Tweak your parenting skills with easy tips that will bring out more of your kids' gorgeous smiles.
With the new year approaching, try these five parenting tips from author Cathy Glass, author of Happy Kids: The Secret to Raising Well-Behaved, Contented Children (Harper) to help make kids (and you) just all-around happier on a daily basis.
1) PARENTING — Be consistent: Consistency between parents and other family caregivers is important because children learn how to be in the world by observing the behavior of the people around them. The more consistent the message, the more stable the child. If you and your spouse make house rules, for instance, be sure you enforce them. Your kids should know there are certain rules that aren't breakable (such as not hitting siblings, no playing with balls in the house).
2) PARENTING — Be united with your spouse: Parents must stick together for discipline to work. Consequences must be agreed upon and must be appropriate to the situation.
3) PARENTING — Sort out conflicts: If your children were fighting, but you weren't around to see it yet they've come to you, listen compassionately to each child but refrain from taking sides. Instead, focus on helping them come to a resolution.
4) PARENTING — To discipline kids effectively, make sure the consequences are appropriate and related to the event that created them: For instance, if your child screams and throws a toy, remove your child from the play area and talk to him, rather than taking away his television privileges for a week.
5) PARENTING — If you find that you are losing patience with your children, take a moment to regroup: Breathe in and out slowly. Discipline kids by teaching them a better way, rather than yelling at blaming or shaming them.