Positive Parenting

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Here are some hints and tips to help parents communicate with their children.

The key to managing misbehaviour is to be consistent and persevere. Understand that when your child is emotional they may be trying to tell you how they are feeling, they might be angry, sad, confused, frustrated but don’t know how to verbalise this.    
Always tell your child what they mean to you. Research suggests that many children are unaware of how important they are to their parents. They do need to hear it.  
Teach your child not to run away from their problems and that there are ways of dealing with them. Children need healthy coping mechanisms.  
Get them involved in helping out with you around the house to increase their independence skills. Don’t forget to thank them as this increases their ability to give compassion to others.    
Try to help your child to recognise that their own emotions help them to be able to care for others and acknowledge how someone else might be feeling. Emotional stability can be developed by helping your child to name their emotion, recognise how this makes them feel and what they can try to do to deal with this.  
Develop positive relationships by spending time with your child. This doesn’t just mean going out for day trips, to the park or playing a board game. Quality time can be when your child is calling you. Often parents are busy and all too often the reply is “In a minute” or “I will come to you when I have finished this”. Try stopping what you are doing for just 1 minute and acknowledge your child.  
Show Affection to your child, this helps to have secure bonds. It may be that you have a child who doesn’t always like physical displays of affection by hugging or kissing so think of ways that you can increase this like tickling, ruffling hair.  
Encourage positive behaviour by using descriptive praises. Try to explain why you are praising your child. It is great to say “Good girl/boy” or “Well done” but it is important that you add on what you are praising for. “Good boy for picking up your toys” or “Well done for tidying your bedroom”. This helps to boost confidence.    
All children need boundaries and rules. If this is done in a positive way it will give any child a sense of security and they will learn what is expected of them.  
Consequences need to be immediate where possible, do not get into arguments. As the adult, it is your responsibility to ensure that arguments are not escalated. If you need to walk away it is okay to do so. This is especially important with teenagers, it gives you both time to cool off.   
When taking something off your child as a form of punishment. Try taking the item for a shorter time to begin with and then give them the chance to show the correct behaviour. You can take the item for longer if the behaviour continues. This is also the same with grounding. If you ground for a long time you can have more difficulties to deal with.  
For younger children try using time out where the child is removed from the situation and has the chance to calm down. Find a safe spot in your home and use this spot consistently to deal with misbehaviour. Ensure your child is aware how long they need to be quiet whilst in time out. The time starts when your child is quiet and restarts if they shout out, make any noise or get up from the area. If they do get up, take them back and explain that the time starts again. Only use a maximum of 5 minutes but much less for children between 3-5 years old.