Sunday, November 27, 2011

Raising your child for success

Last week, Bry and I are fortunate enough to have attended a parenting seminar at Ben's school.  The topic is how to raise your child to become successful.  Teacher Didi, presented tips on how to help your child attain a high eq based on resent behavioral studies.  Both Bry and I agreed that it was time well spent.  I just hope that we become consistent in applying what we have learned.  Here are the highlights:

No means No, no negotiations
You have to establish your authority towards your child early on.  This means being consistent. When you say no, you should really mean it.  As teacher Didi said, your child is not a lawyer, so do not allow him/her to bargain with you.  This also means you have to take into consideration your child's needs whenever you make rules/ routines.  Take for example the amount of time you set for playing with toys.  You want your child to follow you when you say stop but before you do, think about how much time he needs and warn him when the time is almost up so he'll be prepared.  It's better to let your child play for 15 minutes than intending him to play for 5 minutes only to have him ask for another 5 then another.  It can be frustrating but you have to think about the big picture.  Our kids will eventually become adults, and in the real world there are strict rules.   

Give well-earned and specific praises
We are so used to praising our kids with every little thing they do.  But praise can be a powerful tool not just for a kid's self esteem but to motivate him/her to work harder.  When praising, tell your child why you are complementing him.  I can clearly observe this in Ben's Little Gym class.  The teachers would not just say "Good job!" but "That's good walking, Ben!" or "Thanks for spotting Ben properly, mommy Nats".   We also heard an interesting suggestion about dealing with a child's artworks.  For example, it is better to praise specific improvements in artworks that just post each and every one on the wall.  You can acknowledge progressions such as using a variety of strokes or being able to color within the lines.

Allow your child to feel a healthy amount of frustration
It is hard to let your child feel upset, but there are cases when letting your child sort through some negative feelings can be helpful.  If  your child is experiencing a difficulty with a puzzle, don't quickly jump in to help, or offer comfort by talking about what to do after the activity.  If you eventually assist, talk about the activity and see how he/she can solve the puzzle.  We all are bound to encounter moments of frustration sooner or later.  The difference with successful adults is they were encouraged to persevere and accept that challenges are a normal part of life that can be conquered.  Praise your child for the effort he/she exerted to do a certain task.  "you must have worked hard to complete the puzzle"  This motivates him /her to try out more difficult tasks than telling him "You are so smart to have solved the puzzle"
Ben making a mess!!! Inappropriate Behavior or Just Curious?

You are not your child's best friend.  You are limit-setter, problem solver and coach
Tough, but true.  Lets say your child throws a tantrum inside a toy store.  It is tempting to just tell your child to stop crying then that's it.  Alternatively, you can try to take a step back, think about you child's pattern of behavior and tell him / her  " I know you are upset.  If you are hungry or sleepy, just tell mom so we can get a bite to eat and rest. " You do not just give in when your child is upset but find out why and coach him the proper way to express his feeings.

When a child does an inappropriate behavior, the consequence must be related to the behavior.  And offer rewards, too
If a child hits, let him make amends by saying sorry, giving the person he hurt a glass of water or tissue.  If he makes a mess, let him clean up or if he doesn't pack away, do not let him play with the toy he didn't put away next time.  These consequences are directly connected to the inappropriate acts and will get the message across faster than facing the wall or grounding.  It's easier said than done, though.  The same goes for rewards.  If your child is behaved properly while you are working on the computer, spend extra bonding time with him or her afterwards.

I guess that's it :) Thought I'd summarize the things I have learned so I won't forget them myself, haha!  have a great week, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing those info! Your post really gives insight to the reader especially to all parents. I do appreciate with your post and I’ll definitely refer this to my parent s also. Keep on sharing.