Positive Parenting Tips: How to Show Kids They Matter
For whatever reason, kids can often feel as though they are the odd one out - that no one understands them. You know full well that your kids matter. Show them just how much with some positive parenting. Most parents do care and want their kids to know that, but some just aren't sure how to put feelings into action.
Give them choices. Although you may want everything to go a certain way, kids should be a part of family decisions, too. Sometimes - maybe many times - not everyone is going to agree on things. Let the kids decide what to do whenever possible. This shows them their thoughts matter to you. When kids know they matter, they may be more inclined to respect your wishes for decisions you must make.
Respect their opinions. Even when their opinions differ from yours - and they will sometimes - respect what your kids think. Things don't always have to go their way. But let them be individuals. Sooner or later your child is going to grow up. He needs to know his voice matters to be respected in the world outside your home. Even inside the home, your child's opinions and insight should count.
Give them freedom. There are limits to this for safety reasons, of course. But give your kids some freedom. They don't need to be right next to you at every moment. Trust them to do age-appropriate tasks without your assistance. It can be a parental instinct to be a mother hen or a father lion. That's part of being a parent, but if we don't let them do some things for themselves, they will never learn.
Let them teach you about their favorite things. You may be old and wise, but kids have so much to teach us adults. Listen. Let your child know that her interests are important to you. Sometimes what kids are interested in don't line up with those of their parents. Still, you need to be supportive of your child's individuality. Don't try to force your interests on him and don't attempt to keep him from his unless they are harmful in nature.
Show affection even when they misbehave. Even when kids misbehave, they still deserve your love. Discipline must take place. But that doesn't mean a hug isn't in order. In fact, that may be exactly what the doctor has ordered. Show your child his feelings matter to you by still showing affection, even in difficult times.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Positive Parenting: Why Doesn't My Teen Trust Me?
As a veteran parent, I often get asked questions about raising children. Teenage years seem to be the toughest for many parents. This is in part due to the fact that kids start becoming independent. One question people ask often is "Why doesn't my teen trust me?" Is the parent at fault when teenagers don't trust them? Is there a deeper reason or is this just a part of the transition into adulthood?
Does your teen have reason not to trust you? Take a look at how you interact with your teen. Do you break promises to him? Do you do more talking than listening? Perhaps your teen is afraid you will want him to do things just like you and his beliefs differ from yours. Examine your relationship to see what you can do to build upon trust. It is not always the parent's fault when this happens. There also may be a simpler explanation. But don't automatically assume the problem can't lie with you.
Your teen may simply be looking for a friend, not a parent. Let her trust in her friends rather than you when she needs to. It is not necessary for her to tell you everything about her life. While it is hard to realize that our children are growing up, we need to give them their own space. Just because she isn't trusting in you, does not mean you are a bad parent. She may simply need a close friend to lean on. This is perfectly healthy and normal.
Listen, but don't talk. Sometimes a teen just wants to vent. Don't analyze the situation. Just sit there and hear what she has to say. It can be difficult to listen without trying to solve the problem. But be confident in your parenting skills. Ask questions instead of providing solutions. Your teen can and should think for himself. This not only helps him learn to trust you, but also teaches invaluable problem-solving skills. You can offer advice later. But when your teen is opening up, it is best to be minimal with your words and let her express her concerns.
Discuss issues you faced as a teen. This is one of the most important things you can do for your child. While you may not think so, teens do listen to their parents. They may protest and say things like "It was different when you were a kid, Mom" or "You don't understand!" But trust me, they hear you. When difficult situations arise, they will think back to many of the things you have discussed over the years. Remember those days when your parents gave you advice? You may not have been too happy to hear it. But chances are, you have applied some or all of it over the years. Give your teen the chance to make her own decisions and learn from doing, just like you did.
Keep a parent to child journal. A journal where you each write notes to each other can help bring you closer together. When your teen is frustrated, it may be easier to write things out on paper than tell you to your face. You can write back after reading each note written to you. That way, your teen can read the responses when she is more comfortable. The journal can be used both for fun and lighthearted discussions, as well as more serious ones.
Some trust issues may be cause for deeper concern, such as bullying, mental health issues, and more. This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions. Always seek appropriately licensed health care specialists for advice specific to your child.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Tired of your kids not listening to you? Are you expecting too much of them? As a seasoned parent, I know how frustrating it can be when kids just don't want to listen. Perhaps you are treating them like property rather than team members. Kids are more likely to listen when they feel they are a part of something. Always remember your kids are team members, not property.
