Parenting is the multi-faceted process of accompanying and supporting a child from birth to independent adulthood. It is about supporting the child’s upbringing through all stages of development and providing care, guidance, and stability. Parenting goes beyond the biological connection and includes caring for a child regardless of their genetic makeup. It is about creating a healthy environment that promotes physical, emotional, and social development and providing an education consistent with one’s values. As children grow and develop, you, as a parent, must adapt to their changing needs and adjust your approach accordingly. The field of psychology has identified four main parenting styles that are widely used to describe parenting approaches: permissive, authoritative, neglectful, and authoritarian. Parenting styles are not fixed and can evolve over time, influenced by various factors such as culture, personal experiences, and the child’s temperament.
I have no idea how to talk so my kids will listen to me. I don’t want to yell at them or give in and let them do whatever they want. What’s the better option?
If you find yourself constantly struggling to strike a balance between being too strict and too permissive, know that you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are several strategies to get to that much-needed equilibrium.
To create a healthy family dynamic make sure to be clear and consistent with boundaries. Children don’t thrive when they don’t know what to expect. For example, some parents are ok with letting kids watch TV when they are busy, but not when friends visit because they feel judged. Or set boundaries for eating sweets, but allow their children to overindulge at parties. While these things make sense to parents, they may make children confused. Parents should own up to boundaries and consequences, discuss and explain them to children and enforce them consistently. This will give kids a good structure and a sense of security (Innis, 2012).
Children, like adults, want to feel heard and understood. If talking to your children means assigning chores or scolding them for misbehavior, they might not feel valued. Negative behavior impacts us more than good behavior, and our response is more emotional. Children need to learn responsibility indeed, but before that, they need to know they are connected to you, and that you love them even when they are testing boundaries. If not we go back to how our grandparents raised our parents and how our parents raised us. Try to break this pattern.
Practice active listening by giving your full attention when your children are speaking and showing genuine interest in their thoughts and concerns. Validate their feelings and let them know that you understand their perspective, even if you may not agree with it. Catch them when they are doing good and surprise them with honest, heartfelt praise. Validation motivates your child to listen, builds trust, and strengthens your relationship (Kuo et al., 2022).
By implementing these strategies and maintaining a consistent approach, you’ll gradually improve your communication with your children, strengthen your family bond, and create a healthier, more harmonious environment for everyone involved.
Remember, finding balance in parenting is an ongoing process, and it’s normal to have ups and downs.
Need more practical solutions on this or other topics? Sophie, our clever AI assistant, is ready to help you.
It’s hard to be calm and understanding when my son has a temper tantrum. As a parent, you want to be calm for your kids, but I just lose it. How can I be more patient and how can I prevent my son’s tantrums?
Each tantrum is an opportunity for growth, both for your son and for you as a parent. To help you stay calm and be there for your kid you need to remember that parenting a toddler can be challenging for most of the parents out there. Your child’s tantrum is a natural part of their growth not a reflection of your parenting.
As you speak, your voice should remain calm and understanding. Choose words that validate their feelings, saying, “I can see that you’re feeling upset right now. It’s okay to feel that way.” In this nurturing environment, you listen attentively to their cries, giving them your full attention (Nieman & Shea, 2004).
If your kid is yelling or hitting, don’t take it personally and model appropriate behavior. Responding calmly demonstrates to your child how to regulate emotions and handle challenging situations. By remaining composed, you show them that yelling or hitting is not an acceptable or effective way to express themselves. A calm parent can provide a sense of stability for the child during their emotional outburst (Holodynski & Friedlmeier, 2006).
Remember that your toddler watches your reactions in those moments and learns from how you handle the situation. Soon you will see your reactions in the way he behaves, therefore it’s important to choose how you deal with your emotions first.
Responding with compassion is a continuous learning process. Be patient with yourself as you navigate the complexities of parenting. When you feel it’s too much, step away to collect your thoughts and regain your own sense of calm. Return to the situation when you feel ready to provide the support your child needs. Each child is unique, and finding what works best for your child may take time.
Need more practical solutions on this or other topics? Sophie, our clever AI assistant, is ready to help you.
