Parenting Insight You Can Use Now
As children grow and mature, parents must make adjustments in the way they parent. Some of those changes are minor or subtle; others are more significant. In the same way that children go through developmental stages, parents must learn to adapt by shifting the way they interact, care for, and discipline their children. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, your child changes and you feel like you’re starting all over again.
For instance, when that tiny infant comes home from the hospital, the baby quickly becomes the focus of attention. The infant sets the schedule for feedings and for sleeping. Often both parents have to adapt their lives around one small child. However, as your baby begins to grow and develop, you change too. You no longer jump for every cry. You begin to set limits on a mobile child and determine a meal schedule for a toddler. One major parenting shift takes place when infants become toddlers.
A common parenting mistake happens when parents don’t make the teenage parenting shift. They continue to treat their teens as if they were nine or ten years old. Parents who don’t make the necessary adjustments, experience increased friction and frustration in family dynamics. As children mature, parents can now communicate with them in a more adult manner by listening and explaining. Change comes through compromise and mutual agreement rather than always strictly complying with the parents’ instructions.
Teens need more discussion about issues and concerns. Discipline involves more explaining and talking rather than just requiring compliance. A parent may say, “I’m not going to make you give your little brother one of the cookies you made for school, but I’d like to talk about it. I’d like to hear what you’re thinking because it seems selfish to me.”
As your children grow, be ready to grow with them and make the necessary changes to influence them effectively.
This parenting tip is taken from the chapter on teens in the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids, by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.