Some days parenting can feel like herding cats! However, there are a few simple behavior changes parents can make that can make a huge difference in family dynamics.
“I Don’t Know What You Want!”
Many children are frustrated because they feel like they must read their parent’s mind.
They don’t know how they are doing and how they can do better.
It is the bad behavior that gains them attention and is sometimes their only chance to find out what they are doing wrong. That can be stressful and demoralizing to the child. Is an environment that is not conducive for improvements.
Culture and Media contribute to the problem
This situation is not completely the fault of parents. We live in a culture where independence is encouraged and even promoted above community.
We hear phrases like “group think” being demonized and becoming a star can be as easy as a viral post or video.
Teamwork and community are not the trending topics.
Consequently, many parents believe that the best teacher is experience and not themselves.
Many movies and video games portray very young children acting independently of adults and basically raising themselves.
Is it any wonder that so many children are being expected to perform at home and at school on a level that they have not reached emotionally or sometimes, even physically?
Transformation is closer than you might think
There are many simple strategies to engage and motivate all family members to become team players. They cost nothing to implement, can be put into place immediately, and have a huge impact.
For instance, one opportunity that many parents have is to give more frequent, informal feedback about how each child is doing. That way, everyone in the family knows what is expected of them and how they can get better.
7 Simple Parenting Questions to Transform Your Family
There are seven simple questions every parent must answer and communicate to their family.
When I was in radio, it was well known that a listener had to hear a spot 3 times before it would even register that they had heard anything about a promotion or service.
It took 10 times to know the name of the company.
Small, informal conversations about a child’s day, about expectations, about family vision and values go a long way – especially when they include teachable moments about different situations and details. The questions include:
- What do I expect from you? (what are the family rules or guidelines?)
- What are you doing well?
- What, if anything, can you be doing better?
- What, if anything, do you think I want you to do better?
- What will happen if you improve (e.g., more responsibility, more time with parents or friends, more desirable responsibilities)?
- What will happen if you don’t improve?
- How can I help?
The key is to really listen to what the child thinks, how she sees herself, what he sees as his challenges, and where you can clarify or correct misunderstandings.
While all of these questions are important, the last question is especially important.
It shows the child that the parent cares and is not merely passing off responsibility or shifting blame.
For more information about transforming your family, and to take a free self-assessment about how well you are engaging and motivating, Click Here.