Many parents feel overwhelmed and ineffective when it comes to parenting their kids. But effective parenting doesn’t have to be complicated and overwhelming. Implementing just a few simple strategies can add harmony to your home and peace to your life.
- Consistency – Be consistent with what you say and do. Follow through with the consequences of rules and the promises of rewards. If consistency is lacking, the rest of your parenting efforts tend to fall apart.
- For two-parent families, it’s important for both parents to be consistent as a team. Most children are very good at manipulating their parents when they’re not working together.
- Calm – You’ll be more effective as a parent when you stay calm — even though it’s easy to get overwhelmed or frustrated. While yelling and screaming may get your child’s attention, without the peace that comes from a loving relationship, parents will become nothing more than prison wardens enforcing the rules.
- Consequences – Each child will respond to different consequences. Their effectiveness may change as your child becomes older; you’ll have to adjust to stay effective. Whatever you use as a consequence, be sure you enforce it.
- Catch Them Being Good – Rewarding good behavior is the most effective way of shaping a child’s behavior. Research suggests that having a 5 to 1 ratio of positive-to-negative interactions with your children will lead to improved behavior and a greater compliance with parental rules. Giving rewards is much more fun for parents than enforcing consequences.
While the 4 C’s might not eliminate tantrums or childhood squabbles, they’ll certainly set the stage for a safe and loving home where both children and parents can thrive and foster closer family bonds.