PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

Parenting Abilities with Kids

7 mejores para bebés presents the third part of this interesting article about some of the several PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV, that all parents must apply to the complete and healthy development of their children.

If you want to read the previous parts, before continue with this second one make click at Parenting Skills for Infants I, Parenting Skills for Infants II, and Parenting Skills for Infants III.

Teach Children to Respect by Treating them with Respect

In order to teach or child to treat others with respect and dignity, they must also be treated that way.  And childhood is a time for children to learn about the world, including how to get along with others. Parents play an essential role in teaching children how to form healthy relationships and grow into socially adept individuals.  This social competence allows children to be cooperative and generous, express their feelings, and empathize with others.

The most effective way to teach children this lesson is by modeling the behavior you want to encourage.  Every time you say «please» or lend a helping hand, you are showing your children how you would like them to act. Ask for your children’s help with daily tasks, and accept their offers of help. Praise your child’s good behavior and traits often, and help them realize how good it feels inside to do a good deed or be generous with another person.

Socially competent children are ones who have a strong sense of self worth and importance.  When a child feels good about themselves, it’s easy for them to treat others in a positive, helpful manner.

Encourage acts of generosity through sharing and cooperation.  Let your child know when it’s someone else’s turn with a toy or on the swing and praise their ability to recognize this on their own.  Thank them for being polite and respectful and for sharing and cooperating.

Children know from their own experiences that words can hurt, and that name-calling, teasing, or excluding others affects how people feel. Children want to be treated fairly, but they don’t always understand how to treat others the same way. One way to teach fairness is to explain a rule to your child, pointing out that it applies to him as well as to others.

Really a daily and very important PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

Teach your Child to Give Respect and They’ll Gain Respect in Return

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect and the best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is.

Keep in mind the saying «Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.»

Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.

Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it’s unlikely they will show it anywhere else.

How can you show respect to your child?  If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize.  Don’t embarrass, insult or make fun of your child. Compliment them and let your child make choices and take responsibility. Listen to your child’s side of the story before making a decision on an issue or problem.  Be polite and use «please» and «thank you» when asking them to do things. Knock before entering your child’s room. Keep promises. Show your child that you mean what you say. And give your child your full attention.

And most important, teach your children that respect is earned. Make sure that you are leading by example and modeling respectful behavior. Be a law-abiding citizen. Show concern for your environment, animals and other people.  Openly and honestly discuss exampled of witnessed disrespect.

In addition, teach your child to respect themselves. Self-respect is one of the most important forms of respect. Once we respect ourselves, it is easier to respect others.

Help them set and achieve goals. Encourage honesty and teach them that people make mistakes, and that they are the best way to learn.

Most importantly, praise your child often for good deeds, behaviors or traits, and tell them you love them at least several times each day. You’re sure to raise a child capable of giving and gaining respect.

Respect as a very important PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

The Detrimental Effects of Verbal Abuse and How to Stop the Cycle

«Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.»

That’s just not true. Name-calling hurts — especially when the person doing it is a parent, a teacher, or a coach. Yelling and screaming might have been the way you were brought up and you might think it worked for you, so why wouldn’t it work for your kids? But did it?

Remember how it made you feel. You probably felt belittled, devalued, and insignificant. You certainly don’t want your own children to feel that way.   It may cause emotional trauma that can result in long-term hurt. Among other things, verbal abuse can undermine your child’s self-esteem, damage his ability to trust and form relationships, and chip away at his academic and social skills. Name-calling, swearing, insulting, threatening bodily harm, blaming or using sarcasm are all forms of verbal abuse.

What are the signs that a child is suffering from verbal abuse?  They may have a very negative self-image.  They may commit acts that are self-destructive, such as cutting, hitting or scratching themselves, as well as other reckless and dangerous activities.

They may exhibit physical aggression, be delinquent in school, or display interpersonal problems.  They may hit other children, frequently fight with classmates at school, or be cruel to animals.  They may also exhibit delays in their social, physical, academic or emotional development.

Recent research suggests that children who suffer from verbal abuse are highly likely to become victims of abuse later in life, become abusive themselves, or become depressed and self-destructive later in life

It’s normal for most parents at one time or another to feel frustrated and angry with their children.  They may lash out verbally in these instances and say things they later regret.  It’s when these instances become more and more frequent that there is cause for concern. 

If this describes you, it’s imperative that you seek professional help to learn more positive, meaningful and constructive forms of discipline, and for help in learning methods to control your anger.  Remember to give yourself a time out if you feel an outburst coming on.  Try to refrain from saying mean, sarcastic or belittling things to your child.  Remember, your child learns what he lives.  Don’t be a bad example and teach him bad behavior early on.

