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20 parenting styles that encourage love and bonding with kids
Written By Dr Surbhi, MD SkinLast updated: 23/09/16
Kindly note: This article was originally presented as a parenting seminar at SPH School, Lipo Cikarang. I am grateful to Pdt. Yung Tik Yuk, the presenter of the seminar for allowing me to share his thoughts on this blog. The “I” used in this blog represents the excellent examples given by Pdt. Yung Tik Yuk.
Listen to your child with 100% attention, even if he/she does not make any sense. Do not interrupt, just like you would not like to be interrupted by others. When kids are small they love to share with us almost everything, but unfortunately we are either too busy or think it is not important. Aren’t we indirectly telling our kids that I don’t care what you are telling me? Sooner or later, we would regret that our kids are not sharing anymore!
2. Explain the logic:
We underestimate the understanding capabilities of our kids and order them without explaining the logic. For example, once I was not feeling well, and I told my 5-year-old son not to disturb. But he would not let me sleep, and finally, I yelled at him. What do you think the 5-year-old would be thinking? Why mama is so angry today, I do this every day. Had I explained to him that just like you need to sleep when you are sick, the same way mama needs rest; he might be more considerate.
3. Explain the right logic:
Let me explain this by an example. One day I thought that I needs to reinforce cleaning toys behaviour in my 6-year-old son. I said, “If you do not keep your toys back, then I will give them to your friend.” Little did I realise that my son was no more interested in playing with his friend. Then I changed the statement to “If you do not take care of your toys, then I will give them to needy kids who value them more”. This sentence was used very often and was working. One day, we showed our son the place we got married. My son asked, “why didn't you invite me?” We said “Because you were with God” The innocent child replied, “That means God cannot take care of me anymore that is why he gave me to you.” Each and every word has a significant impact on the psyche of kids, so always explain the right logic to them.
4. Be consistent:
We often excuse a three-year-old when he hits someone or writes on a wall saying it is cute or is too small to understand. But when he gets little older, we yell at him on the same behaviour. Are we not making them more confused on what is right and what is wrong? Would kids trust us if we are not consistent on what we teach?
5. Do not negotiate:
If you do “this”, then you can get “that”. Hmm, this works well for kids but aren’t we teaching them to be selfish. I was shocked when my when my 5-year-old negotiated that if you want me to do homework, then I should get an extra hour on TV. Similarly, stickers, point or reward system should not be part of daily routine. Kids should clean, bath, brush, eat, do homework, etc. because they are supposed to do it.
6. Do not re-punish:
Once my son broke an expensive statue and came to admit his mistake? I started scolding him despite the fact he was already feeling bad about it and he wanted reassurance. Instead, he got another bash. Would he disclose his problems or mistakes to me again? Parents should rather take such situations as opportunities to communicating the right behaviour with love.
7. Reject wrong behaviour, not child:
We feel sad on being rejected even once, but we keep on denying our kids several times in a day. Wondering how? By saying “you never listen” you always commit this mistake” “You are a cry baby”. How about putting it this way? “Why my good boy is behaving like this today” “Why my happy son is so sad today?” “You have such a beautiful handwriting, why didn't you use that for your test?”
8. Do not be fair every time:
Once I could not find a gift for my son but managed to find a gift for my daughter. Apparently, my son was feeling sad. But then I taught him that you should be happy in the happiness of your sister. If my son cannot be happy in the happiness of his sister, how would he be happy when his peers will outperform later in life. Many times parents would not buy the gift for both kids in such situations. Yes, this is appropriate 90 % times; but sometimes you can take this as an opportunity to teach your children to enjoy the happiness of others.
9. Do not force your desires on your kids:
This not only holds true from the career point of view but even pushing your small desires on a kid might be stressful like you want your child to learn piano because you love it or force him to eat your favourite dish or insist on wearing your favourite clothes for a party.
10. Respect is more important than rules:
We all get confused what to do when grandparents break the rules. Simple, never stop your parents from doing something in front of your kids. The rules should be discussed in the absence of children. Let us teach our kids to respect elders by respecting our parents.
11. Make family rules:
Rules are not for the kids only. No gadget on the dinning table, brushing at night or keeping the home clean applies to all the family members.
12. Be a role model:
One day, I was telling my son to wash hands before eating and that very evening I jumped on my favourite dish without washing my hand. My son said, “ You forgot to wash your hands mumma”. Parenting is all about role modelling!
Thankfully, I apologised to my son that I forgot to wash my hands. This reinforced the importance of washing hand before eating and taught my son importance of saying “sorry”. So, if you want your kids to apologise, say “sorry” when you are wrong.
14. Regulate TV:
We think that regulating the time for watching TV is enough, but we fail to recognise that regulating “what they watch on TV” is even more important. For example, we think that Tom and Jerry is a good cartoon for kids, but isn’t that cartoon teaching violence to our children. Aren’t we sowing a seed that being violent is “funny” into their tender minds unknowingly? The same holds good for the video games where killing means winning. Later, we might regret that our kids lack compassion and care.
15. Kids can also commit mistake:
All said and done, to err is to human and to forgive divine. So, our kids can also commit mistakes. Forgive them and teach them the right behaviour with firmness, not anger. Now, this might act as two edge sword, so keep a note of how many times you are forgiving. If they are not listening, do not get angry but communicate and find the reason why your kid is committing this mistake again and again.
For example, my son always cleans his mouth by rubbing against sleeves of his shirt. I have told him thousand times, but he would not stop. I realised this is a habit that will not break by getting angry, but I have to make conscious efforts in giving him a tissue to clean before he uses sleeves to clean his mouth. On the other hand, we should make clear that few mistakes cannot be committed even once, like hitting someone badly, touching someone’s genitals, letting others touch your private parts because they have very severe consequences.
16. Don’t make kids victim of your stress:
Many times we would be able to keep calm and handle crying child if we are happy. But when we are stressed, we might blast off on our kids for no reasons. Let us not make our innocent children victim of our stress!
17. Love should be the foundation:
If we practice above tips, we would undoubtedly assure our kids that we love them. Kids get into the wrong company, habits or addictions because only if there is a lack of love from parents.
18. Correcting firmly but with calm mind:
Love does not mean NOT correcting your child when he is wrong; love means correcting the child not out of anger but concern. You need not yell or spank or scold your child to correct him, but you should firmly reinforcing the right behaviour. What is the criteria you are firm, not angry? When you are calm inside and not boiling with anger, or feeling irritated, while correcting your child. This needs a lot of patience!
20. Give just 30 minutes to them daily:
Yes, even 30 minutes of quality time is enough, provided:
- You give 100 % attention to your child- no gadgets or other distractions.
- Discourage distraction from the side of your kid like playing, running around, changing the topic, etc. A good time is to start a conversation is just before bed time. Take your child to bed little early, if she might be too sleepy.
- Listen to each and every word of your child.
- Remember the communication should not be about you but your child.
- No lectures, please.
- Direct conversation to sharing the day.
- Move on to sharing emotions.
- Solve the emotional issue if any, by communication.
- End up with a big hug and lots of kisses.