Parents, no matter the age of your child/children, do not give speedy and careless answers. Give mindful consideration to the question before giving an answer and then stick to it! If your child nags or asks the same question repeatedly in order to get a different answer, this creates strife and emotional melt downs. Apparently, your child has learned that on the fifty-first time they ask you crater and give in. Let your “no” really mean “no” and your “yes” be honored even if it is inconvenient. Some parents believe that if their child can present a good argument it is a sign of intelligence and should be rewarded with an answer the child seeks….even when it is not in the child’s best interest. When your communication is clear and consistent your child knows what to expect. This promotes much peace and leaves no gray area to be challenged. Also, take all emotion out of the equation. If we, as adults, are led through life based on our emotions, what are we teaching our children? To do the same AND remember… their perception of us in authority over them now is going to be the same perception they have of God later. Once you have clearly explained on their level of understanding and give an answer, then stick to it. They are totally capable of understanding and meeting the standard. No more tantrums at home. No more melt downs at the store and much peace to be had. Then, every body can enjoy each others presence in the manner in which God intended.
As adults, we feel the need to be praised and celebrated occasionally for our strengths, accomplishments and victories. It is fulfilling to have someone else acknowledge our efforts and/or hard work whether it be by our boss, co-workers or peers. Our children are no different! A little praise or words of affirmation go a long way. Actions speak even louder than words! Look for and seek out opportunities to praise your child. “I like the way you…” or “I like it when you…” are just a couple of ways to express your approval and admiration. No matter the age or gender, we all have the need to feel celebrated. Focus on your child’s strengths and not their weaknesses. Impart to them a healthy self-esteem and age appropriate level of confidence. Each and every one is unique and has their own gifts and talents that God has given them. Show them how to utilize those to bless others and how to build on those to be victorious over even their weaknesses! This “habit” will help promote a positive outlook and “I can” attitude. It will also help them to establish healthy relationships and appropriate means of communicating with others!