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10 of the Best Skills for Parents Part Three

Welcome to the conclusion of our three-part series on the skills and habits of successful parents. Our first post focused on love and affection, stress management, and relationship skills. Part two of our blog series focused on autonomy and independence, education and learning, and life skills. In today’s blog post, we will discuss behavior management, health, religion, and safety. 

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Behavior Management

The focus is on positive reinforcement. Punishment should only be used when other methods have failed. Steps in behavior management include:

1. Reinforcing Positive Behavior

One of the most effective ways to shape your child’s behavior is by reinforcing positive actions. Praise and acknowledge your child when they exhibit good behavior, such as sharing, following directions, or using their words to express their needs. Positive reinforcement helps to reinforce these behaviors and encourages your child to continue practicing them.

2. Setting Clear Expectations

Children thrive with routine and clear expectations. Make sure your child understands what is expected of them in different situations. Use simple language and visual cues to help them understand what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Be consistent in your expectations, and provide gentle reminders when necessary.

3. Keeping It Consistent

Consistency is essential when it comes to behavior management. Children, especially toddlers, learn through repetition and consistency. Be consistent with your rules and consequences. When your child understands that certain behaviors consistently have specific outcomes, they will develop a better understanding of cause and effect.

4. Using Distractions

Children can become overwhelmed or upset easily. When you notice your child getting upset or engaging in unwanted behavior, try to redirect their attention towards something else. Offer a favorite toy, immerse them in a different activity, or divert their focus to a more positive experience. Distractions can help diffuse challenging situations and redirect their energy. When I go out with my little ones I always bring activity and coloring books. I’m able to engage them without hearing “I’m bored” and it helps to keep their behavior regulated. 

5. Providing Choices

Children, especially toddlers, are beginning to assert their independence and crave control over their lives. Offering choices can help them feel empowered and reduce tantrums. For example, instead of demanding your child to put on their shoes, ask them if they would like to wear red or blue shoes. Providing choices within reasonable limits can give your child a sense of control while still guiding their behavior.

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Health

As parents we must showcase a healthy lifestyle and habits, which includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and good hygiene practices. Let’s first look at a balanced diet. Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. One day, your child will eat rice, and the next day, rice is in the “yucky” category. We can encourage a picky eater by doing the following:

1. Introducing Variety in Their Meals

Toddlers sometimes hesitate to try new foods, but introducing variety can make mealtime more exciting. Incorporate different colors, textures, and shapes into their meals. Experiment with various fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins to keep their taste buds curious and engaged.

2. Making Food Fun

Get creative with your presentation. Create food art on your child’s plates using colorful fruits and vegetables. Making mealtime visually appealing can pique your child’s interest and make them more willing to try new foods.

3. Keeping the Mealtime Atmosphere Positive

Create a positive and relaxed atmosphere during mealtimes. Avoid pressuring or forcing your toddler to eat. Instead, provide a supportive environment where they can explore and experiment with different foods at their own pace. Offer praise and encouragement for their efforts, even if they only take a bite or try a new food.

4. Maintaining a Routine

Establish regular meal and snack times to help regulate your toddler’s appetite. Toddlers thrive on routine, and having consistent meal times can create a sense of structure and familiarity. Offer various nutritious options during meals, and avoid filling them up on snacks throughout the day.

5. Sneaking in the Nutrition

If your child is extremely picky, try sneaking in extra nutrition by blending vegetables into sauces or adding fruits to their favorite snacks. For example, you can make a delicious smoothie with hidden greens or incorporate grated vegetables into muffins or pasta sauces. My favorite way to hide veggies is in spaghetti sauce. I can blend carrots or zucchini and add them to the spaghetti sauce, and the children never know the difference.

Hygiene and Exercise

Teach your child good hygiene, including brushing their teeth, taking care of their hair and bathing themselves. 

Exercise for children focuses on their natural activities. Let them run, jump, and hop as much as they want. You can also include games, such as imitating animal movements, and the follow the leader. You can also turn on music and have a dance party. The below video is a great way to get children moving.

Religion

Another habit of successful parents is participation in spiritual or religious activities. If you follow a religious path, take the time to discuss your beliefs with your children. I am a follower of the Christian faith and I have the found the following to be helpful:

1. Interactive Bible Stories

Children have a natural curiosity and love for storytelling. Capitalize on this by using colorful picture books and puppets to bring Bible stories to life. Choose age-appropriate versions that simplify the narratives while retaining their essence. As you read to your child, encourage their participation and ask questions to promote understanding and engagement.

2. Christian Songs

Music has a powerful impact on young minds, making it an effective tool for teaching children about Christianity. Introduce your child to Christian songs that convey biblical messages and themes. Singing along to songs about God’s love, creation, and Jesus’ teachings can be a joyful and memorable way to instill spiritual values in their hearts.

3. Christian-Themed Crafts

Engage your child’s creativity and cognitive abilities through Christian-themed crafts. Coloring pages depicting Noah’s Ark or constructing handmade Christmas nativity scenes can be fun and educational. These activities provide opportunities to discuss the stories and characters behind the crafts, reinforcing their understanding of Christian principles.

4. Prayers Before Meals and Bedtime

Establishing a routine of prayers before meals and bedtime introduces children to communicating with God and expressing gratitude. Keep the prayers short and simple, using language that resonates with their age group. Encourage your child to participate by saying simple phrases or repeating them after you. This practice helps cultivate a sense of spirituality and connection to a higher power.

5. Church Visits

Regular visits to church can help children associate the place with worship and community. Attending child-friendly services or events can expose them to the rituals, songs, and fellowship that are integral to Christian practice. Encourage your child’s engagement by explaining the significance of various aspects of the service in a way that they can understand.

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Safety

Safety focuses on protecting your child and maintaining awareness of your child’s activities and friends. As parents, we can keep our children safe with the following:

1. Secure Your Home

Make sure your home is childproofed, cover all electrical outlets, secure cabinets, and drawers with child locks, install baby gates, and keep dangerous chemicals out of reach.

2. Keep An Eye On Your Children

Always supervise them, especially when playing outside or near water. Ensure they play with age-appropriate toys and avoid leaving them alone with pets or in the car.

3. Teach Your Child About Safety

Teach your children about safety rules such as holding hands while crossing the road, not touching hot objects, and staying away from strangers.

4. Be Prepared For Emergencies

Keep a first-aid kit on hand and learn CPR. Emergency numbers such as poison control and your pediatrician’s number should be saved in your phone.

Thank you for reading our final post in our series on habits and skills for successful parents. Incorporating these skills and habits into your daily routines and family traditions allows you to create a nurturing environment that fosters your child’s growth. Remember to be patient with your child and yourself as you implement these skills—best of luck on your parenting journey.


4 thoughts on “10 of the Best Skills for Parents Part Three”

  1. I like these tips. I have a toddler and sometimes he and I can’t seem to find a common ground but I’m working on it. I pray God helps me use these tips from now on and hopefully I see a positive change with them.

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