Today Hubs and I attended a parenting conference. It was so helpful to be reminded of some things we are doing well and to be encouraged to revisit some things we can be doing better. All with the end in mind: to build up our children’s hearts to follow Jesus and live as mature adults some day (but not too soon!) :-).
Here are a few of my most helpful tips from today:
- Give kids choices. Instead of me saying, “Son, you need to do this.” Saying, “You have a choice. If you do this, then you will have time to do that. If you don’t do this, we will not have time to do that.” There are many things kids simply do not have a choice in, but when able and you are okay with either choice they make, giving them a choice makes them start to feel responsible and trusted.
- Speak in positive tones. I am bad at this one. I see the negative. Instead of always looking for the “no”, look and express the “yeses.” For example, instead of telling my son what he can’t play with, telling him what he can. Instead of highlighting limitations, highlight opportunities. This keeps our kids encouraged more than beating the discouragement of “nos” all the time. Also, when you need to say no (which is usually a lot anyway), the word has more weight.
- Be consistent in consequences. If yesterday my son disobeyed me and I took away a privilege or gave him another consequence, if he does it again another day, I need to again take away a privilege or give him another consequence. If I swish back and forth, giving him a consequence one time and letting him off the hook another, then he doesn’t know the boundary and it causes insecurity. Both the parents and children are left frustrated.
- Model a relationship with Jesus. They will follow what you do more than what you say. Live in such a way that they want the Jesus you love.
What are some helpful parenting tips you have experienced with your own kids? Leave a comment!