When it comes to handling our kids, most of us know we're amateurs. Parents are
somehow supposed to know just what to do with children on a daily basis. Here then
are some of the areas where most parents make mistakes, and how to correct them.
1. Inconsistency with rules.
If you don't follow through on your rules, children learn that you don't really
mean what you say. The old advice about consistency still holds true: Tell kids
what you want them to do, and then have them do it. Following through on rules sends
a caring message to kids.
2. Talking too much.
"Kids just don't listen." This common complaint by adults bring up the question:
How did kids acquire these poor listening skills? The truth is we tend to dominate
discussions with children. This also leads to lecturing, which no one, including
children or ourselves, wants to hear.
When you talk to kids after carefully listening, you are more aware and informed.
Then your words carry meaning and kids will naturally listen to you. So talk less
and listen more.
3. Words not matching your actions.
Too often children see us blaming, denying, and excusing instead of owning up to
mistakes. Children welcome it when you admit that you erred or don't know something,
acknowledging that you struggle, too. Like fresh air, your honesty comes as a relief
to kids. They are liberated, no longer dependent on the "all-knowing" adult. Children
then become freer to learn from their own mistakes and grow as well.
4. Not explaining personal boundaries.
Children need to learn to respect other people's bodies and possessions. Besides
helping control their impulses to touch things that don't belong to them, we can
educate them about other subjects that need to be approached with caution at times.
These areas include talking about other people's age, income, and weight.
5. Not spending enough quality time with your kids.
Realize that you are doing the best you can with the demands of your daily schedule.
But maybe you could do even better in the future. Find ways to have fun with your
children. Ask them what they want to do. Remember to listen to them. Discover activities
that are fun for everyone, so you also receive enjoyment from the experience.
Go to the park, play a game, watch a show. Enjoy the silent times, too, when you
are just together. Set a goal to spend time doing things and being with your child.
It will benefit everyone.
Set a Goal of Improvement
Now that you have read the above list, identify the mistakes that you want to correct.
Deal with one area at a time. Set a goal to improve something this week.Know that
your future will not be free of errors, but you will be able to experience more
enjoyment with your children.
Source: Getting Thru To Kids: Problem Solving with Children Ages 6-18, by Philip
Mountrose, available from Holistic Communications, (800) 431-1579; ww.gettingthru.org.
Courtesy: It Starts On The Frontline
/May 2001, published
by the National School Public
Relations Association, 15948 Derwood Road, Rockville, MD 20855; (301) 519-0496;www.nspra.org.