It does not take long for children to realize that they are in charge of themselves and even though you are the parent, you can’t make them do anything they don’t want to. This is a natural stage that starts at about two years of age and never seems to end. No doubt, you will unquestionably come to a point where you find yourself looking for a solution to improve child behavior. Any expert will tell you that to gain the skills needed to improve child behavior you will first have to recognize your influence as the parent. There are five key things that must be practiced to initiate your authority and the leader.
- Learn to listen. From day one of life your child will be seeking your attention at all times. While this can prove to be frustrating it is crucial that you hear them out, even when they are not making any sense.
- Validate their feelings. Not to be confused with praise, validation is about recognizing your children’s thoughts as legitimate concerns. Remember that they have not been faced with many hassles in life so while their complaints may seem petty to you, they could be the hardest thing they have had to deal with.
- State your opinion. Although you may hold all the authority it is important that you offer your advice to them in the form of an opinion. To truly improve child behavior you must show them that they have the power to make the right decisions. By always commanding you are teaching them to follow the leader rather than their own instincts.
- Step back. This will be the hardest thing that ever has to be done in parenting, but it must be done to teach your child independence. Letting your child make the wrong decision will allow them to face the consequences of misbehaving. These consequences will stick with them through life to ensure that they think before doing it again.
- Be their soft place to land. Children will make many mistakes as will adults, but we all need that special someone to turn to. You can tell them that their actions were wrong and hold their hand at the same time. Since you have been there all their life you hold a very special bond that should always take precedence over the common mistakes of your child.