Parenting young children is incredibly tough and demanding. It doesn’t matter how many textbooks you’ve read, or how much advice you get from family and friends about things to avoid doing, at the end of the day you need to find what works for you and your family.
Having said that, there are a couple of general family styles that you may identify with and may give some insights into your family dynamic or those families around you.
Is it useful to analyze your parenting style?
Everyone’s family is pretty unique. It is hard to be too definitive about parenting styles – realistically there are as many parenting styles as there are parents. Everyone has their own way of doing things. But sometimes it can be helpful to take a step back – think about the way that you are interacting with your children on a day to day basis, get some feedback from other people and see whether there might be some aspects of the way that you handling things that you could possibly improve or adjust.
So what are the four parenting styles?
When you are reflecting on your parenting time or the way that you have resolved decision making disputes it is useful to see whether you can characterize your behavior in any of the following categories:
1. Authoritarian. This is a military approach to keeping order and control within the family. Instructions are issued as orders and commands. No feedback is necessary. Studies have shown that this style of parenting has fairly negative impacts on children as they develop, however they do generally do well in school as they respond well to discipline.
2. Indulgent. This style effectively lets children do whatever they want, avoiding any confrontation or imposing any discipline. It might be the path of least resistance for parents in the early years but it creates problems later on.
3. Authoritative. This is a bit more of a balanced approach where expectations of behavior are set but dialogue and feedback is welcomed and encouraged. This is the recommended approach that experts suggest that should all be striving towards.
4. Uninvolved. This style is characterized by a lack of connection or engagement by the parent towards their child. This is a bit of a disaster for children and is often characterized by some form of neglect.
Taking advice on parenting
Parenting is a really emotive subject and it’s not something that it is easy to give or take advice on. It’s nothing like getting some advice on gardening or the latest tips for taking great family photos, no one wants to feel like they are being a bad parent or that they have somehow failed their children. Everyone wants to do the best they can.
Never try and give advice to someone about their parenting in the heat of the moment, it is always best to take a step back and try and have a calm discussion about it at another time.
Creating a family is one of the most unique and special opportunities that you get. Try and take as much advice and support as you can from the people that you love and trust. At the end of the day though, it is up to you to make it happen.
One way to do this can be summed up in just one word- distraction! When you see the tell tale signs that your little one is about to act out, quickly find a way to distract them. For example, if your out you could simply say hey look at the at doggy or would you like an ice cream? This can be tricky as you have to get the timing right, but is usually successful. Its worth noting that its all too easy to quickly become exasperated with your toddler without looking at the reasons behind the undesirable behavior. Remember, some undesirable behavior may be due to the normal developmental phases such as the so called ‘terrible twos’.
Try to establish a familiar routine where possible
Very young children thrive on familiar daily routines, where they quickly learn what is expected of them. This is not to say, however that every day has to have the same strict routine. There will be times, for example when it may be necessary for you to take your child with you when shopping in the mall or on other necessary errands. Your toddler then has to deal not only with the sudden change in the routine, but are expected to behave well whilst dealing with potentially tiring situations .Therefore its preferable, where possible to spend as much time possible at home, with errands restricted to when absolutely necessary.
Avoid spanking or scolding your child
This never works and research shows that spanking or scolding a child not only makes things worse, but also makes the child feel shame. Its OK to feel angry and even to feel like spanking your child, but its essential to get a grip on your anger quickly and calmly speak to your child. If necessary give the child some ‘time out’ in a safe place and take some yourself. The few minutes apart while you both calm down will help settle things.
Your reactions determine the outcome of repeat behavior!
Just as negative reactions such as spanking or scolding have an undesirable affect, your reactions positive or negative can make a big difference. This is the tough part, staying calm and encouraging future good behavior. The best thing to do is too appear casual but assertive. This is easier said than done, but your child will be very adept at looking for cues in your behavior. The best reaction is no reaction. How is this possible? Its quite simple, all you have to do is kneel down so that you are at the same level of the child rather than towering over them. Speak directly to your child without raising your voice and tell them that you disliked what they did and what the consequence will be.
