There’s no right or wrong way to do parenting. However, there are effective ways and ineffective ways in doing so. You always have the chance to do things differently especially if you become fully aware that what you are doing may not acquire your desired results.
Here are the 3 ineffective parenting styles most parents are guilty of:
#1 Yelling as a form of discipline
It is tempting to yell at your child especially when they start to yell back at you. Most parents feel the need to raise their voice just to be heard. However, it doesn’t work.
According to James Lehman, author of The Total Transformation Program, yelling lets your child know that you are not in control. When you yell with your child in that moment, it shows that you are their peer, not their parent. The focus quickly points towards your yelling instead of their behavior. And when you need to defend your yelling, it takes even more of the focus off your child’s behavior.
Yelling does not give you authority, but does the opposite. It undermines it. When you maintain your temper, you are claiming your authority as a parent. In order to resist the temptation to yell, be clear with yourself and your child that you are focused on their behavior. Let your child know that yelling will not solve their problem. Keep a calm, clear, level voice and make it known that you’re not drawn off focus to stoop down to their emotional level.
As soon as you feel your temper rising, remove yourself from the situation. However, don’t walk out. Instead, tell your child what you’re feeling. Eg: “I’m having a hard time keeping my temper. I am going to take a walk. When I come back, we will continue this discussion.”
#2 Don’t Over-Negotiate
Children are good negotiators. They can find any possible loophole, any flaw in your rules, or in ways you deliver those rules. All parents want to keep their children happy. Conflict is hard.
However, things can get harder if your child knows that the rules can be bent from time to time. They will tend to negotiate in the hopes that this is one of those times. If you concede, you are basically telling your child that rules can always be broken and limits are meaningless. Why would anyone follow rules that can be negotiated, right?
So the key is to be consistent. If you want your child to change his behavior, your consequences need to be clear and consistent. Consistency lets kids know that negotiation is not an option. But don’t make your child feel like their opinion is not valuable. Know when to cross the line and when not to.
When your child attempts to complain, find a way to redirect their attention. Tell them that they can talk about that concern during their ‘complaint time’.
Parents hate to see their children struggle. When we see our child getting frustrated, we want to make things easier for them. The thing is, kids don’t grow and change if they don’t experience how to struggle.
If you rescue your child, you’re training them to give up when things get hard. Also, by jumping in at the first sign of difficulty, you’re actually sending your child the message that you don’t believe they can do it.
Develop your tolerance when you see them struggle so they can learn. Don’t overdo it of course. Be a coach for your child when needed. Make them understand you are not there to do it for them. You are there to guide them through learning the behaviors they’ll need to be healthy, well-adjusted people.