I don’t know how to connect with my teenager. Most of the time I find myself being the screaming mom I said I will never be. How can I make things better between us? Why do I have no patience with my child anymore?
Building a strong connection with your teenager and reducing instances of a parent yelling or scolding requires practical strategies and a focus on anger management (Nieman & Shea, 2004).
Here’s how you can work towards positive change:
Teenagers don’t like being told what to do. They may not intentionally be disrespectful or test boundaries, but they’re at a transitioning age. They are building a view of the world, values, and beliefs, and it may happen that these don’t match yours. Although this feeling is very strong within them, they are not yet independent adults, and it’s still the parent’s responsibility to guide them. Communicate your expectations and the reasons behind limits and rules. Involve them in the process, allowing for discussion and negotiation. Collaborate on establishing mutually agreed-upon household rules that consider their input and perspectives. By setting boundaries respectfully, you can maintain discipline without resorting to screaming (Desautels, 2018).
Set aside dedicated time to have meaningful conversations with your teenager. Show genuine interest in their thoughts and experiences. You can come across like this “I can see your passion for cars and I’m interested in learning more about it. Would you like to share more with me?”. Actively listen, validate their emotions, and create a safe space for open dialogue. This approach promotes understanding and it might reduce conflicts (Grusec & Danyliuk, 2014).
If you find yourself struggling with anger when interacting with your teenager, it’s important to address this issue. Learn and apply anger management strategies to help you regulate and express your emotions effectively. We provide resources, science-based articles, and online parenting events where you can discover anger management strategies that work for both you and your child. By managing your intense emotions, you can create a more welcoming environment for your child.
Remember, change takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself as you work towards improving your communication and anger management skills. Applying calm parenting techniques creates a healthier and more positive relationship with your teenager while reducing the need to yell.
Need more practical solutions on this or other topics? Sophie, our clever AI assistant, is ready to help you.
I know it’s important to set limits, but I would also like to allow enough space for my children to build their personalities and explore. What are the first steps in creating a healthy family environment?
When it comes to child rearing, finding the most effective approach often involves striking a balance between setting limits and granting autonomy. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all parent guide to creating a healthy family environment, there are key principles and strategies that can help you navigate this.
Establish clear and consistent boundaries to create structure and ensure your child’s safety.
Clearly communicate your expectations and enforce them consistently. This helps children understand what is acceptable behavior and establishes a sense of security. Gradually increase their responsibilities and involve them in decision-making processes whenever appropriate. This helps them develop confidence and a sense of ownership over their actions (Nieman & Shea, 2004).
Support open communication so your child feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns. Consider this example. The child doesn’t want to do homework. Listen to their reasoning without interrupting, empathize, and validate their feelings. “I see that doing your homework makes you feel bored. Can you think of a more engaging or enjoyable way to complete your homework?” Being flexible means allowing choices within the boundaries you’ve set. Encourage them to find solutions and make their own choices. Guide them through the process, offering support and suggestions, but ultimately allowing them to learn from their own experiences.
Building a nurturing and supportive environment is essential for your child’s well-being. Show love, support, and encouragement, and provide opportunities for quality time and shared experiences. This helps build a strong parent-child bond and builds healthy emotional growth and resilience.
Parenting is an ongoing learning process and every child is unique, and the most effective approach to child rearing may vary. It’s essential to tailor your parenting style to your child’s personality, temperament, and individual needs (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Be flexible and open to adjustments along the way, always keeping your child’s well-being and growth at the forefront of your parenting journey.
How can I make my children understand that rules need to be respected and that “No!” means “No!”? I am exhausted from explaining, yelling, and being contradicted about everything. Is being a parent supposed to be this hard?
It’s completely understandable to feel exhausted and overwhelmed when it seems like your children don’t understand the meaning of “No”. I can imagine every time you ask something you have to think long and hard about how to talk so your kids will listen. When saying “No”, communicate in a firm, clear, and assertive manner. Help your child understand that this it’s your boundary. The way you come across can impact your child’s understanding and the overall dynamics of your parent-child relationship (Meers, n.d.).
