10 Common Parenting Problems and Solutions
Parenting is the toughest job in the world. It requires discipline and consistency. This means that as a parent, you establish fair rules and then stick to them. Children will grow and learn along the way. They will make mistakes. Parents love and teach them, so they don’t make the same mistakes over and over again. It’s not easy. Here are 10 common parenting problems and some ways to get through them.
You want your kids to eat vegetables and fruits, but you also want meals to be pleasant without fighting. Make your kids a part of the process. Let them know about nutrition, labels and health issues. Only bring healthy foods into the house and let them choose meals. Get them involved with cooking or preparing meals. Also, be patient. Experts say that children sometimes have to try a new food 15 times before they like it. It’s also important to ease up every now and then. For example, when you eat out, allow the kids a treat drink or special dessert.
Sometimes kids rebel against rules. Even though they need structure and boundaries, it’s natural as they get older to push back a little. Sometimes a lot. Periodically examine the rules you’ve set up. Are they reasonable? Fair? If children believe common-sense rules keep them safe, they’re more likely to oblige. On the other hand, if they see rules as parenting power grabs, they’re more likely to disregard all of them. Encourage self-advocacy. As for the rules that are necessary, determine ahead of time the consequences if your children disobey you. Make sure the object is to teach, rather than punish.
When children are young, common parenting problems include testing limits. They express anger inappropriately in ways such as temper tantrums, screaming, yelling and maybe even throwing things. Parents would do well to remain calm. Remember, a child’s brain isn’t fully formed. They have an excuse as to why they’re doing this, and it helps when parents stand their ground. If a child screams for 45 minutes and then gets what they want, they’ll learn quickly to scream for 45 minutes.
Telling the Truth
When children lie, many parents feel a certain kind of heartbreak. There are fibs and there are serious lies. As always, wise parents see the difference and act accordingly. Build trust with your children. Make sure they understand that they can tell you anything. This understanding must be cultivated from the time they are young. Help them understand the consequences of not telling you the truth. Discuss trust, honor and integrity. Show them your disappointment. But keep the lines of communication open and help them get back to a place where you can believe them again.
Setting Aside Time to Study
From the time they are young, establishing routines around important activities gets kids to view these activities as important. Before they’re enrolled in school, set aside an hour each evening for reading books. Then, as they grow, they’re used to this and can easily change from reading to completing homework. Make sure the home is conducive to study time. This includes turning off televisions or stereos, setting aside a spot in the house specifically for school work and keeping in touch with their teachers.
Parents play a big role in helping their children get along. First and foremost, parents should never compare. Allow each one to grow and develop their own strengths individually. Do not allow teachers or other relatives to compare them either. When someone says, “Oh this child is more talkative” you can say, “Compared to who?” That will show your children that each one is unique. Parents who encourage their children to compete with each other for love or privileges are setting them up for unhealthy relationships that could last the rest of their lives.
Getting Attention Appropriately
Kids need attention and it’ll serve them well to learn how to get it appropriately. For example, when toddlers are banging their spoons or plates on their highchair, sit down and look at them with love. Teach them to say, “Mommy, I need attention.” And when they do that, give them five minutes of your time. That means turn off the laptop, put down the dishes and attend to them. That’s the deal. This can change as they get older, but even middle-schoolers raised with this idea to calmly communicate their needs will do so. Many common parenting problems won’t be problems when parents use love and common sense.
Life is hard. Even when children are showered with love and affection, they sometimes feel discouraged. This is especially true once they start school. Parents help by staying attentive. Pay attention to what your kids like to do and encourage them in a variety of ways. Help them to value themselves by praising them for displaying a strong work ethic, humor, talent and kindness. Children who feel loved and valued at home tend to do better when discouraged.
Reducing Screen Time
Children can get hooked on digital devices and this naturally worries the adults in their lives. Setting boundaries before they get their first phone, or any electronic device, is easier than trying to establish rules afterward. What are your expectations? Determine how much time to allow them to spend online. Establish a system for when they want to try new apps or games and need permission. Some parents write up a contract so both parties know what the rules are, and what the consequences are if those rules are broken.
Most parents have ideas when they’re children are born. Sometimes those plans need to be altered depending on how your children grow and develop. This is normal. That’s why “just adjust” seems to be a popular mantra. You’ll watch your children become individuals and then adjust your parenting style accordingly.
If some of these common parenting problems get out of control, seek help from a professional counselor or therapist. They offer individual families specific tips that help everyone grow together in a loving, supportive environment.