by: Dyan Eybergen RN
Parents need to decide what they want for their child and develop a parenting plan accordingly.
If you want your children to give and have respect, you have to give it them in order to earn it. Respect begets respect; it does not emerge from fear. There is no other way to know respect, or how to show it if it is not modeled to you first.
If you want your children to have healthy relationships, model what that looks like for them. Treat people with respect and kindness and set a known standard that you expect to be treated in the same way. Every interaction you have with your child should preserve their integrity. Instill in them a sense of worthiness so they too will only surround themselves with people who are kind and respectful.
If you want your children to be honest and kind, then appeal to your children’s sense of fairness and sensitivity. Help them to understand the impact of their actions on their environment. Teach empathy for how others are feeling and have them make amends to those they have offended. Teach tolerance for diversity and acceptance for other people’s opinions and beliefs even if they are different from their own.
If you want your children to succeed tap into their natural strengths and find ways to manage their weaknesses. Give merit to their honest attempts to do well, and offer support and guidance when your child is struggling to achieve. Boost their confidence through honouring their natural abilities and celebrating their accomplishments. Offer them opportunities to be with like-minded people who share common interests and goals where they can nurture their talents.
If you want your children to know right from wrong give life to that learning. Teach them what they CAN do instead of just chastising them for what they have done wrong. Children need alternative behaviours to misbehavior and will only learn this by parents giving them suggestions for what they can do to replace the misbehaviour. Simply telling a child DON’T, STOP, QUIT, ENOUGH doesn’t teach them what to do instead the next time. Positively reinforce the behaviour you want to see.