5 Steps to a Happier, More Well-Behaved Child!

Raising a child is usually regarded as one of the most blessed and frustrating experiences in a person’s life. Though all we want to do is make our kids happy, we all know that placating them can give them social problems later on. Here are some expert tips to help you develop an honest, respectful, and loving relationship with your child.

  1. Establish a predictable mealtime routine

    Unless your kid was blessed with Anthony Bourdain’s palette, it’s safe to say that he or she struggles, at times, with eating what is served to them. Toddlers especially are known to exhibit some of the worst symptoms of “Picky Eater Syndrome.”

    Dietitians with the Mayo Clinic advise challenged parents to stick to serving meals at the same time daily, with only water or light snacks in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    It is also recommended that you get your child as involved as you can in the food-making process. Take them along to the grocery store and let them have their pick of fresh fruits and vegetables. This act will assist in sparking their interest towards new foods.

  2. Stick to a bedtime

    I think it’s safe to say that we all can remember being dead tired as children—fighting to keep our eyes open, even—but still arguing with our parents over our early bedtimes. Sure, it can seem like a never-ending match, but there are ways to help make this dreaded time much easier.

    According to Parents, the best thing to do for a sleepless child is to create a routine! Reading, bathing, and playing soft music at the same set time every evening will give your child a sense of security, which will then help them fall asleep faster.

  3. Stop picking up after them

    Believe it or not, there are many household chores that children as young as three can complete. It’s important to institute this at the youngest age possible—everyone knows that kids get less and less receptive towards the idea of chores as they get older.

    Make doing chores fun and engaging for your kid. Start a unique rewards system, post reminder charts of weekly tasks, and always supply an abundance of positive reinforcement. You’ll be shocked at how quickly little ones decide to take up responsibility!

  4. Curb their interrupting

    Let’s let our hair down and get real for a second—sometimes, we just don’t want to hear our children talk! I know it may sound cruel to those of you who don’t have little ones of your own, but believe us, adult conversation is often necessary.

    Life Coach Kirsten Berger has a great method of helping your kids develop patience and hold onto their thoughts without whining. She recommends taking these steps:

    First, have your child put their hand on your shoulder. Then, place your hand on their shoulder—this reminds them that you know that they want to say something. Excuse yourself from the adult conversation that you are having, and go ahead and thank your kid for waiting by removing your child’s hand.

    I know, it seems like some tough choreography, but this tip really helps to empower your youngster!

  5. Your child doesn’t need another friend, they need a parent

    This is one trap that parents seem to struggle with more and more these days. Sure, it can be tempting to want to have an amicable relationship with your child, but that doesn’t mean that you two should be on the same level.

    Janet Lehman, MSW explains: “When you treat your child like a friend, you’re telling her that she is your peer, and that her power is equal to yours.”

    A lack of boundaries can hurt, not help, your child. Lehman goes on to say that when kids consider themselves to be as smart as their parents, it will give them a complex that makes them feel that they know more than any adult.

    A false sense of superiority won’t benefit your child—especially when it comes to their relationships with teachers. Instead of trying to befriend your kid, focus on forming a respectful relationship, complete with boundaries.

Do you have any special parenting tips of your own? What has been your biggest struggle in raising your child? Tell us all about your thoughts and stories in the comments section below!