Start with keeping your message concise and to the point, avoiding long-winded explanations that may confuse or overwhelm them. Keep in mind to steer clear of aggressive or harsh tones when saying “No” to your child. Yelling, shouting, or displaying anger can create fear and anxiety, eroding the trust and connection between you and your child. Instead, focus on maintaining a respectful and constructive tone that encourages open communication and understanding (Grolnick & Farkas, 2002).
Then, when delivering a “No” message, direct your attention to the behavior or action you are addressing rather than attacking or criticizing your child’s character. This helps them understand that it’s the behavior that is not acceptable, not them as a person. For example, instead of saying, “You’re a bad kid,” say, “Hitting is not an acceptable behavior.” (McCarthy, 2019).
Parenting without yelling is not impossible. Your children can understand “No” from the first time you say it. Remember that setting boundaries and saying “No” is part of parenting, but it doesn’t have to strain your relationship with your child. You can remain a calm parent who balances firmness with warmth, love, and support. Reassure your child that your love for them is unwavering, even when you have to set limits (Nieman & Shea, 2004).
I want to be a better parent for my children, and I realized that being excessively strict is not the best way. However, I don’t know how to talk so kids will listen. How to get my 5 year old to listen and behave, without being too harsh?
You’re right. Being excessively strict with your children can have negative consequences, including emotional and behavioral issues like low self esteem, aggression, anxiety, depression or poor social skills. On the other hand, child rearing in a kind and nurturing manner is beneficial.
The first step in figuring out how to get your 5-year-old to listen is to try to empathize with their feelings. Talk to your child, ask him how he is feeling and show him that you are there, no matter what.
Next, when it comes to dealing with a 5-year-old, using logical consequences and also praising the effort can be incredibly effective and empowering. Rather than punishing them for their mistakes or misbehavior, make it about the consequences of their actions and about acknowledging their good behavior.
Imagine that – let’s say your child has just finished cleaning up their toys without being asked. You could say: “Great job on cleaning up your toys all by yourself! You’re becoming so responsible.” According to a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies (2020), positive reinforcement has been shown to be an effective method for promoting desirable behavior in children. By providing praise and acknowledgment for good behavior, parents can encourage their child’s continued positive actions.
Then, setting boundaries for a 5-year-old child is essential for promoting their listening skills and cooperation. By establishing clear expectations and limits, you create a structured and safe environment for your child. Start by clearly communicating the rules and boundaries in a calm and supportive manner, using age-appropriate language.
Being a parent is not the easiest job, but we’re here to help. Our science-based resources provide practical guidance and strategies to help you raise a balanced child. With our support, you can face the challenges of parenting and create a warm environment that promotes your child’s growth.
Looking for additional practical solutions? For online parenting advice, meet Sophie, our intelligent AI assistant – she is ready to help you.
My teenager lacks motivation, he is extremely lazy. I’m worried about his future. How can I effectively discipline a teenager that won’t listen?
We understand how difficult and challenging it can be to handle a rebellious young adult, but you have it in you to navigate through it successfully. Teenagers want to be independent and speak their minds. It’s a tough time for them too, so parents should strive to invest more patience and active listening in their interactions. Research has shown that teenagers who feel a sense of independence are more likely to be engaged and motivated (Deci & Ryan, 2008).
But first, it’s important to be respectful and keep an open mind when talking to your teenager. If you’re trying to find out how to deal with a teenager that doesn’t care, you don’t necessarily need a parent guide, but you do need patience and empathy. In addition, having access to scientifically-backed solutions can significantly ease the challenges you face.
In order to keep your teenager engaged and motivated, you could try some new strategies. You could encourage their interests and provide opportunities to pursue them. It can be joining a sports team, participating in an art class, or attending a music lesson. Provide opportunities for them to pursue their interests, whether it’s joining a sports team, participating in an art class, or attending music lessons. By showing support and enthusiasm for their pursuits, you can fuel their motivation and help them develop a sense of purpose.
Also, consider including your child in brainstorming solutions that affect the family. Engage them in discussions, allowing them to contribute their ideas and opinions. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of autonomy and ownership, which can increase their engagement and motivation.
It may take time to see progress. It’s important to understand that parents yelling at a teenager can do more harm than good. Be patient and consistent. Sophie, our AI assistant, is here to provide you with practical solutions – have a chat with her!