For example, if your child has been asked not to play ball in the home and decides to ignore you and breaks something. Calmly tell them that you are taking the ball away as you have said that they can only play ball outside. Then quickly start doing something else immediately ignoring any protests. If they persist calmly repeat yourself. Once they realize that you are not making a fuss they will simply give up.
Is youth discipline something you struggle with? Are you finding that how you are disciplining him/her isn’t working and they barely listen to you at all! Read along to learn some positive parenting tips that will teach you some new youth discipline methods that will help you solve your dilemma.
First of all, to address the first part, you very well may have found this article because the methods of child disciplining that you use just aren’t working for you anymore. This is not surprising for a couple of reasons.
1. Parenting problems are an epidemic today. Whether it’s how fast children grow up, or families are struck by the tough economy and both parents have to work, the end result is many children are out of control!
2. Parents tend to give either no discipline, or too much when things start to get out of control.
Well, here’s some reasons why you should consider that the forms of harsh youth discipline that you may use just aren’t working any more!
1. Children have proven to respond better to love and understanding, rather than harsh commands or a system of giving and taking away privileges depending on their behavior.
2. It has been proven that there are biological and chemical things that go on in a child’s brain that makes them act certain ways. This isn’t an abnormal condition, it’s just that their brains are growing, and there’s so much stimulus going on for them.
3. When you use discipline, you will be seen as the police. When that happens, they may behave for you, but they are also very likely to misbehave when you are not present. This leads to dishonesty and deceit, which are not good qualities to foster in your children.
4. These negative qualities can lead to confusion, especially in younger children. They may feel conflicted that they feel bad feelings about all of this, yet they may enjoy the excitement of getting away with something.
There is a lot said in the previous paragraph, but for the purposes of this short article, we didn’t want to go in to too much detail. The important thing to note is that for a variety of reasons, harsh discipline just does not work. In recent years, there has even been another reason, and that is the effects of cortisol. That link will tell you the entire story. Very briefly, when children are yelled at, or feel fear for any reason (think of all the other harsh parenting styles you may use!), their stress levels go up. What then follows is incredible!
Positive Child Discipline is all the rage. Do you know why the forms of child discipline you are most likely using are not working? Read along to see how, with just a few changes, you can be on your way to a new life for you and your family!
Are you using positive child disciplinetechniques? If not, you should consider a few important factors.
First of all, if you’re not using positive techniques, then, you may want to really look at how effective the things you are doing really are. I would guess that they’re not working too well if you’re reading this article. Maybe it’s time to look into other ways of restoring order in your family.
Secondly, even if your techniques are mildly effective, but they’re not positive in nature, then you may want to consider what the long term effects of your techniques are. They may be harming your children in a variety of ways. Kids respond best to positive reinforcement, and anything other than this may have a negative impact on their self-esteem.
Thirdly, it can be really difficult to believe that anything other than coming down really hard on your children in a negative way, can be an effective way to keep order. Well, there is a growing movement that believes children respond much better to positive parenting techniques.
In other words, maybe it’s time to stop the brow beating, and constant yelling. Again, this may be contrary to what you’ve believed and practiced your entire adult life. It may be time to ask yourself this. How is what you’ve been doing, working for you? If the answer is, not too well, then it is probably time to
learn some new ideas.
We know from our own personal experience, that it seems like it would be difficult to keep your kids in line without using a lot of negative style discipline methods. Almost everyone has used these techniques at one time or another. These methods were what we were brought up with. Not only that, it just seems the natural thing to do. However, it has been shown time and time again that, not only are these methods of discipline generally not healthy for children, they also don’t work near as well as you may think. Sometimes children will behave in front of you because of fear, but when you’re not there, they may be twice as bad!
If your children are listening to you less and less, then it is no doubt, time to do something about this. Don’t settle for the limitations of the past. Be open minded to see if there is something that you can learn to help you with your defiant children!