Being parents, especially good ones, you have so many things to do with your child.
A child’s well-being is based on what their parents provide for him, including the material and spiritual welfare.
In other words, parents take full responsibility for raising their children from toddlers to adults.
One of the greatest compliments that parents want to hear is that they have a well-mannered child.
However, teaching your child to behave well is a laborious task.
Are you still at your wits’ end wondering how you will make your kids have exceptional behavior at an early age? Here are some tips and examples for your future reference:
1. Understand the purpose of teaching your child to behave
We all want our children to have good behavior so that they can become caring and responsible adults in the future.
We want them to be nice and polite, say “thank you” and “sorry” and do not have trouble with other children and teachers at school.
However, parents always have a hectic schedule and are struggling to balance between professional work and personal life.
Busy schedule leads to parents spending less time interacting with their child, let alone teaching them ways to be a better individual.
Furthermore, it is a continuous and exhausting process that requires parents to always pay attention to their children and keep an eye on their behavior.
Therefore, if parents understand how essential it is to teach your child to have good behavior, they will spend more time investing in their child’s upbringing.
Parents should also keep in mind that teaching their child to be well-behaved is not a short-term responsibility, such as making your child stop whining for a moment.
It is rather a long-term strategy that takes parents a long way to go and a long time to complete.
The more time and effort you put into teaching your child, the better behavior he or she would have.
2. Start from scratch at an early age
Children, especially toddlers, have an absorbent brain. They have the ability to absorb information fast and remember what they are told clearly.
As a result, parents should take advantage of this to teach their children to behave well earlier.
The sooner the child learns how to behave, the better the person he will become in the future.
For example, kids tend to hit somebody for no apparent reason.
While parents sometimes think it is an adorable way to express their anger as it will not harm anyone, it is recommended that parents should not allow their child to continue that action until preschool or later.
Because when kids hit somebody and receive no feedback from their parents, they will keep in mind that it is totally fine to do that.
Consequently, they keep repeating that behavior until it is too late for their parents to recognize this is a bad way to convey emotions.
Therefore, it would be much easier for parents to instill good manners into children’s minds at an early age.
3. Set firm discipline with clear expectations
Children tend to feel like they can do anything they want to and have tantrums or whine when their demands are not met by their parents.
In those cases, parents sometimes threaten them with punishment or scold them for behaving badly.
But that method is just temporary because it is likely that they will repeat the same mistake on the following day.
To explain, parents need to point out why their behavior is wrong and correct it instead of hitting the ceiling and leaving them justifying in their confusion.
That is why using rules is an indispensable part of parenting.
Here are some ways to set efficacious discipline:
- Clarify your expectations to your child: they need to know why parents expect certain behavior from them.
Parents are advised to consistently enforce their rules and make it a daily routine, even reinforce them if necessary.
By being consistent, your child will acknowledge that your rules are not arbitrary and there are high chances that he will adhere to them.
You can gently tell your kid to go to bed early at 9 pm by providing a specific explanation such as their body needs to rest and their brain needs to recharge to have more energy and remain healthy in the following morning, rather than yelling at them for not automatically lie in bed at 9 pm.
Parents can also check out the 4 Tips to Setting Realistic Expectations for Your Child by The Confident Mom.
- Create appropriate consequences: every child should understand that his behavior, whether it is good or bad, would result in privileges or consequences.
What’s more, if your child knows their boundaries and limits, he will act in a moderate way not to cross the line.
It is wonderful if your child obeys the rules, but when the boundaries are tested, there has to be a consequence that relates to the wrong behavior.
Parents should also make sure that the consequences that they give to their children are not too harsh. They just need to be enough for children to learn a lesson and never let those misbehaviors happen again.
For more information on How to Give Kids Consequences That Work, check out this article from Empowering Parents.
- Set a good example for your child: it is meaningless if parents just come up with a list of “to-dos” and “not-to-dos” for your child.
Your child will always be there and be watchful for every action you take.
It is suggested that parents should stay calm and be polite, especially when it comes to interacting with others in public and private.
Don’t bear these actions as a burden on you.
Considering it as a great opportunity, not only we, as parents, can also grin and bear it but also be a fantastic example for our children to look up to.
When children see that parents are behaving well, they will want to do the same. Be the person you want your child to be.
If there is a situation that you fly off the handle or offend someone intentionally in front of your child, try to cool off and apologize to him as soon as possible.
By doing that, kids will eventually understand that we have to be held accountable for your actions and therefore know how to behave in a good way.
To see how bad examples have any influence on your child, refer to When Good Parents Set Bad Examples on Parents.com
- Praise your child for his good behavior: parents sometimes pay more attention to children’s wrong behavior than their right one.
However, those simple expressions such as “Good job!”, “I’m proud of you!” or “Well done!” would be a tremendous encouragement for your child.
Parents can also give a reward so that they will know that their behavior is celebrated and appreciated.
Additionally, check out this video from Jimmy Kimmel on How to Properly Praise Your Children
4. Practice problem-solving skills
Problem-solving skills are considered a foundation for a child’s learning ability.
Moreover, a study in 2010 found that kids who do cannot obtain problem-solving skills stand higher chances of depression and suicidality.
Accordingly, parents are recommended to begin teaching children problem-solving skills in preschool and help them hone these skills during higher education.
Like us parents, kids also face many problems at school or even at home.
If they don’t have the mindset of finding solutions to their problems, they will be likely to avoid those issues and therefore create bigger troubles in the future.
Here are some steps to teach your child problem-solving skills:
- Let kids make their own choices: start with little things such as letting them choose their favorite pajamas before bed or their breakfast in the morning.
By using daily situations, your child will gradually foster problem-solving skills and build independence, which would carry him over later in life.
As they grow, they will have the ability to make more crucial decisions that heavily affect their life.
- Identify the problem: sometimes your child will feel stuck because he cannot understand what is the reason leading to his problem.
It is advised that parents encourage their child to state the problem out loud so that he will know what problem he has to confront.
- Come up with some solutions and test them out: help your child to develop possible ways to solve the problem.
It is alright if the solutions are far-fetched at first because the main point of this step is to boost the child’s creativity and show him that even an unbelievable idea can also be a potential solution.
Subsequently, make your child evaluate those solutions and divide them into pros and cons to find the optimal outcome to the problem.
If this outcome does not work out, your child can try again.
Teaching them problem-solving skills by trial and error can effectively help with their cognitive development and confidence.
In conclusion, every child has their moments, but parents’ duties are to teach them how to behave properly even when they are in a bad mood.
Parents should also stay calm and patient when teaching their child to behave because it takes a long time for those lessons to instill in the child’s mind.
By using consistent and well-prepared plans, along with the right parenting skills, children will be more better-behaved.
It seems like there is a long way to go and more work to be done, but the outcomes would far outweigh the effort as your child gradually complies with the rules.