Being a parent can be hard. Children have a way of pushing their parents to the limit of their patience – and beyond, which leaves both parent and child frustrated. The good news is, when it comes to children, a little preparation can help. Here are nine things you can do today to raise happier kids.
- Hug your children. Children need to feel our affection for them expressed physically and verbally. The recommended daily dosage of hugs is four per day for survival, eight per day for maintenance, and 12 per day for growth.
- Two ears and one mouth equals listen, listen, listen. It’s very easy for us to tune out when our children are talking to us. A smart parent will incorporate active listening skills with their children.
- Be a “5-to-1” parent. Keep a ratio of five positive interactions for every one negative. Greater compliance and good behavior will result.
- Spend quality time. Instead of presents, give your children your presence. One of the best things to spend on your children is your time.
- Reward and reward again. An effective but often overlooked method of influencing good behavior is simply to reward the behaviors you want to see. Some of the most effective rewards are your time and positive attention.
- Be a good role model. Our children learn primarily through modeling. Since we can’t escape from being an example to our children, choose to be a good one.
- Set limits and discipline consistently. Effective parents will establish clear limits and rules with their children. When it comes to smart parenting, consistency is the name of the game.
- Say no without guilt. Saying no to your teen doesn’t mean you don’t love them. Just the opposite. We should love them enough to say no.
- Avoid yelling, hitting, and other harsh behavior. Spanking has been in decline for decades, but parents still find it difficult to stop yelling at their kids. Yelling works poorly in controlling behavior. Parental time-outs can be a smart way to handle anger and frustration.
The most important thing you can do is make sure your children know you love them. Practicing these simple ways to show your love is key to enhancing your relationship with your child — and your child’s happiness.