How to make my child listen without yelling? I’m worried about the psychological effects of yelling at a child and I want to learn to parent in a way that is both effective and gentle.
If you’re wondering how to parent without yelling, you’re in the right place. When it comes to setting healthy boundaries for your child without being harsh, it’s necessary to evaluate your parenting strategies. Research has shown that positive and respectful parenting strategies lead to better outcomes for children (Pinquart, 2017).
Start by listening to how you come across. Is your child defiant because you’re telling him constantly what to do, and your tone is mainly demanding? Next time try to use a calm and respectful tone and actively listen to what they have to say. See if you notice any differences. This approach helps in building trust and cooperation between you and your child.
Also, emphasize the natural and logical consequences of their actions. Suppose your child repeatedly leaves their bicycle unlocked outside, despite reminders to secure it. A logical consequence could be that their bike gets stolen or damaged. This helps them understand the importance of following rules and taking precautions to protect their belongings. By focusing on consequences that are connected to their actions, you help them develop a sense of responsibility and accountability. Here’s another example: if your child consistently leaves toys scattered around, calmly communicate the expectation of tidying up. If they fail to comply, a natural consequence could involve temporarily removing the toys until they demonstrate responsibility.
Remember, setting boundaries is not about punishing or controlling your child, but rather about guiding them towards positive choices and personal growth.
Looking for additional parenting guidance? Meet Sophie, our intelligent AI assistant who can provide personalized online parenting advice – she will make your life a lot easier.
I heard that there are a lot of parenting styles, how does recognizing your parenting style help in being a better parent? Is there a parenting style test to help me identify my own parenting approach?
Getting to know your own parenting style can truly transform your entire parental experience and strengthen the bond between you and your child.
One influential study in the field of parenting styles is the work of Diana Baumrind (1966), who identified three primary parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive.
The authoritative style, which is parenting warmth, clear expectations, and reasonable discipline, is linked to positive child outcomes like higher self-esteem and better academic performance. On the other hand, the authoritarian style, with strict rules and punishments, can lead to lower self-esteem and problematic social interactions. The permissive style, characterized by a lack of structure, may result in lack of self-control and decreased academic achievement.
We invite you to participate in our upcoming free parenting masterclass to discover everything you need to know about child rearing.
In addition to these three parenting styles, a fourth style known as the uninvolved or neglectful style has been recognized in later research. The uninvolved style is characterized by emotional detachment, and minimal involvement in the child’s life. This style can have significant negative effects on the child’s development, including emotional and behavioral problems.
Understanding the strengths and limitations of your style allows you to capitalize on your strengths and address any potential shortcomings. For example, if you identify as an authoritarian parent, you can work on incorporating more warmth and open communication in your interactions with your child. If you find out you have a permissive parenting style, you will need to work more with boundaries and learn how to remain consistent. Being a balanced parent is what we encourage parents to strive for.
If you’re seeking personalized online parenting advice and guidance, I encourage you to connect with Sophie, our intelligent AI assistant.
What are some effective ways to teach kids about sharing and turn-taking? My child is refusing to share toys with others and throws a temper tantrum when asked to do so. How can I encourage sharing without pressing any red button?
I understand how challenging it can be when your child struggles with sharing and taking turns. Developing these skills is essential for healthy social interactions and building positive relationships. The good news is that with consistent opportunities for practice and your encouragement, you can actively nurture these essential social skills in your child.
For example, next time you go to the playground let your child know in advance he can bring 3 toys, 1 he can keep for himself while the other 2 he will share with other children. It’s his right to choose which toys will be shared and which will not. This way, his sense of propriety will not be compromised and he will know in advance what’s expected of him. It’s okay if, in the beginning, he doesn’t want to let anyone play for longer than a couple of minutes, it’s his first step into social skills. This takes time! Make sure to point out that you see his effort by telling him “You’re doing a great job learning to share. I’m proud of you!”.
You have to keep in mind that patience, consistency, and empathy are key when teaching children about sharing and turn-taking. Don’t let the fear of temper tantrums discourage you from persisting in teaching your child about sharing and taking turns. It’s understandable to feel tempted to give in to their demands, but resisting that urge is essential.
