Little do you realize that you may be indeed encouraging negative behavior in your kid. Your child can get used to this pattern to a point that nothing you say will matter to him, and he will begin to believe that being stubborn is the key to getting his way with things. Make sure you stick to your stand when it comes to rules and regulations, but avoid getting aggressive.
- Offer Choices – As children can tend to get overpowered by rules and regulations, you should give them the freedom of making certain choices. For example, if your child is not too fond of milk, give him the choice of the flavors that you can add to his milk. Similarly, if your kid insists that you buy him a video game, ask him to pick between the pair of shoes he wanted or the video game.
The key to successful parenting is striking the right balance between disciple and compassion. Since nobody’s born with the superpowers of being super-parents, make sure you don’t lose hope when things don’t go your way. What is important is to keep up your spirit and learn from your mistakes. Good luck on your journey!
About the Author
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like natural news, elephant journal, thehealthsite, naturally savvy, curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.