1. Manage yourself – Take care of yourself so that you’re not taking your negative emotions out on your child.
Calm parents = happy kids.
2. Be your child’s advocate and don’t give up on him – Appreciate who your child is (not what you want him to be) and respond to his needs. We all need someone who’s 100% on our side.
3. Punishment doesn’t work, but all children need boundaries and consequences.
4. Empathise with your childs feelings, they are real and important to them. Provide a safe place to ‘listen’ or ‘accept’ your childs feelings. Feelings should always be accepted. Learning that it’s okay to express their feelings makes for emotionally intelligent adults.
5. Remember that they’re still little and they’re doing the best that they can. Like adults, kids can have bad days.
6. Don’t take your childs behavior personally. Be aware of when you’re getting triggered and explore that.
7. All negative behavior comes from a basic need not met. Sleep, good nutrition, cuddles, fun together, safety and routine, and a balance of chill-out time and stimulation. Teach them little by little so they can experience mastery and success.
8. Don’t listen to others, listen to your child. Each of our children is so different, watch and learn from your child and trust your instincts.
9. Your parenting will evolve as your child grows. So much changes but the constants of love, routine and boundaries will remain.
10. Stay connected. Children cooperate because they love you and want to please you. Your relationship is priceless so don’t sabotage it for anyone or anything.
Peaceful parents, happy kids – Dr. Laura Markham