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My first article on rewarding parenting discussed how being a parent is different than being a friend and tuning in on your child’s life will build a strong foundation. In part 2, I went into the importance of conversation and teaching a child to become independent. In this article, I will emphasize the most important tip that is showing your child affection.
#5) Show your Affection
As a parent, you are the most important person in your child’s life. They may roll their eyes at you, ignore your opinions, give you that irritating “sigh( Haaaaa)” but they care. You are their primary caregiver, and it is built into their DNA to seek out their parents. A newborn will instantly recognize the scent of their mother. In just a couple of days, a baby knows the voice of their Dad. Picture in your mind a wooden bridge over a high ravine. Would you prefer to walk over the bridge with or without a railing? Parents are the railings that help keep their children from falling in this world. To make this foundation even stronger, do what you can to make your child feel safe and loved. So show your affection, regularly. Give them a hug, a pat on the back, a tap on the arm, a thumbs up or a wink to show you care. Sincerely compliment them whenever you notice them doing something right, learning something new or trying hard. Spend time with them. Family meals, playing a game, telling them a story, laughing together are all ways to say, “I care…you are important to me.” These types of things will create family togetherness and a strong bond with your child. Following through with these tips reaps huge rewards as your child becomes a teen. You will have developed a strong foundation and bond to your relationship that will help you get through the rocky teen years. With this groundwork in place, your child is more likely to turn to you when they are in trouble or going through a rough time. They may stray, but they are more likely to come back if you have put in the time and effort to show your love. Remind yourself of these facts when they don’t want to give you a hug or ignore you around their friends. It is all part of growing up. My children are now adults, but we enjoy loving and close relationships even though we experience all the normal bumps in the road along the way. The rewards of parenting are watching your child grow into their own person. I was in awe the first time I held my child in my arms. I couldn’t believe I had just given birth to this little baby. I am just as inspired when I look at my children as adults. As an added plus, the smiles, hugs, and kisses I get from my grandchildren are the best reward I could ask for in life.
Use these Top 5 Core Tips to make parenting a rewarding part of your life. As a mother of two, a counselor to over a thousand teens/children, and a grandmother, I can testify that these steps really work. Enjoy the hardest but most rewarding responsibility that you will ever take on… Parenting!
Some other parenting resources would be The Power of Positive Parenting: A Wonderful way to Raise Children by Glenn Latham and Sidney W. Bijou. Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, Ed. D. For more articles by this author on parenting go to www.supportivetalk.com.