As a parent, your life is undoubtedly different than what it was pre-child. Learning how to interact with your child is a necessary step because it is entirely different compared to how you interact with anyone else in your life, such as your spouse, best friends, co-workers etc. – it is new, unexplored territory. In order to garner and ideal relationship with your child while allowing them to grow into confident, well-adjusted adults, you should keep in mind the following tips:

 

  • Use Positive Reinforcement

 

Studies have shown that humans and animals alike learn better with positive reinforcement as opposed to negative reinforcement. Therefore, if you would like your child to acquire some quality or habit, do so through encouragement and praise when they do the right thing. Likewise, if they do the opposite of a preferred habit, simply ignore and refrain from giving any praise. Try not to resort to ridiculing them as this sort of attention, in extreme situations, can become its own sort of reward. Children who want attention will take even the negative kind as its own reward.

 

  • Help Your Child Build Confidence

 

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Negative behavior from children can occur as a result of insecurities. It is important to pinpoint each child’s strengths and cater accordingly. If you have multiple children, refrain from comparing them. Each child will have his or her own strengths and weaknesses. You can build the confidence of each child individually by praising them at what they are good at and not becoming angry or resentful when they struggle.

 

  • Be the Change You Wish to See

 

In other words, lead by example and disregard the phrase “do as I say and not as I do.” Children learn their behaviors through watching their parents and their peers. Being told what they should do is not nearly as effective as the need to copy someone they look up to. If they see you, their parent, doing something, they are much more likely to follow.

 

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

 

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This may be the most difficult tip of all. When you find yourself struggling and are not sure what to do, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This in no way means that you are a bad parent. If anything, it means that you are willing to go above and beyond and do something that you are uncomfortable with for the sake of your child. Check out local support groups, ask friends and family what they have done in your situation. Remember, raising a healthy happy child is the ultimate goal and parenting is not an exact science, so don’t hesitate to seek advice.

Raising a child, no matter how many times you may have done it, is always a new experience with new lessons to be learned. By following these tips, you are take the necessary measures to help your child mature into a healthy, well-adjusted adult.