For every study that claims raising your child one way is better than another, another study or organization might recommend a different method. Many techniques exist for raising children and it is up to you, the parent, to decide which one is suitable for you and your children. You might even discover that you prefer to pull bits and pieces of the various parenting techniques to create a novel technique that works for your family.
A child’s self-esteem begins to develop as soon as he is born. While he might not understand exactly what is being said, an infant can detect the tone of voice, level of care and body language of his care provider. Praise, even for the smallest tasks, encourages a child to continue to behave in an appropriate manner. It’s wise to avoid insults and negative attention. Children need to be loved and constantly shown through their parent’s words and actions that they care.
Discipline is a necessary evil of parenting because it lets children know that certain behaviors are unacceptable while they continue to test limits and develop self-control. A child needs to learn to respect authority figures, including you, for discipline to be effective. Make clear what is acceptable and institute consequences for a failure to behave. Consequences can range from time-outs to taking away privileges, but the No. 1 rule is to be consistent and always follow through. Don’t make empty threats that will only reinforce the idea that you aren’t serious about rules.
Give Her Your Time
Children want their parent’s attention and need individual time with them. A child who doesn’t receive enough attention is likely to act out in negative ways to get the attention she craves. Time doesn’t need to be hours. It can be eating a meal together, taking a walk or establishing a “you and me” night each week to give your child undivided attention for the evening to play or even watch a movie. The need to spend time with a child does not end at a certain age, but the activities and ways that the time is spent together will evolve.
Communication is important with children of all ages. Parents need to be willing to listen to their child’s thoughts and feelings, and then respond appropriately. Communication is also effective with discipline because a parent that explains why a certain type of behavior is not acceptable will gain more understanding than simply saying “don’t do that.” Take your child’s suggestions into account to come to a decision that you are both comfortable with on discipline, making plans or establishing a routine.