Five forgotten parenting strategies
- Posted by:
- Michael Grose
Strange how we are always looking for the new magic method or approach to help us bring up our kids. Tiger parenting, tough love and attachment parenting have all become part of the parenting landscape.
But we can so overcomplicate things.
In a recent parenting workshop I asked parents to discuss the responses that work for them when their children fight. One mum’s words were simple: “Stop fighting!” She looked at me incredulously as if to say, “What else would you say when they fight?”
Yep, we can overthink things sometimes.
Some of the best methods for raising kids are the same ones parents over the ages have used. Here are five simple methods that stand the test of time:
Parental recognition is a high driver for kids (they love to receive it) so make sure you let them know you appreciate their good behaviour and are unimpressed by poor behaviour. No need for big rewards when you use recognition.
Kids practice being social at home. If you want kids to behave in a restaurant then you need to practice eating with manners at the dinner table. If you want them to them ask to join in a group at school then you might help them practice asking to join in. Make sure they have plenty of opportunities to mix with other kids and adults at home....all good practice!
Many people confuse feedback with criticism. Feedback is instructive and informative, whereas criticism is personal and detrimental to better performance.
Let kids know when their tidying efforts aren’t up to scratch, but also let them know how they can improve. Also give them some feedback when they do something well. It makes them feel good and also reinforces what they have done.
Your expectations about children’s behaviour or how they perform aren’t exactly a strategy. It’s more powerful than that. Many parents trip their children up with their negative expectations. Ever said “Don’t drop it!” to a child who is carrying something breakable? As if they are trying to............
This is THE great forgotten parenting strategy. It’s more long-term than short-term but there is no doubt that kids learn what they live. Want them to be tolerant then you need to be tolerant yourself of those around you. Want them to be brave then you show them how.
These strategies all go under the general heading of common sense, which is something we shouldn’t stray too far from. What other forgotten or little-recognised parenting strategies do you use?
For more common sense, timeless ideas to raise kids check out my book Thriving!
- feedback, modelling, practice, recognition