How Can I Improve My Parenting Skills?
So many things in life get easier with time and experience, but parenting may not be one of them. Every child is a unique adventure and parents just come along for the ride. The first step to improve parenting skills is to release anxiety about not being a good parent, and trust children will remember parents' good intentions more than their failings.
Next, authority and consistency are the most reliable parenting hacks. Use them, and you will earn a child's respect plus make your life much easier. Children appreciate predictable patterns and healthful habits they can see are in their best interests.
What causes poor parenting?
The "Do as I say, not as I do" approach confuses children. Some are smart enough to call you out on it and challenge it. Poor parenting arises when children do not know what you want them to model.
It's fine to occasionally interrupt expectations due to work, other family obligations and relationships with your partner. However, when unpredictability becomes the norm, parents lose patience easily, and children feel unstable. Moving back to schedules or catching up is stressful for all involved, and parents will lose their tempers while children lose respect.
Can yelling at a child be harmful?
Yelling at a child is not always harmful. If a child walks to the edge of a busy road, any decent parent will yell "Stop!" However, everyday life and situations do not require extreme measures like yelling.
Parents are not perfect, and they do not always have all the hands-on-deck they need. Unfortunately, this will cause them to yell when it is unnecessary. If a parent is loving and kind most of the time, a child should not be harmed if a sincere apology follows a rare yelling incident.
How can I be a better parent without yelling?
If stress or exhaustion pushes you to yell, you scare your child and get nowhere. Apologize the second you realize your mistake, then have a calm conversation. However, never feel bad when you sense your child is in danger or at risk and you yell as an authority to help.
You are a better parent with strong organization skills like schedules, set expectations and regular habits. Write down general expectations and household rules on whiteboards, lists and art projects. If you can refer to set agreements when conflicts arise, you will never have to raise your voice.
How do you discipline a child that won't listen?
Discipline on its own is limited. When children don't understand the value of listening, punishment is not enough to make them care. They practice good behaviors like listening when they see a reward for it, not to avoid discipline.
Model what you want from a child who may not know how to listen yet. One of the oldest parenting hacks is a quiet voice in response to a child's tantrum or defiance. Repeat a child's stories and statements to show you paid attention so they will give you the same respect.
Preparing for a child's needs, habits and comforts is an underappreciated parenting skill. Healthy and useful parenting hacks with this goal include packing a child's toys and keeping essentials handy, as tote bags and cart covers can help you do. You can also pack lunches and arrange clothes the night before to avoid stressful morning rushes.
You should be mindful of parenting skills but never overthink them. Parenting is a joy, not a military obligation. Stay respectful, calm and prepared, so your child wants to be like you.