Do you want to become an effective parent in 2018? If so, you’re not alone. Every adult with children wants to develop a parenting style that reduces day-to-day worry, helps their family bond, and prepares their children for life. Even more, they want to relax and know they are doing a great job at the end of the day.
With all the challenges you face in your quest to becoming an effective parent, the big question remains: How should you focus your energy? You may be tempted to peruse social media in hopes of finding answers. However, I would suggest steering clear of overconfident novices who tout their advice. The reason? My experiences as a therapist and college professor have shown me that most of these “experts” are far more confident than correct.
The starting place of effective parenting?
The quickest (and most reliable) path to effective parenting is to follow the scientific evidence behind what researchers call best parenting practices. When your children, fuss, moan, or refuse to listen, your greatest asset is not your ability to ignore, redirect, or punish your child. It’s not found in techniques like a timeout, counting off 1-2-3, or delivering a firm “No!” Instead, it is found in the way you influence and relate to children in those moments.
Science shows that your relationship with your child, regardless of your religious background, cultural heritage, or socio-economic standing is the single greatest factor in determining his short-term and long-term success. Science indicates that parents who have a healthy relationship with their child usually act, react, and interact in very specific ways. They strike a balance between being warm and firm and being demanding and emotionally responsive.
The monumental benefits of effective parenting.
For example, children who report having a good relationship with their parents tend to:
- Enjoy learning in school.
- Achieve at higher levels in life.
- Cooperate well with others.
- Control their impulses well.
- Experience higher levels of self-esteem.
In contrast, children who report having a strained or difficult relationship with their parents do not feel important. As a result, they:
- Don’t bond well with parents.
- Have higher incidents of incarceration.
- Have higher incidents of depression and anxiety.
- Have higher incidents of substance use and abuse.
- Struggle more as they act, react, and interact with others.
So, today’s article is about five ways you can become and remain an effective parent in 2018. Here they are.
Effective parents intervene in ways that are patient yet firm.
If a child throws a tantrum because he does not want to leave the swimming pool, an effective parent will know how to neutralize the back talk. patiently yet firmly say, “I know you want to stay here and swim with your friends. But didn’t I give you lots of choices today? This time it’s Daddy’s turn to choose. So I’d like you to be my helper, grab your towel and follow me to the car. Can you do that for me?”
Effective parents form a warm, emotional bond as children develop.
If you want to become, and remain, an effective parent in 2018 you want to stay secure in the standards you hold. However, don’t just tell your kids that they need to be respectful, show them. For example, if your kiddo spouts off an angry retort, you might find your patience and then say, “Should I let you talk to me that way, even though I like you?”
Offer control that is fair and reasonable, not random or inconsistent.
Effective parents are good at giving choices during meltdowns and tantrums like, “Do you want to put your pajamas on now or in 10 minutes?” They say things like, “Sweetie, why are you surprised? You know I don’t talk with young men who yell at me. When your tone of voice matches mine, I’ll be happy to discuss this with you, but not until then.”
Develop expectations that are in line with what children can deliver for their age.
Adults who become effective parents don’t get upset very easily when their ego-centric child whines and doesn’t share toys with the next door neighbor. They are not surprised because they expect resistance to sharing toys. Even more, they don’t get embarrassed when their preschooler melts down in public or sulks in the corner at a big birthday party. Why? Effective parents are in touch, in tune, and in synch with their child’s social challenges. Youngsters who are shy will predictably act that way in public.
Make demands that promote rather than discourage a child’s growing independence.
Effective parents give children room to make mistakes–and learn from natural consequences. For instance, if your son refuses to wear his coat to school on a cold day, you will find yourself allowing him to go to school without his coat (or a lecture about getting cold). Instead, you will let the consequences of his choice do the talking and the teaching and let him figure it out for himself.
To summarize, effective parents have the power of what I like to call an A.C.E. These adults have:
- Authority: Since children see you as a warm yet firm authority figure, they listen when you speak. In fact, these children find great joy in being your helper and making you happy.
- Confidence. Effective parents are able to go to bed at night knowing they’re doing a good job. When the heat is on, you are cool, calm, and connected to your children. You are NOT scratching your head with uncertainty. Instead, you have the clarity needed to handle the situation, without breaking a sweat.
- Empathy: Effective parents are aware of and more sensitive to everyone’s basic needs. When you parent with empathy, you have a great ability to consider life from the perspective of a child. It’s this perspective that helps you understand and share in the feelings of your children.
What does this mean for you? For children to thrive emotionally and socially in 2018, they need a healthy relationship with you. Having a healthy parent/child relationship is not just a nice idea or fantasy. Like oxygen, it’s a basic requirement for a child’s everyday survival. Once you understand and accept this simple yet profound idea, you’ll find behavioral issues much easier to deal with. When you start to focus on connection first and correction afterward, you’ll discover the true parenting magic. And it’s a game-changer!
I want to help you develop a healthy and fun-loving parent/child relationship, one filled with warmth, pleasure, and mutual trust. My personal weekly mission is to help you take consistent action in developing the single and greatest parenting tool you own: a healthy relationship with your beloved child.
A Point To Ponder
If you want to become and remain an effective parent in 2018, it’s important to recognize that it does not happen by chance. You must be intentional about feeding your mind with the principles that will help you not only become, but remain an effective parent in any situation.
PLEASE NOTE: I’m excited to announce the launch of a new audio program in just three short weeks! It’s going to help you calm the chaos, raise emotionally intelligent kids, and reclaim your family harmony. Stay tuned!
Author: Steve Cuffari For many, Steve Cuffari is the mentor that parents call on to make their parenting style warmer, easier and more affective. He is the founder of inTouch Parenting, a company devoted to helping today's parents calm the chaos, raise emotionally intelligent kids, and nurture families that thrive. read more about Steve Cuffari here...