Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

6 Pieces of Advice on Finding Parenting Strategies that Work

By: Dyan Eybergen RN,ACPI

Not all expert parenting advice will fit every family or every family circumstance. Although parenting literature it is often based on sound psychological theory and principles, there are too many variables to consider when applying any given technique to a particular situation. Parenting strategies cannot take into account specific family dynamics, unique parent and child personalities and relationships. They cannot address fluctuations in parent’s mood or extraneous family stressors or individual child temperaments. In short, most parenting strategies in their concrete form fall short in addressing the individual needs of parents and their distinct children.

Here are some parenting tips on parenting tips:

  1. Test any parenting advice against your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, or you could not picture yourself staying the course, then don’t use that particular strategy. Shop for parenting advice like you would clothes. It has to be a good fit.
  2. Know your children. Listen to them, observe their reactions. Learn about their personalities: what makes them afraid? What makes them feel safe? What works in helping them to change their behaviour? What responses cause more behavioral problems? Then respond to them according to what you know about them.
  3. Find a philosophy that brings you and your parenting partner to the same page. When parents are at opposite ends of the discipline spectrum, children learn quickly that they can play one against the other. And consistency goes right out the window.
  4. Don’t be afraid to modify parenting strategies to fit the needs of your individual children. If you use the strategy Time Out but you’re a child has difficulty sitting still and needs help to move through his tears, sit quietly with him while he takes his Time Out.
  5. Ignore well-meaning neighbors, friends and relatives. Other people do not live your situation or know your children the way you do. So the next time someone says “he’s not toilet trained yet!” or “you let him have something to eat just before dinner!” Just remember you are the parent and you are doing what is best for you and your child. Maybe your child isn’t ready to be toilet trained yet and forcing the issue would do more harm than good. Maybe your child doesn’t like cooked vegetables so offering him a brownie made with spinach before dinner ensures he is getting the nutrients he needs.
  6. Give yourself a time limit. The time it takes for a child to change his behaviour varies by individual response. If a text book strategy says “get your child to sleep through the night in three nights or less” be prepared that your child may take up to seven nights, or 12. Decide before implementing any strategy how long you are prepared to “wait” before you see desired results.



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