› Summertime Shift
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - June 18th, 2018
Summertime is a great time to shift your thinking in parenting! Today, Archana Gupta shares a few parenting tips that have helped her grow as a parent.
Practical Parent Points to Shift Your Mindset
In today’s hectic, day-to-day life, parents are busy juggling between work and family responsibilities. On one hand parents are trying to discipline their kids and on the other hand, they are trying to shower them with love. We all are trying very hard to make them well-rounded by getting them involved in extracurriculars like dance, sports etc. We want them to socialize at the same time, so we set up their play dates. But really the question we should ask ourselves is this: how much time do we spend with them?
Children don’t need toys, as much as they need our time.
When they come to talk to us, do we render a kind listening ear to them or are we busy texting or Facebooking friends. When we turn around and punish them for their misbehavior of disturbing us, sending them off again to do homework or chores. Remember, we not only need to guard them, but also guide them. As we treat them with kindness and respect, like we do our own friends, our children will not turn to society and social media for guidance, where they will be misled.
Make it a point to at least spend an hour a day with our children, doing nothing but just talking to them.
Spend intentional time with your children. It may be while going for walks or at bedtime. For instance, I try to initiate talks with my daughter by giving her a topic to discuss like the following:
- What does happiness mean to her
- What does a happy family look like
- What she loves at school
- Who are her friends and why
- What does she like and not like at school–how come
- Let’s decide rewards and consequences together for her actions
- How would she like to spend time with family
- What can help her study better
- What troubles she’s facing at home and school
- What could make things better
- And there are so many more good questions to ask! (See the graphic for more ideas!)
Since I began doing this, my daughter’s tantrums have become less and less. This gives her a sense of belonging and gives confirmation — she has someone to reach out to when she needs a friend to talk to, a place to get guidance.
Give Children an Opportunity to Learn Around the House
I give my daughter points for helping with chores to channel her energy and teach her life skills. A few days back, she was very proud to learn to make her own smoothie! This instills self confidence and raises self esteem. In this way, she gets busy and gets a break from those electronic gadgets, which she loves to stick to all day long. Teaching around the house gives you places to figure out fun things you could do together with kids. When she collects a certain number of points, I reward her with something she wants like a toy. This teaches her the dignity of labor and value of money.
Learn and Grow as a Parent
Initially I used to yell at my daughter, but now it’s different. Now I have set forth consequences for her actions. I’m assertive, and I follow through, every time. For instance, before brushing her teeth, I let her know that if she throws a tantrum, I’ll stop there, then I have her finish the rest of the brushing herself. I followed through, and it works. Now she knows if Mom says something, she means business. There needs to be a balance between love and discipline, because problems arise when these are out of balance.
Children need to Learn to Calm Themselves
Children need to learn to meditate and do breathing exercises to improve their concentration and calm their restless mind. We have fire drills in schools to practice having a plan of action, in case there is a fire. But how many of us prepare our children for life’s drills? I have kept a diary in my daughter’s school bag with all emergency phone numbers, just in case. You don’t know what life may bring to you in the next moment . We send kids to school, so that they can make their lives and earn their livelihood, of course. But more than excelling and competing with others, it’s about inspiring them to do their best, having a team spirit and not getting disappointed with the consequences.
Children need to learn to treat success and failure equally without emotional breakdown. We need to teach them to handle life with a positive attitude, instilling it in them at an early age. It is the best gift we could give to our children, guiding them throughout their lives. Then it doesn’t matter what they do for their living. They need to understand that if they fail it’s not the end of the world. When one door closes another opens and everything happens for the best.
We should develop self confidence in children by telling them they are special and unique in their own way. Comparison leads to competition and jealousy. We should try to identify their learning style and strengths, building on them and identifying their weaknesses. Then we can work on them together as a team!
Make this summer with your Children the Best it Can Be!
All these tips will help strengthen not only your relationship with your child, but also it helps build them into the men and women they are becoming. There is so much more to learn about parenting, of course. But I am becoming my best, too!
Tell us about your experiences
Conversation starters worked great! It is a struggle to get my daughter (11yrs) to use more than two words in a conversation. She struggles with expressive language. I was able to get her to talk more about herself. Also I will use this for my class.
Awesome!!! Glad it got the conversations rolling.