As parents, we want the best for our children and to give them the best environment in which to grow. How can we do this?
- Create and reinforce boundaries. Let your children know where they are allowed to go in the house and where they are not (for instance kitchen area). Let them know they can not come with you to the bathroom or be in the room when you are dressing up. Agree when they can visit neighbours, for how long and what those visits will look like. Are they allowed to go to bedrooms? Should they only play outdoors? Agree on and keep reinforcing these boundaries so that they can stick.
- Choose your form of discipline. Let your children know the consequences of bad behavior. Do not discipline before letting the children know what is expected of them. After they have disobeyed, give at least one warning, remind them of the agreed consequence and if they disobey again then follow through with the consequence immediately.
- Be present and observant. Observe changes in your children’s behavior and ask lots of questions. If they have been away. If you work a full time job, make the most of weekends and evenings to be with your children. Choose what programs you will attend that take you out of the home. Maybe you can afford to miss some parties so that you are not constantly being taken away from your primary responsibility as a parent.
- Show love and affection to your children. Let your children know that you love them by your words and actions. Get to understand the love language of each of your children and then go ahead to make deliberate effort to show them love in the way that they will appreciate. This could be through gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service or quality time.
- Ask God for wisdom and discernment to know how to create the right atmosphere for your children. Ask God to protect and watch over your children especially in your absence. Ask God that the people they meet and interact with daily will be good influences in their lives.
Parenting is one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced. Just when I think I have mastered it, it’s like I am back to scratch, learning all over again. I hope these tips can help makes things easier for another parent out there.