Remember that your child is a precious gift and should be treated with love, kindness, respect and tenderness.  If you exhibit these to your child on a daily basis, they will learn what they live and grow to do the same as adults.

Work hard on this PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

The Family that Eats Together Stays Healthy Together

Recent studies have shown that not only do children like to sit down at the dinner table and eat a meal with their parents, but they are more likely to eat a well-balanced, nutritious meal when they do.  But with the hectic lives we seem to lead these days, getting the family all together in the same place at the same time can be a difficult chore. Between work schedules, after-school activities, errands, and the like, it seems we have less and less time.   But with a few simple ideas and some planning, meal time can be an enjoyable and treasured family time.

Designate no less than one night per week to have a sit-down meal with your family.  Sunday nights are usually a good choice for this because you have more time to relax and the weekend chores have been completed. 

Involve your children in the meal planning and preparation.  This gives them a strong sense of self and the foundation for a lifetime of healthy meal planning and preparation. 

Make sure the television is off, and make it a rule that all phone calls go to voice mail or the answering machine during the meal.  Take this time to visit with one another and enjoy one another’s company.  This is a great time to reconnect and find out what events happened this week.  Take your time eating, and teach your children how to do the same in the process.  Eating slowly is a healthy habit.  Don’t jump up and start clearing dishes and putting things away until everyone is done eating and talking. 

On those days that you can’t sit down as a family, try to make a habit of sitting down and chatting with them while they are eating, instead of rushing around catching up on the chores.  This shows them you’re interested and that you care and want to be and involved and important part of their every day life. 

Family eating is an important PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

The Importance of a Regular Routine to your Child

Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure.  A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable. 

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table.

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day.  It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis.  Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day.  Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone. 

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool.  If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well.  Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

Healthy routines are really important PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

The Importance of Crystal-Clear Rules for your Child

The world is a far more scary and complicated place than it was when you were a child.  As a result, it’s imperative that you set adequate yet fair boundaries with your child.  It’s a very important role in your parenting responsibilities. Children must make difficult decisions each day, and if they don’t have clear, firm boundaries set, they may not always make the wisest choice. Limits teach children proper restraint in social and individual activities and provide children with necessary structure and security to assist in healthy development. Setting limits also provide children with guidance before they have an opportunity to get into trouble, thus making them more successful with everyday life. 

A child’s age and developmental level needs to be considered when setting limits. All children have a need for independence and individualization; however, they also need structure, security and parental involvement. It goes without saying that the needs of a 2-year old vary greatly than those of a teenager. A toddler has a strong desire to explore and investigate, but parameters need to be set to ensure their safety while doing so. Teenagers need to be able to be an individual and be independent, but with strong parental guidance and influence, are more likely to make smart choices in difficult situations.

Limits should be discussed and set prior to the situation. Though situations arise that weren’t planned on, daily situations should have set limits and expectations. A teenager who breaks curfew may have the privilege of going out with friends revoked until they learn respect for the rules.  A child who misbehaves while playing with a friend may need to be separated from the fun until they can learn to properly behave.

Children respond in a positive manner in an environment in which they know what to expect and what is excepted of them. A child will be more respectful towards rules and more willing to abide by them if the rules are clear and consistent.  Additionally, it’s crucial that once a limit is set that they caregiver stick to it.  A child is less likely to try and manipulate a caregiver into changing the limits when their experience has been that there’s no bending on the limits.   And remember, you are the one who sets the limits and lays down the law.  There’s no need to argue with your child.  Be firm and consistent and they are less likely to challenge the rules and will accept the consequences.

Limits are crucial as PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

The Keys to Effective Discipline

Disciplining a child is one of the most important, yet difficult, roles of being a parent.  Effective discipline teaches a child to be self-disciplined later in life.  It helps your child grow up to be happy and well-adjusted. Effective and positive discipline teaches and guides children, and helps them to feel safe, secure, and valued.  

Discipline should be based on a child’s age, development and temperament. A parent’s goals by disciplining their child is to protect them from danger, to help them learn self-control and self-discipline and to develop a sense of responsibility. 

Children should be respectful of their parent’s authority. If they’re disciplined harshly or unfairly, especially if it includes shouting or humiliating, will make it difficult if not impossible for a child to respect and trust their parent.

Parents must be consistent in their discipline. Discipline that’s not consistent is confusing to children, no matter how old they are. If parents are inconsistent in the way they discipline their children, children may find it hard to respect them. It can also indirectly encourage misbehaving and result in confusion and frustration for the child.

Discipline must also be fair.  Parents must make sure that the punishment fits the crime and doesn’t punish too severely or is too lax. The consequences of their actions should be related to their behavior.

In order to discourage bad behavior, give your child choices about what to do. He will appreciate the chance to make decisions. Make sure rules that protect the safety, health and well-being of your child are given top priority.  If your child is irritable, tired or upset, be understanding and try to help calm them. It’s important to keep in mind that bad behavior can sometimes be circumstantial. 

