Raising a child brings countless benefits, and many parents report that it is the most rewarding job they ever have. However, parenting also presents unique and very stressful situations which can be difficult to properly deal with.
It can often be difficult to understand why your child is upset or not following the rules because a child sees the world very differently than an adult. To cope with these conflicts throughout your child’s life, you will likely find it helpful to seek out support and tips from those around you. Some of the most common stressful situations for parents are:
Calming a Crying Baby
Remember: Crying is your baby’s only form of communication. Babies cry to tell you they need something when they cannot talk yet. They will often cry if they are hungry, cold, hot, tired, bored, or lonely.
Crying does not mean you are a bad parent. Rather, in time, you will learn to interpret your baby’s different cries to more quickly address his or her needs.
- Is he uncomfortable? Check the baby’s diaper, offer him a bottle or pacifier, and check his temperature.
- Is he upset? Give him a warm bath, dance slowly, or walk around the room with him. Singing, reading, or sitting in a dark, quiet room may also help.
- Is he bored? Try amusing him with toys, take him for a walk, or hold him up to a mirror.
- BE PATIENT. Never shake your baby. If you become frustrated, leave him in a crib and leave the room. Shaking can cause brain damage and death, so it is better to let him cry.
As your child matures, discipline will become an important part of his development. Your most important job as a parent is to teach your child how to behave properly. It’s easy to become a police officer rather than a parent, but try to avoid only punishing bad behavior. Your child needs to learn the consequences of his actions, but he also needs to learn how to properly modify his behavior.
- Set clear guidelines so your child knows what is expected of him.
- Get down to his level.
- Use positive reinforcement. Acknowledge good behavior and use small rewards systems to encourage future good behavior.
- Be a good role model by following your own rules to demonstrate good behavior.
Anger Management Tips
Finally, your behavior when dealing with stress is also an important factor in your child’s discipline and learning. A child will watch your reactions and learn from you, interpreting your behavior as appropriate. In fact, observational learning is often the most effective way for a child to learn by modeling acceptable behavior.
- Who are you angry with? Remove yourself from the situation to avoid taking out misplaced anger on your child.
- Channel your anger. Exercise, take a walk, count to ten, or splash water on your face.
- Empathize. Try to put yourself in your child’s situation to understand his decision-making.
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