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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Raise a Happy Child Part 6

Here's the last installment of How to Raise a Happy Child. I hope you learned a lot but always remember that the most important thing on raising a child is to show them great love and affection.

Provide a consistent environment

“Consistency is an essential element in our relationship with our children because it puts them in control. Children love their parents to be consistent, as it enables them to predict how parents will act,” says Grose. “It’s important to be consistent in all areas of parenting, including regular mealtimes, bedtimes and reactions to behaviour. This enables them to grow and reassures them someone is there for them.”
“Children also like limits and boundaries, as they provide themwith structure and teach them how they should behave,” he says. “Of course, children also like to push parental boundaries, so parents need to resist the pressure that children can exert upon them. This is a normal but irritating expression of a child’s push for independence.
“Consistency also means not parenting on a whim, so following through and doing as we say,” he says. “It means not giving children second and third chances. It also means not allowing children to get away with misbehaviour two or three times then coming down hard the fourth time they misbehave. “Consistency prevents misbehaviour from escalating. We help children develop self-discipline, which is the aim, when we are consistent and do as we say we will – every single time.”

(The girl is wearing a white chiffon tent dress from Elitedresses.com Girls Party Dresses Collection)

How to be consistent with your children:

  • Focus on priority behaviours. It’s difficult to be consistent with every single wrong doing, so focus on one or two main ones. When you follow through with priority behaviours it has a positive effect on other behaviour.
  • Remind yourself about the behaviour you want to follow up. Write a note for yourself saying: “Walk away when they whine. Don’t give in.”
  • Check your routines. Do you have routines for troublesome times of the day such as bedtime or mealtimes?
  • Act rather than talking over or repeating yourself. Sometimes a consequence can be inconvenient in the short term, but long term it pays off with children who end up being better behaved.

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