Last week when talking about how to raise great kids, I covered the necessity of being consistent with routine and boundary setting and also to teach your kids to expect consequences for their behavior.
Today I want to talk about the environment we create for our kids. Although many children are diagnosed with conditions which effect their behavior, many are also a product of their environment and it is these environmental conditions which can negatively impact the behavior of the child.
As adults, we all know how much of a handful kids can be. They seem to always push our buttons at the wrong time.
But ask yourself this. Is it the wrong time or is it you who has the issue? When you come home tired or upset from a difficult day, of course the slightest thing will tick you off.
Remember that your children did not ask to be brought into this world. You did that and it’s up to you to nurture them and show them that they are important. Does that mean dropping everything the minute they want something? No!
You need to calm yourself and give them the time they need without aggression.
They have missed you all day, it’s logical they want your attention. Imagine if you start yelling and screaming at them when you walk in the door, they will learn the same behavior and react the same way. Stay calm and they will pick up on your calmness.
Your children notice everything you say and do. They will mimic all your words and actions. Ask a pre-school teacher to share some stories of what they hear on a daily basis, it’s enough to make your hair curl.
If you want to know how to raise great kids with great characters, you be a great person. Be as positive as you can be at all times. Demonstrate the behaviours you want them to have. If you don’t want your daughters to gossip, then don’t gossip, if you don’t want them to smoke, don’t smoke. It’s as simple as that. It’s not “Do as I say not as I do”, it’s “Monkey see, Monkey do”!
Always encourage your children to follow their passions and believe in them. They are an individual. So often parents try to do everything for their kids that they didn’t get or have but it’s not always what they want. There’ve been many studies that show that the one thing children value most from their parents is their time. The more time you give them, the more secure and stable they become, because they know you will always be there.
One thing to avoid doing with kids even if it seems innocent, is to encourage keeping secrets. How many times have parents said don’t tell your mum or don’t tell your dad. Subconsciously you are conditioning kids that it is ok to hide things. This can be devastating if children fall into the wrong hands and are told to keep things secret. To them it’s normal, if that’s what you’ve taught them to do. If mum or dad do it, then it must be OK right?
As your kids grow a little, around about the age of 10, it’s a good time to start teaching them the art of compromise.
It helps build character and teaches them how to negotiate. It’s very important to learn that we cannot always have things go our way. Life isn’t like that.
When your children learn to compromise and you show them that they have a certain amount of control in making decisions, they will grow into stable and calm teenagers through to their adult years.
When you get the recipe right with compassion, helping to build character and teaching them how to compromise, you are building a stable and secure environment.
The kids wont need to use aggression or negativity in their day to day lives because you have created a positive environment for them to grow and thrive.
That is how to raise great kids. It all starts with you and the environment you create.
If you’d like to read more about raising teens, click on the books by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. They are 2 fabulous books. His common sense approach to parenting is amazing and a great read.
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I look forward to sharing with you soon.
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