We all want our children to grow into responsible, respectful, and honest people. We want them to respect themselves and others with good core values. Each of these attributes is established in children by responsible parents.
I am going to share with you some valuable tips that will help initiate the lifestyle you want for your family and determine the core values your children will hold in their own adult lives.
Your behavior matters
What you tell your child matters far less than what you demonstrate to them.
Do you react to stress with aggression and spontaneous actions?
You can explain to a child that we must think before we act. However, if we react to situations with emotions and without thinking things through, they will learn to behave likewise.
Loving too much is never the problem
Our society has somehow redefined love. Surely you have heard parents say, “I cannot help spoiling them, because I love them too much”.
Love is not making sure your child has the latest cell phone, the most popular brands of clothes, and the most toys. While we all want to give our children nice things, love is totally different. When we love our child, we teach them their value. Their value is never reduced, regardless of the logos on their shoes, or the cell phone they own.
The standards we set for them and the rules we set for them are in place to help them grow and they are never lowered based on the feelings we have for them. Here is an example:
We send our child to school so they will be able to get into a good college and ensure a stable career in their future. We encourage high grades and maximum effort. If we find our child is cheating, we do not lower the standards and make excuses for them.
That would make them feel better for a while, but it will undermine the core values and the future of the child. It is not love to spare the child and ruin his future. Love is expecting the best from your child.
Never disagree about discipline in front of the child
Parents must stand as one unit to their children. Matters of discipline and degrees of discipline should be talked about well before they are needed. Even before children are introduced to the family, adults need to make sure their ideas of how and when to discipline a child are agreeable.
- Will one parent be the primary disciplinary?
- Will discipline be discussed between the adults and given to the child as a team?
- At what point do the actions of the child merit a deeper level of punishment?
Parents should never argue about the punishment handed out in front of the child. Do not make the family home a battle ground and do not allow your child to play one parent against the other.
- Don’t try to fix everything – let them develop their own sense of power
- Discipline is a form of teaching, not punishment
- Choose your battles – keep the peace as much as possible. Kids will shut down if the complaints never end,
- Children not only need parental structure, they crave it. They feel safe and secure when an adult is in control. The freedom to go on and on without limits is frightening. Don’t squash their natural curiosity. Use those situations as teachable moments.
Parenting is hard work, but it is the most rewarding work you will ever do. Give it your best and you will help create a better world for generations to come.