Back in the past, there was no such thing as “parenting style” or names for different techniques. Why? Dr. Glenn Lathamthe author of the book ‘The power of positive parenting’ states the necessity of parenting today is a result of the culture difference. As now children have more free time, activity options and independence, we need to not only have parenting skills, but also implement them confidently (Parry-Cruwys, 2018).
When it comes to parenting, there are only a few rules that can be applied to many cases. These five rules are five simple things that you just have to do consistently.
- Clearly communicate expectations to children.
What are the rules? What happens if we follow the rules? What happens if we fail to follow the rules? When setting rules, remember to do it as a part of a conversation, not as presenting them with a manual: decide about the rules and the consequences together.
Another important tip: is it developmentally appropriate? We cannot expect toddlers to tidy up a room perfectly, but we can expect them to tidy up a toy.
- Ignore inconsequential behaviours.
Before you decide to make a rule about a behaviour, think: is it about the children’s safety and well-being, or is it about you being annoyed?
- Reinforce appropriate behaviour.
You may be surprised if you try to record how many times you praise your children and how often you tell them to do something in a day. Praise is even important when children fail, but they did their best: try to acknowledge their appropriate behaviours and their good effort, instead of only explaining to them how they failed.
- Stop and redirect inappropriate behaviour.
- Stay close to your children.
What does that mean? Basically, to be there for them. Find the time to spend with your children. Common activities, things both you and your children enjoy doing. Take time to do things that establish trust, and don’t try to turn this time about grades or other tough issues.
Dr. Glenn describes parenting as the process of trying to civilise your child (Latham, 2003). When you are yelling at your child, you are modelling bad behaviour. This is why it is crucial to develop self control, so you won’t engage in behaviour matching the one of the child. Taking a step back and talking half an hour later, when you or your child feel calmer, is a habit that can help you protect your relationship.
If you are struggling with parenting and this is affecting you and your family life, it may be a good idea to seek professional help.
Elena Marinopoulou is a Behaviour Analyst with the Willingness Team. She works with children and adults and has a strong interest in parent training, sleep and feeding issues emerging during childhood, as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Latham, G. (2003). The power of positive parenting. P & T ink.
Parry-Cruwys, R. (2018). Episode 67 – Positive Parenting, pt. 1,. ABA Inside Track [Podcast]. Retrieved 29 December 2021, from.