Raising children is one of the most important jobs in the world, which needs long-term continuous endeavor. Parenting does not stop when a child grows up. Being a good parent remains a life-long role. Nowadays, kids in elementary schools have cell phones, have the internet access, by which they can go into virtual adults’ world, parenting becomes even more challenge.
Most of parents try to be good parents. However, some of them even tried harder, and only got bad results. Why? Let’s look into it.
Researchers have spent decades studying what motivates children to behave and what discipline methods work and what do not. Many of parents’ favorite strategies are scientifically proven to fail.
Children like adults make mistakes. No one in the world is perfect. Some parents are displeased with anything what their child did if it is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards. Perfectionist parents are stressful and damage children’s development as well.
Some parents are too strict on their children in the imposition of discipline. Although good parenting has principles and need discipline, however, parents still need have some flexibility and should promote positive reinforcement. Some parents usually ignore their children’s good behavior, and every time their children did something wrong, they would step in and complain or even blame their children.
Punish too harshly
According to research, in order to stop bad behavior of their children, some parents commonly punish far more harshly than they need to. Discipline works best when it is mild, because too much will induce more resentment and anger. It is suggested to use timeout, but with limits. Usually one minute for each year of age of the child. The timeouts on teenagers should not be more than a day. Too much will make the child’s attitude shifts from regretting bad behavior to resenting the parent. Because the punishment leads to avoidance and escape, to some extent, it is effective. However, positive reinforcement of good behavior should be encouraged, like to ask the child to practice good behavior, such as fixing something he damaged, in order to win privileges back.
Some parents yell at their children very often trying to change their children’s behaviors, because they lost their patience, and get very emotionally upset. This only gives children negative reinforcement, and makes both parents and children become emotional and lose self-control.
Do not consider their child’s feeling
When kids cry, some parents tell their kids “don’t cry.” The better way should say “what happened? I am sorry.” By doing like this, the child learns empathy through being empathized with. As we know that empathy is one of the essential qualities for a happy life. Children with empathy act by considering other people’s feeling, which leads good relationship with people.
Too serious and forget to have fun
Life needs hard work in the meantime, needs relax and joy as well. Have fun family activity with children, and enjoy life with children, which are very important to children’s healthy development and build a happy family.
Although most of parents agree that setting and enforcing rules are an essential part of good parenting. However, when they think that they only have the limited time with their kids, and want to have good time with them; these parents end up overindulging their kids and forget limits.
Research on parenting styles has found that a child whose mom and dad do not have limits feels unsafe and more rebellious and is more likely to have problems in school and has drug and alcohol problems.
Family rules should be set in advance of considering a conflict, and parents should explain and discuss the family rules with children well. For example, let the child choose between two options when either choice is acceptable to the parent. For example, “right after school, play a half-hour of electronic game then homework?” Or “before game finish all homework?”
Praise in a wrong way
Some parents use praising to motivate their children. However, they only praise their children in general ways. Like “you’re so smart”, “good job!” This kind of praise actually makes children narcissism and less motivated. The children who are praised for being intelligent, rather than making a good effort, actually make less effort on doing things and have a harder time dealing with failure. The effective way to praise a child in order to motivate him or her should praise the child with enthusiasm focusing on the behavior and tell the child why it is good.
Some parents can not stand to see their children struggle and jump in too quickly. In order to raise resilient children, parents have to give their children free space to let them realize that sometimes they will fail, make mistakes, have setbacks. They will learn from them and improve. Otherwise, children may grow afraid to try. There are a lot of children who seem really unmotivated, not because they are lazy, because they are afraid of failure.
To learn more parenting skills, please refer to great parenting books.