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Parents who are struggling in their parenting role, who keep using the same ineffective methods, who are convinced they are awful at parenting because, “My kids never do what I say!” need to read this ParenTip.
You can change the negative parenting image you have of yourself by following only FIVE SIMPLE STRATEGIES! They are guaranteed to work.
1) ACT IN-CHARGE. Don’t be a parent wimp! If you are afraid or reluctant to take charge because you don’t think you are supposed to or fear that your child won’t like you anymore, think again. Children need to know there is a grownup in charge to take care of them. You are the grownup in charge. Act your age!
2) SAY LITTLE BUT SAY IT EFFECTIVELY. Too many parents say too many words (“How would you feel if your friend hit you? You are supposed to play nicely together. If you can’t play nicely I will have to send Jason home. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for doing this?”) when a simple, “No hitting!” will suffice. Cut down the number of words and make each word effective (see ParenTip: Master the Effective Command).
3) TAKE YOUR TIME Not all parental decisions can or should be made in a hurry. You need time to think about whether you want your son to ride his bike to the mall, a mile away. Is he old enough? Is he responsible enough? Does he always wear his helmet? What is the traffic like? Tell your son, “I’ll have to think about that.” Far better than making the wrong decision.
4) GIVE YOUR CHILDREN RESPONSIBILITIES. The child that feels, “I count around here.” is much more likely to listen to you, to mind you, and to respect you. The first thing I suggest to parents who say their kids never listen is to give that child some chores to do around the house. Sure they have to be age-appropriate, you don’t ask a 6-year-old to paint the garage. But that child can be expected to make his bed, clear the table, put his laundry away and clean up the toys in the playroom.
5) EXPECT THE BEST! Remember, your child is a work in progress. What is a problem today may go away all by itself tomorrow as your child grows and develops. The tantrumming toddler becomes a preschooler who can ask for a toy instead of grabbing it. Don’t fall into the trap of groaning about how endless your parenting problems seem or how awful your kids are. Expect them to be good – you will be pleasantly surprised!
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