Be as consistent as possible regardless of your mood.
When it comes to parenting, it is important to have CONSISTENCY. The problem is, being consistent is hard. However, children need to be able to count on you not to ‘lose it’ if they make a simple mistake, and that you will still be loving when you are in a bad mood.
So, what does it take to parent with CONSISTENCY?
For starters, be consistent with your rules to help mold proper behavior. Kids need structure. With that said, be sure to plan ahead with your rules and expectations so you are prepared to calmly implement your plans when necessary. At the same time, don’t make irrational threats that you can’t/won’t follow through on.
Get in touch with what really matters. If you enforce rules sometimes and then other times you don’t because the rule really isn’t that important to you, then perhaps you should abandon that rule. For example: why can’t your child have dessert with dinner if they eat everything on their plate? Why make them wait for dessert until after they eat everything else, especially if you already plan on giving them dessert regardless?
Deploy consistent reinforcement. Behaviors can be conditioned if you consistently reinforce them. This includes both positive and negative behaviors that are important.
Telling your child how proud you are when they have good behavior at a restaurant will help condition that specific behavior. At the same time, if your child knows there’s a consequence every time they break a rule that is important to follow, then they are more likely to stop that behavior.
For example: if they throw their iPad when they are angry, then they lose iPad time for an entire day. If you sometimes let that rule slide, then they are more likely going to take chances on that behavior.
Model the behavior you desire from your child. For example: when enforcing rules, keep your emotions out of it. This can be hard, especially when you’ve had a stressful day. However, when you address rules calmly and rationally, then you are showing your child you can manage your emotions. This will help them learn how to manage their own behaviors regardless of mood.
Again, being consistent as a parent is not easy. However, if you consciously pay attention to this skill over the next few weeks, then you will for sure make some progress.
So, give my recommendations a try this week!
This guest article written by Melody Shuman, founder of Skillz, a leading martial arts curriculum for children.
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for martial arts instruction for 7 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt is a certified instructor for C.O.B.R.A., a worldwide self-defense, and personal protection program. SKS offers Active Shooter Training, Real Estate Safety, 10 Week Self Defense Academies, Bully Workshops, and Child Safety Camps.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars
Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: [email protected]
Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.
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