Fun fact: recent studies have discovered a connection between a child’s ability to count and their ability to share. Therefore, it is advisable to focus on teaching your child counting skills as it can positively influence their willingness to share with others.
Discover the abundance of resources we offer for parents, including Sophie, our AI assistant who can give you online parenting advice, and our free masterclasses designed to equip you with practical tools and knowledge.
Bribes and rewards may seem like effective ways to influence children’s behavior, they are often ineffective in the long run. Bribes offer an immediate reward in return for compliance, whereas rewards are given as an incentive for a desired behavior. However, relying solely on external motivators can lead to unintended consequences. Bribes and rewards can foster a sense of entitlement, in which children expect to be rewarded for every action, decreasing intrinsic motivation. Constant dependence on external rewards can hinder the development of intrinsic values, character, and self-discipline.
Positive reinforcement is an effective parenting method in which desired behavior is rewarded for increasing the likelihood that it will be repeated. It involves praise, recognition, or incentives when a child exhibits behaviors that are consistent with the parent’s expectations or values. When using positive reinforcement, parents focus on highlighting and reinforcing their children’s positive actions, attitudes, or accomplishments. This approach encourages children to develop a sense of competence, self-esteem, and motivation.
Punishments and consequences are two different concepts in child rearing. Punishment refers to the intentional imposition of a penalty or negative outcome. It’s used as a means to discipline or correct a child’s misbehavior. It often involves causing discomfort or pain as a form of instilling discipline. In contrast, consequences are predictable outcomes that naturally follow a child’s actions or choices, whether positive or negative. The positive parenting approach emphasizes the use of natural and logical consequences. For example, allowing a child to be hungry after refusing to eat dinner or losing privileges for not showing responsibility. Effective discipline involves a balance between allowing natural consequences, applying predictable logical consequences, and providing appropriate guidance. This approach helps children learn from their behavior and make better choices in the future.
Rules and boundaries refer to the established guidelines and limits that parents set for their children’s behavior and actions. They provide a framework within which children learn to make their choices. Examples of rules and boundaries include guidelines for appropriate language and behavior, expectations for completing chores, limits on screen time or electronic device use, rules for safety practices such as wearing seat belts or helmets, and expectations for maintaining good hygiene and cleanliness. Enforcing rules and limits helps promote safety, responsibility, discipline, and a sense of structure in a child’s life.
Consistency in parenting refers to parents’ ability to maintain a predictable and reliable approach in their interactions and expectations with their children over time. This includes following through with rules, consequences, and routines without arbitrary changes or exceptions. Consistency gives children a sense of stability, security, and understanding of what is expected of them and provides predictability. It helps establish clear boundaries, promotes a sense of fairness, and supports the child’s understanding of cause and effect.
Parental demanding attitude refers to the extent to which parents set and enforce expectations, rules, and boundaries for their children. This includes setting clear guidelines and holding children accountable for their actions. Parents who demand discipline, structure, and high standards. They expect responsible behavior, self-control, and age-appropriate responsibility from their children. Parental exigency fosters a sense of responsibility, self-discipline, and respect for authority. It helps children develop important skills such as decision-making, goal-setting, and understanding the consequences of their actions. The degree of demandingness varies from one parenting style to another.
Parental responsiveness refers to the degree of sensitivity, attentiveness, and emotional availability that parents demonstrate in their interactions with their children. This includes the ability to understand and respond to the child’s needs, emotions, and signals in a supportive and nurturing way. Responsive parents actively listen, communicate openly, and validate their child’s feelings and perspectives. They demonstrate empathy, provide appropriate guidance, and foster a secure and trusting relationship. Parental responsiveness is critical to promoting healthy emotional development, secure attachment, and effective communication between parent and child. The degree of responsiveness varies from one parenting style to another.
Parenting styles refer to the different approaches and behaviors parents use in raising their children. They include the ways parents communicate with, discipline, and nurture their children. The four main parenting styles are authoritative, permissive, neglectful, and authoritarian. These styles are characterized by varying degrees of responsiveness, demandingness, and involvement in the child’s life. Each parenting style directly affects a child’s development and well-being. Therefore, it is important to understand the characteristics and effects of one’s parenting style to ensure optimal child development.
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.
You will start receiving our newsletter.