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8 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make #6

#6 Parents Place Attention On Changing Behaviors Rather Than Teaching Compassion

Research Shows that the most important quality to develop for success in managing relationships at work, school, or in our families is compassion. Children need to be aware of how their actions and words will affect the feelings of others and themselves. We help children to learn empathy through empathized with. Modeling this behavior for children and discussing feelings in different situations is critical to this development. It is also helpful to get your child to discuss how they would feel in a similar circumstance. Next have them talk about what he or she would do differently the next time. Use this as an opportunity  to rehearse for a similar situation in the future.

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* Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (#5) Parents Make Punishments Too Severe

Parents Make Punishments Too Severe

Ninety percent of parents believe spanking young children is acceptable. Discipline is about teaching; not punishment. The goal is to help the child to develop the inner voice of discernment and make choices based on that voice rather than  on the threat of punishment or the need to have supervision to make correct choices. Harsh punishments (ie. grounding for a month or spanking) work only in the short term and teach children to be unfair, create rightful anger and resentment towards the parent (which can undermine our influence over them), and teach them to use physical violence to solve problems. Discipline works best when it is immediate, fair, logical, or natural (or if it is set up in advance as an early warning to shift behavior). When discipline is too sever it breeds anger and resentment to get back at a parent, Punishment erodes the relationship with the parent. It is also important to realize there is a difference between facing consequences and punishment.  Facing consequences (that are fair and either logical or natural) are appropriate; punishment is not!

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8 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (#4) Parents Aren’t Specific with Their Praise and Praise Too Frequently

Parents Aren’t Specific with Their Praise and Praise Too Frequently

Most praise children get from parents and teachers is far too generic (8i.e. great job, you’re a good boy) and the praise is far less frequent than we think. In fact, children receive 45% more negative feedback in a day than positive. Praise that is non specific make children less motivated, less self-confident and they will have a harder time dealing with failure. When we are specific with our praise children also understand what it is we want repeated and are more likely to repeat it. An example is (non-specific “good job”, specific, “I liked the way you were so patient with your sister when she was pestering you and your friend”.

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8 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (#3)

Parents Overprotect

It’s difficult to see your child struggle or experience disappointment. Parents often jump in too quickly not allowing the child to deal with a problem or face a consequence so they can learn resiliency. We need to show kids we believe they are capable of solving problems. Giving them good guidance and then trusting to make good decisions helps them build resiliency which is key to success later in life. Disappointments will happen in life. Helping them face small things early on prepares them to have the determination and skills to persevere.

This also means allowing them to face consequences for negative actions. Having clear rules and guidelines creates safety for our children. When they face appropriate consequences for bad decisions they learn to make better decisions. Children who are rescued from consequences are more often to test limits, have behavioral problems and have poor decision making skills. Well thought out consequences that fit the crime so to speak and aren’t too harsh create respect. Consequences that are too harsh erode the child’s trust and respect for their parents. It also causes children to want revenge.

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8 nBiggest Mistakes Parents Make (#2) Parents Nag, Lecture, Nag Lecture Then Yell

Studies show that humans tune out when commands or requests are repeated. Nagging is actually a form of “negative reinforcement” and children continue misbehaving to get parental attention. We tend to ignore good behavior and focus on the negative because negative behavior causes discomfort, which we naturally try to avoid. Praise (or even more powerful encouragement) on the other hand is one of the most powerful tools we have to influence a child’s actions. Typically praise is used poorly because we aren’t specific enough with our praise so that children understand what we want repeated. Using positiver reinforcement — to praise your child immediately, specifically and enthusiastically works and creates a happy home. Encouragement is more powerful than praise because it leads children to self validate rather than needing needing someone else to recognize their worth. It builds a foundation for them to make better decisions when no adult is present to correct or validate them.

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