As children grow the possibility of being influenced by negative behavior grows every year. Parents are the initial contact and have the biggest influence. Children are the mirror in which all of our good or bad behavior manifests. It is a parent’s duty to be a consistent positive influence in their child’s life. How to be a positive influential parent is not always taught so here are 7 ways to help be a positively influence in your child’s life:
Be present in your child’s life: A child needs to be engaged with notonly your presence but with your input. If you cannot be present you create a home of uncertainties, paranoia, and lack of trust from your child. Nothing is worse than having a parent at home and they are preoccupied with work or technology. Even with a busy schedule time should be taken out for the child where there are no distractions.
It’s ok to make mistakes: Do not patronize or belittle a child for making mistakes. Adults still make mistakes, rather consult with your child and let them understand what their mistake is and how to fix it. Even the smallest child beginning at the age of 2 can understand constructive criticism, words just have to be chosen differently depending on the age and situation.
Except your children for who they are: This generation is loud and proud of their sexual orientation, gender, lifestyle, attire etc. Try to understand even if you do not agree with their choices. No matter how they have changed their outside appearance this does not negate the fact that they are your child.
Create a home of love and communication: Everyone parent/child relationship expresses love in different ways. So each home has to find what works best for that relationship and continue to do so even in frustrating and hard times. All thriving relationships rely on effective communication. This also helps the child function properly within society as they get older to verbally express their feelings or situations even when it is difficult to do so.
Volunteer at your child’s school: As you children get older they may feel embarrassed to have you at their school but being a willing participant can be a welcomed surprise. It shows that you took the time out of your day to show that your child is important and also allows you to keep up with important events and you get to spend more quality time with your child.
Stay Consistent: In any relationship consistency is key, this is especially true in establishing and keeping a great relationship with your children. Studies show poor parental ‘internal consistency’ (when a parent is inconsistent with their own approach from day-to-day) it can cause children to develop attachment issues. They could find it difficult to see you as a reliable source of comfort and there can be little predictability or structure (Services, Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology. (2017). As a parent you should be the first and continuous example of dependability and trust. Children thrive on a schedule which includes bedtimes
Teach your child how to address negative influences: With effective communication, morals and values instilled in your child it makes it easier for them to address and reject negative influences than it would if they would not. They feel more comfortable to have a conversation with you about an incident rather than trying to deal with it on their own. It allows you as a parent to be aware of what obstacles your child faces in school and get the administration involved. These skills in addition to others will make it easier over time for them to understand the difference in positive and negative influences.
Services, Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology. (2017). Working together – the importance of consistency in parenting. Retrieved from https://www.melbournechildpsychology.com.au/blog/working-together-the-importance-of-consistency-in-parenting/