Roberta Shapiro’s Top 5 Positive Parenting Tips!
This week, the awesome clinical social worker and hypnotherapist, Roberta Shapiro MEd, LCSW, author of our newly released, hot off the presses, Positive Parenting meditations, designed to becalm even the most benighted mom or dad, offers 5 potent tips for upping your parent game. Read on!
- Catch your kid at being good. Keep an eye out for whenever your child does the right thing (or a right thing, or a slice of a right thing) and comment on it. When doing this, it’s powerful to let your child form his or her own conclusions. Rather than say, “You’re such a great kid!” for example, say “Thank you for helping with the bundles and holding the door for me.” Let them form the conclusion on their own that they’re great kids. That’s even more powerful. Bottom Line: Look for opportunities to praise good behavior and highlight it, whenever possible. Positive reinforcement changes the conversation and helps your child develop internal controls and a solid sense of self.
Stick to your word. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Why is this important? First, you teach your kids to do the same, and have integrity with their own words. Second, you make their world a safer place for your kids when you stand solid with your limits – you’re reliable and not just another leaf blown about by the wind. And third, you train them to believe you. If you say “NO” but eventually give in, you’re showing them it pays to beg, cajole, whine and carry on. If you stand strong, but fold on the 20th moan, you’re showing them to give it 20-plus the next time they want something. Bottom Line: Set limits and stick to them. If you say “NO” but eventually give in, you’re actively reinforcing demanding, irritating, exhausting behavior in your child.
Keep consequences realistic and manageable. Too often, in the heat of anger or frustration, parents say things like, “You’re grounded for a month!” or “No phone for the week!” Then, when the kid has something he really needs to go to, or that requires having her phone with her, you walk it back and cave in. Your credibility is undermined. So much better to say, “No devices for the next 24 hours” – that’s enforceable. If you’re furious, better to say, “I need to think about how to handle this. We’ll talk later” than to legislate something excessive that you can’t possibly stick with. Bottom Line: Protect your credibility by thinking through a reasonable consequence to unacceptable behavior - something you can enforce.
Whenever possible, keep consequences organic, naturally arising from the situation surrounding the behavior. If your kid keeps forgetting his lunch and you keep rescuing him by bringing it to school, it may be time to let him experience the discomfort of feeling hungry for an afternoon or two. It won’t kill him, and it’s a logical consequence. Bottom Line: Whenever possible, let the natural consequences evolve and speak for themselves.
Model what you want them to become. Use imagery to imagine the parent you want to be. Do it enough times, and you can install that way of being on your insides. Imagine yourself staying calm and centered and set your intention every day to get to that goal. It’s simple, but it actually works. Listen to Positive Parenting. It gets you there. Bottom Line: Let your imagination take you there, with guided imagery and hypnosis.
Love these tips? Listen to a sound sample of Roberta Shapiro's Positive Parenting: Meditations for Staying Cool, Calm & Collected with Your Kids