Encourage positive behavior in your child by spending quality time alone with your child each day. Give your child hugs, cuddles or a gentle pat on the back, and give praise when praise is due.  If your child is angry or sad, try to understand why.  Teach your child good behavior by setting a good example and behaving properly and appropriately yourself. 

The Positive Influence of Being Involved in your Child’s Education

It has been shown many times over in research studies that a parent who is involved in their child’s education has a positive impact. It’s reflected in improved grades and test scores, strong attendance, a higher rate of homework completion, higher graduation rates, improved attitudes and behaviors in the child, as well as the child being more likely to become involved in positive extra-curricular activities. Send out the message early in your child’s education that your home is an involved and active supporter of their learning.

Probably the most important element of a positive learning environment at home is structure. But what is too little or too much?  If we’re too lenient or expect too little, your child may become disorganized or unmotivated.  If we’re too rigid and strict, it can cause undue pressure or cause your child to feel unable to deliver on your expectations. 

So what’s the best way to meet in the middle and create a positive learning environment for your child at home? 

Help your child develop a work area where they can study and focus without being interrupted. Children usually do better when they have a private study area away from interruption. If your child prefers doing their work at the kitchen table, make sure other family members understand the kitchen is off-limits during study time.  Make sure your child has plenty of supplies and reference materials available and that the area has plenty of light.  Regardless of its location, ensure the area is quiet and that your child can study and work uninterrupted.

Agree on a regular time for studying. To help your child make homework a habit, schedule a set time each day for homework. Perhaps breaking study time up into smaller increments would work better for your child than one solid period. Work with your child to find out what works best for them. In addition, be sure your child has a sufficient break between the time they arrive home from school before they sit down to work in order to ‘decompress’ from their school day.

Help your child develop a method of keeping track of homework assignments. This can be a difficult chore for some students. Developing a successful way of keeping track of assignments then scratching them off as completed helps them develop a productive method for accomplishing tasks later in life.

Develop a positive line of communication with your child’s teacher.  Teachers are usually very willing and excited to work with an involved parent to help the child’s overall success in school.  Whether it’s notes sent back and forth in your child’s backpack or an e-mail correspondence, make sure your teacher knows your open for suggestions as how to better assist them in the homework and study process at home. 

Discipline is not always easy to deal with as a PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

The Truth about Lying

Honesty and dishonesty are learned in the home. Parents are often concerned when their child or adolescent lies.

Young children often make up stories and tell tall tales. This is normal activity because they enjoy hearing stories and making up stories for fun. These young children may blur the distinction between reality and fantasy.  This is probably more a result of an active imagination than an attempt to deliberately lie about something.

An older child or adolescent may tell a lie to be self-serving, such as denying responsibility or to try and get out of a chore or task. Parents should respond to isolated instances of lying by talking with the youngster about the importance of truthfulness, honesty and trust.

Some adolescents discover that lying may be considered acceptable in certain situations such as not telling a boyfriend or girlfriend the real reasons for breaking up because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. Other adolescents may lie to protect their privacy or to help them feel psychologically separate and independent from their parents.

Parents are the most important role models for their children. When a child or adolescent lies, parents should take some time to have a serious talk and discuss the difference between make believe and reality, and lying and telling the truth. They should open an honest line of communication to find out exactly why the child chose to tell a lie, and to discuss alternatives to lying.  A parent should lead by example and never lie, and when they are caught in a lie, express remorse and regret for making a conscious decision to tell a lie.   Clear, understandable consequences for lying should be discussed with the child early on.

However, some forms of lying are cause for concern, and might indicate an underlying emotional problem. Some children, who know the difference between truthfulness and lying, tell elaborate stories which appear believable. Children or adolescents usually relate these stories with enthusiasm because they receive a lot of attention as they tell the lie.

Other children or adolescents, who otherwise seem responsible, fall into a pattern of repetitive lying. They often feel that lying is the easiest way to deal with the demands of parents, teachers and friends. These children are usually not trying to be bad or malicious but the repetitive pattern of lying becomes a bad habit.  A serious repetitive pattern of lying should be cause for concern.  Consult a professional adolescent or child psychologist to find out whether help is needed.

Eliminate lying habits as a PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

The Whys of Whining

«Moooooooooooom!»

It’s irritating, it’s frustrating and it gets on your last nerve. Though it’s obnoxious and unacceptable, it’s actually an effective for your child to get your attention. It’s whining. But, like other bad habits, you can nip it in the bud early with a few simple strategies to teach your child there are other appropriate, effective forms of communicating with you.

