Every Child Needs 2 Simple Things -
Parenting isn't easy. When parenting is done right, it's an emotional roller coaster and that's alright. There are some parents who think that they are best friends with their child and parenting takes a backseat. When 2 simple things are missing from a child's life, it leads to behavior issues.
Is the following consistently happening?:
- Your child to drops to the ground and throws a tantrum.
- Won't go to sleep when it's bedtime.
- He or she is sleeping in Mom and Dad's bed.
- Your child hits, throws food or toys, shows rage and screams and is defiant.
With 2 daily steps, these behaviors can be turned around.
I'm a certified biology teacher and wrote about my experience with the high school students in an article called "The Great Divide.” It has a lot to do with parenting. Being a certified high school biology teacher does not make me an expert at parenting. I do have 2 thriving daughters and I have an innate knowledge of things that I haven't been taught. I'm a natural teacher and parent.
I'm not the perfect mom. No one is because we're all human. All we can do is try to be. Being a good parent does not mean to give in to your kids just to hush them up. Standing firm, even if tantrums start, whether it's you or your child. I've had to throw myself in several timeouts over the years to get a breather. Parenting is not easy. Anyone who has a child can have the title of mom or dad, but are they actually parenting?
Parenting is a balance of love and guidance. Plain and simple. Guidance is taking the sippy cup away at the appropriate age because they are ready to drink like a big kid. It is not letting them keep it until age 7, just because they'll throw a tantrum if it's taken away. Loving your child is spending quality time with them and having conversations, cuddling, showing affection with hugs. Guidance is teaching them how to show the love in return, by giving a hug back.
Guidance means to set rules and enforce them. These rules then guide their behavior. Guidance is to teach them right from wrong and to set an example. Children like to have a daily routine because they feel safe and secure. A routine is also guiding them by showing them how to live. If a routine needs to be broken, that perfectly fine. Just communicate that to your child ahead of time. Too many parents seem to tip toe around their children to avoid a tantrum. Communication and detailed explanations are key to a well-balanced child. I always explained the "how, what, where, why, when" to my daughters. When I explain it, I always speak in a natural adult tone, just like I would speak to anyone else. In my opinion, baby talk and high pitched voices after 6 months old are regressive. If a parent shows excitement and talks this way on occasion, it's fine, but if it's done on a consistent basis, I believe it does more harm than good.
Children are highly intelligent from birth. They are learning at every moment. It is our job as parents to make every moment count. I used the Dunstan Baby Language with my daughter from birth until 3 months old. This is a program that teaches the parent to recognize the certain sounds a baby makes to then know what the baby needs. It really worked for my daughter and I. I'm so grateful that I knew about it. When she was 3 months old, I started the Baby Signs program and she was able to communicate many things to me, before being able to speak. At 3 months old, I also started the Your Baby Can Learn program and started potty training her (more about that here). She was potty trained by 7 months old and reading her first word, which was "elephant." She had a 3rd-grade reading level at beginning of kindergarten. I believe the majority of children are capable of this.
To guide how your child behaves, set expectations for your child's' behavior. Talk with your child about how you expect them to behave. Take your child to public places. Too many parents these days want to leave their child home with someone else, just so they can go to the grocery store. Children need to go out and see the world. The grocery store can be a learning experience. A well-parented child will act appropriately in any public place because they know what is expected of them.
Many grandparents are taking full-time roles to take care of their grandchildren because the parents are working. Before I had my daughter, I knew that I wanted to be the one to raise her, not anyone else. I made it work financially, by cutting back on many luxuries, such as cable. So many grandparents are earth angels for taking on the obligation, but many are also doing a disservice. Grandparents have the right to spoil their grandchild if they see the grandchild on occasion. If they are taking care of their grandchild daily after school, then I believe they should teach their grandchild right from wrong. What I find heartbreaking, is that when the child gets picked up from the grandparent or daycare, all that's left is dinner, bath and then bed, only to do it over again the next day. Many parents who have this routine all week long, also seem to find it ok to drop their child off with the grandparents for the weekend. How is this ok? Why are the grandparents allowing it? It is not ok and the grandparents are too afraid to say anything for fear or losing the ability to see their grandchild.
We have many people in our society who are self-entitled and are raising the self-entitled. Many people don't realize anything is wrong until it is pointed out and only if they relax their defenses. It takes a strong person to self-reflect and change. Many people "think" that they are doing everything just fine and deal with life and don't realize that the outcome they are so unhappy with is what they are actually creating. Some parents say, "Oh, boys will be boys." It is because we allow it. Boys and girls can behave if guided and loved.
Helping your child reach milestones is part of guiding them. It is our job as parents to help our child reach milestones in a timely manner or quicker than expected. Who wouldn't want their child to excel? Many don't. Keeping a child in a diaper until they're 4 years old is regressive type parenting. Doing everything for them even when they are capable of doing age appropriate tasks creates a child who lacks confidence and suffers in many ways.
We're not only raising children, we're raising adults. It is our job to take the 18 years given to us and raise them into a loving, thoughtful, confident, intelligent, responsible, honest human being.
2 Steps to being an Amazing Parent!
Step 1: Love your child.
Step 2: Guide your child.
Yes, it's that easy. But, the 2 steps encompass what has been mentioned above and so much more. It's what we are supposed to do as parents, but many people don't parent their children for fear that they will lose their child's respect or love. What's funny is that the parents who don't follow these 2 steps are already being disrespected by their child. The other reason that many don't parent their children is that it's too exhausting and easier to just give in to their child. What they don't understand is that if parenting is done the right way from the start, it gets much easier because the child knows what is expected of them.
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