Be the boss without being condescending. Just because you are in charge does not mean you should take advantage of this position. Yes, children should be taught to listen to their parents and respect their elders. But there is a big difference between expecting good behavior and demanding perfection. There is no need to make children feel scared or unworthy to get them to behave. In fact, doing so is likely to create the opposite effect you are looking for.
Kids are people, not robots. They are living, breathing beings with their own thoughts and opinions. While it may not be what you'd like, children will speak their minds and should be allowed to. This doesn't mean they should run amok. But they also should have a say in some things. They are not robots who can just be ordered to do something and it's done. There is a learning and growing process and there will be bumps along the way. The goal of a parent is not to create a robot, but someone who knows how to make wise choices.
Listen to your kid's choices. They might have a good point you didn't think of. Just because your child does not agree with you does not mean he is wrong. Listen to what he has to say. Perhaps he has a valid point. Speaking one's mind is not the same thing as misbehaving. It doesn't mean he wants to go against you. It just means he wants you to listen to his viewpoint.
Be understanding, even if you don't choose their option every time. Whether your child's view is one you agree with or not, just listen. If you never hear him out, he will think you don't care what his thoughts are and he will have a valid point. Understand and respect your child's opinions. Being understanding does not always mean being in agreement. But it does mean considering more options than your original one. There are times you will need to form a compromise.
Your goal is not to create your clone. It is to teach your child to be a productive member of society in their own unique way. A good parent/child relationship is one where both parties are working together as a team. Remember that your child is not property. You have responsibility to raise him, but ultimately each person is in charge of himself.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Babysitting is a fee many parents will be faced with, but how high is too high? Are nannies, childcare facilities, and babysitters charging too much these days? To answer that question, I looked into my own personal experience, not only as a mother, but as an experienced nanny. Here are the conclusions I came to and why. Some may agree and some may not.
Children are a parent's responsibility - However, sometimes parents have other responsibilities that must be taken care of, such as employment, that do not allow for our children to be in our presence. Sometimes parents just want to have fun without the kids. Whatever the case may be, responsibility of the children needs to be delegated to someone else (the nanny, babysitter, or childcare or daycare facility) for a period of time that a parent will not be present.
You get what you pay for - A parent knows how hard it is to care for children, so why should we expect someone to want to care for our children in the proper manner, without compensating that person to do so? Good childcare often comes with a price. Ever heard the old saying "You get what you pay for"? It applies very well to the service you should expect from your babysitter or nanny. babysitting fees might be high, compared to what you’d like to pay. But there’s generally a reason for that.
But that nanny is cheaper! - If you hire two nannies to watch four kids on two separate days for the same number of hours and pay one of them two dollars per hour and the other eleven dollars per hour, which one do you think is going to work the hardest and want to come back? Of course, it would most likely be the one who got paid eleven dollars per hour. This is not always going to be the case, as some people will be a good nurturer and hard worker regardless. But it is definitely something to consider. Someone who is only being paid two dollars per hour to watch four children might watch the children well, but do you think that person will want to go the extra mile? Probably not. They might even just plop the children in front of Disney Channel the entire time because the money is not worth the effort of organizing activities, cleaning up messes, and doing other things.
You asked for this, the care provider is doing a difficult job - Aside from that, remember that caring for children is hard work. Any parent knows that. We may act like it's easy in front of family and friends, but in all reality, it is the hardest job in the world. You have to constantly make sure everything is clean and neat, while at the same time making sure that everyone is fed, changed (or uses the potty), and happy. You have to find time to play with, and possibly teach, the children while still keeping things in order and tending to the occasional bump, fall, pants wetting, tantrum, or more. While it is fun and rewarding, it is still hard. This aspect should not be forgotten, in regards to paying your sitter.
Your children deserve quality over risky business - Furthermore, these are your children. They deserve quality care, which is sometimes not given when the pay is too low. Children are not capable of caring for themselves, thus the reason for the nanny. Most parents care deeply for their children, so why would a parent put their child's life at risk just to save a buck? Yes, I said their life, because if a sitter is charging a lower rate, that sitter may not have any first aid training, which is vital when caring for children.
Rates will vary depending on the area you live in, so use your best judgment to decide what's fair. Just remember not to short your nanny because she might just fall short on caring for your children properly.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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About the Book:
The Upstream Parenting method will help you learn how to connect with your children, raise them to be independent thinkers, and how to gently guide them to succeed on their self-chosen path. Upstream Parenting is a proven child and growth-focused method that has been put to use with all six of my children, as well as with countless kids I've nannied over the years.
What is Upstream Parenting?
The Upstream Parenting journal contains articles full of tips based on the parenting method invented and made popular
by Lyn Lomasi.
You may know of her original method, first coined "Positive Parenting". It has since followed the tides of life into its new moniker of Upstream Parenting.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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