First, try limiting the situations that trigger it. Avoid extra errands when the kids are hungry.  Don’t let them get involved in a frustrating game or project prior to bedtime. Pay attention when your child is talking, as sometimes whining is a reaction when a child feels you aren’t giving them your full attention. Praise them for not whining and talking in a normal and understandable voice that allows you to fully understand what they are saying to you.

When the whining begins, don’t overreact. Keep your response simple, calm and neutral.  Ask your child to repeat the request in a normal tone. When giving in seems inevitable, don’t delay. If you must finish the grocery shopping so you can put dinner on the table, for instance, and your child starts whining for a snack, offer something healthy right away.

Once a limit has been set, parents should follow through. It’s imperative that both parents are on board with this limit and fully follow through when the whining rule has been violated.

If you have an older child that’s developing a whining habit, suggest they come up with a solution to their perceived boredom or other voiced problem.  If you suggest possible alternatives, it might just prolong the child’s whining.

Sometimes whining can be the result of trauma and trouble in their life. A divorce, serious family illness or problems at school may be at the root.  Additional positive attention and quality one-on-one time may be just the medicine your child needs at a time like this. Your pediatrician can also suggest alternatives to curb whining should the positive attention and disciplinary actions be ineffective.

Avoid whining working hard on this PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

Time Outs Help Reinforce Positive Behavior and Discourage Misbehaving

Disciplining a young child using the time out method can be very effective, and will work  with children as young as 18-24 months old. By using this method of discipline parents are giving the child time to sit quietly and alone after misbehaving, without becoming angry or agitated with the child.

Designate an appropriate area in the house where the child is isolated from interacting with others.  It can be a corner in their bedroom, a space on the kitchen floor or a special chair that’s labeled specifically for time outs.  The length should be age appropriate.  A good rule of thumb is generally one minute per year of age.  A kitchen timer is helpful in counting down your child’s punishment time. 

Time out for toddlers is used to give them a chance to regroup and calm down. It’s doubtful they will sit completely still, and they should not be forced to try.    

All children should be asked in a firm but pleasant tone to complete a designated task or stop an undesired behavior.  If their behavior persists, they should be verbally directed to behave once again, with eye contact being made and the time out spot pointed out.  If after this warning the behavior still persists, they should be escorted to the time out location and told exactly why they are being sent there.

Maintain a calm but firm tone with them.  Once they’ve quietly served their time in the time out location it’s important to discuss with the child why they were sent there and that if the behavior occurs again, they will again be sent to time out.  Older children should then agree to do what you told him to do or cease misbehaving.  Children who leave their time out location before their time is up must be made aware that privileges will be lost as a result.

It’s likely that your time out method will have to be modified to fit the temperament of your child and your own parenting style. And remember to reinforce positive behavior with praises, hugs and smiles.  Time out can successfully be used outside the home such a grocery stores, restaurants, or shopping centers.  It’s important to emphasize to the child that time out will be enforced should they misbehave while there.  Be consistent and place the child in time out should they misbehave in the store.  If you don’t, they’ll get the message early on that you’re inconsistent and will be more likely to test your boundaries.

Training the Fussy Eater

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuses to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer a food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it.  The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try.

Try to make foods fun.  Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler.  Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer.

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child.  It could motivate them to do the same.

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician.

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat.   Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!

Difficult for adults…even more as a PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV

You Can’t Spoil a Child through Love

Though we all worry about spoiling our child, rest assured that you cannot spoil your child with love. Love doesn’t spoil children. Love is imperative to a child’s healthy development, and it’s just not possible to love your child too much. They need caring adults to spend time with them, play with them, teach them, protect them, and enjoy life with them.

It’s a parent’s job to provide love, safety and encouragement. The process of growing up provides children with lots of challenges. Try to listen openly and understand their situation and communicate honestly with them when they have difficulties and letdowns in their life.

Set appropriate limits with your child and then adhere to them. Establishing limits with your child gives them a sense of safety and security.  Sometimes parents do not set limits because they don’t want to fight with their children.

They don’t want to cause bad feelings. They may beg a child to comply. Or they may make a rule and fail to enforce it. They may nag without ever enforcing the rules. None of these helps children. When your child fails to adhere or comply with the boundaries you’ve set for them, be firm yet kind in your response. This lets them know that you’re serious about the rule but dedicated to helping and loving them. 

Bear in mind though that each child is different and what works for one child may not work for another.  For example, one child may respond well to the direct approach of telling them a specific time to be home, where another child may need a gentle reminder that it’s now time to come home. 

Develop a firm but kind manner of making and enforcing your household’s rules and expectations.  There’s no need to fear our children, and there should be no need to instill a sense of fear in our children in order to get them to comply. 

If you liked this post about PARENTING SKILLS FOR INFANTS IV, we invite you to follow previous articles of this subject on our Blog.

Parenting Skills for infants IV

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