With the convenience and availability of technology and other gadgets in our current society, the way we raise children has changed drastically. Old parenting methods that ensured respectable, ethical, and successful children, frequently face new challenges in our constantly changing world. As a therapist in Manhattan Beach, I frequently work with parents who are looking for successful methods to raise their kids. Therefore I am constantly reading up on the latest research out there focusing on effective parenting. A recent study conducted by psychologists at Harvard University highlights a few of the most effective parenting tips to raise caring, respectful, and responsible kids. I understand that not all methods work for everyone. That is why at my Hermosa Beach private practice I work with parents to determine which techniques will work best for their family’s needs. Here are a few techniques I often recommend to parents to try at home with their children.
When you develop a strong, respectful relationship with your children, they become more receptive to adopting core values and guiding principles. Kids learn how to be caring and respectful when they are treated that way. By showing love and interest in their lives, they learn how to do the same for others. A few ways that I recommend bonding with your children include:
This can be something as simple as reading to them before bed every night or finding a hobby or activity that you can regularly do together while enjoying one another’s company.
When you do spend time with your kids, be sure to show a genuine interest in their lives, thoughts, and feelings. Instead of generic questions like “How was your day?”, try to ask them questions that show a true interest in their lives. For example, inquire specifically about how their speech in English went or what they did in soccer practice that they found fun or challenging.
Similarly to how children can pick up values from those they respect, they can also pick up bad habits. If you want your child to learn ethical values and practice good behavior, it’s crucial to set an example. Try to be conscious of your actions, whether it’s admitting when you’ve made a mistake, being honest, kind, or general good manners. Of course will not be perfect all of the time, but it is important to practice what you preach. By doing this, you will only further gain respect and trust from your children. Some techniques I recommend are:
It’s important for parents to teach their children that everyone’s happiness, and not just their own, is important. This approach will help your child put themselves in other’s shoes and be more compassionate and considerate towards others. In addition, having high moral expectations is also important because it will teach your child to stick to their commitments, or do what’s right, even when things get hard. It will help promote a sense of responsibility and accountability in your child. One tip I suggest is to encourage your kids to work out their problems before giving up.
According the the Harvard study, learning to show gratitude and appreciation will help your child be more helpful, sympathetic, unselfish, forgiving, and overall more happy. It’s important to practice your appreciation or show gratitude every single day. Your child can do small tasks that help others, or simply take the time to look back at what they appreciate about others. Some tips I recommend are:
Have your children do chores, but only show gratitude for exceptional acts of kindness. You want chores to become a routine habit that is expected.
Try to begin conversations on what they believe acts of appreciation and gratitude are, and what’s not. This can help expand their mind about things they may have not considered before.
When it comes to those we are already close to, being empathetic is simple. Yet it is important to teach your child how to be aware of individuals outside their inner circle. By doing this, you will help teach your child how to be more open-minded and willing to help others, which might also influence those around them to do the same.
We all get overwhelmed by negative feelings at times, but it’s important to learn how to deal with it effectively. Having negative feelings is completely normal, how you react is what matters. Some coping mechanisms include:
Have your child break down why they are feeling the way they are. This method can calm them down and also help them resolve their issues more effectively.
Sometimes we get caught up in the heat of the moment, but there are simple methods to calm us down. Deep breathing exercises can help calm your child, and can be used every time they feel themselves getting upset again.
Talk the problem out with your child, and try to find a resolution. Whether it’s a current or past conflict, sit down and do role play. This can allow your child to learn how to resolve a fight and reach a mutual understanding.
If you are looking for more information on parenting methods, make an appointment at my South Bay private practice today. Methods to raise children are a common concern for many of my clients, so if you have any questions or concerns, the family counselors in my practice are here to help. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you want to schedule an appointment. I hope to hear from you soon!