Parenting Rules of Engagement

As a parent, you may have to balance raising a family with managing your career. This can make parenting feel overwhelming.

One way to make parenting easier is to establish a few guidelines for yourself on how to deal with recurring household situations.

Three areas of child-raising to have guidelines around are health issues, self-esteem issues, and discipline.

Health Issues

If your child is healthy, then your main job is ensuring your child has a healthy diet, gets sufficient exercise, and has a regular bedtime.

When your child gets ill, get prompt medical attention rather than trying to figure out why they are sick and whether they need to see a doctor. It’s better to see a doctor rather than take a “wait-and-see” approach.

Sometimes health issues can be far more serious than you can emotionally handle—but there may be more resources available than you think. Rather than panic, seek help and advice. There may be a solution that you have not yet considered. For instance, if your child has a medical issue that requires braces, one overlooked resource could be the use of AFO brace socks. These ankle-foot orthosis socks assist with sensitivity-related needs and help prevent foot or ankle deformities. Children can wear these braces for a broad variety of conditions.

Self-Esteem Issues

Children are highly sensitive, much more than many parents realize.

When you criticize your child far more than compliment them, you may cause more harm than good even if your criticism is well-intentioned.

The way to balance things out is to catch your child doing something right. For instance, you could compliment them for making their bed or being patient with a sibling or not teasing a pet. By complimenting them, you reinforce what is working and build their self-confidence.

Discipline Issues

Discipline is necessary at every stage in life. People who are self-disciplined have a far better quality of life.

Unfortunately, parents who are self-disciplined can go overboard when disciplining their children.

Here are some ideas for being firm yet gentle:

  1. Explain the reasons for your rules. If one of your household rules is no television until after your child finishes their homework, explain why homework is more important than TV.
  1. Be consistent with discipline. You can’t be strict about bedtimes some nights and easy-going on other nights. This creates confusion.
  1. Expand your child’s point-of-view. When trying to teach your child to stop hurtful teasing, name-calling, or hitting other children, make your child see things from the other child’s point of view.

As a parent, you are teaching your child numerous rules about life. However, you also need rules for yourself. By creating guidelines for yourself as a parent, you don’t have to fret over what to do in every novel situation because you have a frame-of-reference. Instead of reacting emotionally, you’ll react rationally. Predictability helps children feel safe.

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