I attended the Early Childhood Parenting Conference in late 2013 and was lucky to attend a talk on how to deal with challenging behavior in children.
During the talk, the speaker highlighted that the most important thing to remember is to have positive parenting. This will reduce the incidents where the child will behave poorly.
Here are 6 tips on Positive Parenting:
- Be a good role model! Children have ‘mirror neurons‘ which allows them to rapidly pick up and imitate what the adults around them do.
- Spend quality time with your child – It’s not the quantity, but the quality of time that is important. A parent spending quality 15-30 minutes with her child, on a daily basis, is more effective than a distracted one who spends the whole Sunday every week with her child. By quality time, I mean that you should devote all your attention to your child (keep those phones locked away please!), listen, and respond to your child.
- Give generous doses of physical affection. It will no only help to comfort your child, physical affection can help your child to modulate his/her emotions in time to come. Reference
- Teach problem solving skills. When the child comes across a problem (for example, a difficult puzzle, a bully at school, etc), help to identify what is the problem, brainstorm for solutions together, and try out the best solution.
- Keep routines and structure. Have a daily routine and stick to it. If necessary, you may impose some ‘house rules’, and stick them up somewhere prominent. Of course, the parent also has to abide by these rules! Reference
- Avoid physical punishment! Physical punishment is defined as physical contact that causes pain (for example, caning). Punishment without physical pain, such as the withdrawal of privileges can still be imposed. Reference
Happy positive parenting!