16 Tools for Effective Parents (part 3)

Dealing with problems

n 11. Use “I” statements. Let your child know how you feel, why, and what you want them to do. “I feel when you because . This is what I want you to do .” Example: When your daughter leaves her curling iron on, you might say, “I worry when you leave the curling iron on because it uses electricity and could start a fire. Please go turn it off right now.”

n 12. Use natural consequences. Let your child learn from what happens naturally without scolding, lecturing, or rescuing. Example: When your son forgets his gloves on a cold day, let him find out how uncomfortable he getsso that he will decide on his own to remember next time. Don’t lecture!

n 13. Use logical consequences. Create consequences with your child for specific rules. They should be related to the rule broken, reasonable, and respectful. Remember, rules and consequences should change as your child grows and develops. However, children of all ages need rules to help provide them with structure for living. It is important that parents communicate rules and consequences clearly to their child ahead of time. Example: If your daughter comes home late in the evening after spending time with a friend, remind her that the consequence is not getting to go out the next evening.

n 14. Solve problems together. Work together with your child, listening to each other’s point of view, and choosing options to try . As children move into the teen years it is far more effective to engage them in conversation with you to resolve issues than expect them to follow your rules without question.E xample: Your son received a low grade in social studies. Sit down together to think of ways he might improve his grade—finishing homework, asking the teacher for help. Listen to his ideas; don’t lecture.

n 15. Follow through with decisions. After an agreement has been reached, simply follow through by reminding your child about his or her agreement. Consistency day to day between parents and/or partners and across situations is an important principle for parents to keep in mind. Example: If you child has agreed to empty the garbage after supper and you find it still under the sink, find your child and give a short reminder that the garbage still needs to be taken out. (Use as few words as possible.)

n 16. Wait until you are calm to deal with a problem. Do not discipline your child when you are angry. Discussing a problem when either of you is upset only leads to fighting and additional negative feelings. Example: Your daughter sasses you when you ask her to clean her room. You’re angry but instead of getting into a fight, you tell her you’ll discuss her sassing after you’ve cooled down. The teen years are a period of change – for you and your teen. Seek information to help you understand the changes your teen is going through and what you as a parent can do to help your teen develop positively. Talk to other parents for ideas and support. Read books on teen development. Talk to your child and work together for solutions. You may be surprised to find that when they’re taken seriously, youngpeople have many good ideas.

And remember, it’s never too late to try new solutions to problems with your pre- or early teen. Even though they may think they’re quite grown up, you still have a number of years to influence them and to build an even more positive relationship. Underneath your pre- or young teen is the same child you loved and guided as a baby and small child. In spite of all the challenges, the teen years can be good years for both you and your child. Seek to be a knowledgeable, thoughtful, and deliberate parent.

Source : Kimberly Greder (Iowa state University) from Positive Discipline A-Z: 1,001 Solutions to everyday Parenting Problems by J. Nelsen, L. Lott and H.S. Glenn