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Tips for Effective Parenting

Raising kids is one of the toughest and most responsible jobs in the world — and the one for which you might feel the least prepared.

Here are ten child-rearing tips that can help you feel more fulfilled as a parent -

  • Your tone of voice, your body language, and your every expression are absorbed by your kids. Your words and actions as a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else.

  • Make a point of finding something to praise every day. Be generous with rewards — your love, hugs, and compliments can work wonders and are often reward enough. Soon you will find you are "growing" more of the behavior you would like to see.

  • Discipline is necessary in every household. The goal of discipline is to help kids choose acceptable behaviors and learn self-control. They may test the limits you establish for them, but they need those limits to grow into responsible adults.

  • It's often difficult for parents and kids to get together for a family meal, let alone spend quality time together. But there is probably nothing kids would like more. Get up 10 minutes earlier in the morning so you can eat breakfast with your child or leave the dishes in the sink and take a walk after dinner. Kids who aren't getting the attention they want from their parents often act out or misbehave because they're sure to be noticed that way.

  • Young kids learn a lot about how to act by watching their parents. The younger they are, the more cues they take from you. Before you lash out or blow your top in front of your child, think about this: Is that how you want your child to behave when angry? Be aware that you're constantly being watched by your kids.

  • Teens tend to look less to their parents and more to their peers for role models. But continue to provide guidance, encouragement, and appropriate discipline while allowing your teen to earn more independence. And seize every available moment to make a connection!

  • Show that your love is unconditional.

  • Focusing on your needs does not make you selfish. It simply means you care about your own well-being, which is another important value to model for your children.

  • It is very important a child remains a child; there is no hurry to make him into an adult because you can’t reverse it later. When he is a child and he behaves like a child, it’s wonderful. When he becomes an adult and behaves like a child, that’s bad. There is no hurry for a child to become an adult.

  • Both of you should have an equal share in the responsibility of discipline as much as possible.

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