What are good parenting skills? Why parent need behavior skills
What are good parenting skills, and what is so exceptional about behavior skills specifically? These are questions that every parent asks. Even the “experts” in childhood development continually come back to these questions to find the best solution for children. For parents, these questions usually arise when a child is behaving negatively and a parent is seeking help to improve their child’s behavior or to avoid the thought that, “I feel like a failure”. Unfortunately, many of the natural techniques we turn to during negative behavior isn’t effective in changing our child’s behavior, but we continue to use them because we don’t know what else to do or our emotions are high, causing us to act inappropriately. Luckily there are parenting tools that can be learned and implemented that have positive results in behavior management.
What makes a good parenting skill?
Good parenting skills have 4 elements that make them successful in improving a child’s behavior:
To see the biggest improvements over time, a good parenting skill needs to focus on the positive. This includes praising more than correcting. Acknowledging what your child is already doing well will encourage them to continue acting appropriately and help them respond better when feedback is given. When correction is necessary, do so in a loving and instructive way. When a child is only told what they are doing wrong it lowers their self confidence and they also don’t know the right way to behave instead. Explain to your child what they did to behave inappropriately, then tell them how they should behave, remembering to role-play the right way to behave. The skills of Effective Praise will show you how offer praise that motivates a child. The skill of Correcting Behaviors will show you how correct your child in a way that doesn’t damage your relationship.
Helps the parent stay calm
A good parenting skill will help the parent remain in control of their emotions so they model appropriate behavior for their child. One of the most common comments I hear from parents while teaching them the skills found on the Smarter Parenting website is that the parenting skills help them stay calm because they are focused on the steps they have learned rather than on the negative behavior or inappropriate things their kids are saying to them. They learn to observe and describe their child’s behavior objectively and then apply steps that improves their child’s actions. Instead of complaining that the kids acting crazy all the time, they recognize how to help them.
Teaches children the correct way to behave
A good parenting skill teaches a child how they are supposed to behave. Punishment is used to stop a child’s negative behavior and doesn’t go further. Teaching specific behaviors you want your child to use will help them replace the negative behavior with something more positive so they can be successful in the future. Then when a difficult situation arises again you will be able to prompt your child what to do instead of just telling them to “Stop!” and becoming frustrated when they don’t know how to change their behavior.
Leads to a better relationship with your child
A good parenting skill will strengthen your bond with your child. A stronger relationship naturally leads to better behavior and a willingness to apply what you are teaching. It will also encourage your child to choose to act appropriately on their own, without prompting from you. This internal motivation is the ultimate goal of teaching your child behavior skills. When your child learns and sees success while applying the skills they will look to you for further guidance.
Why every parent should use behavior skills
Behavior skills help a parent stay positive, remain calm, teach appropriate behavior, and establish a healthy relationship with their child. Behavior skills get to the root of the negative behavior, rather than putting out fires each time a problem arises. For example, many conflicts occur simply from a child not following a parent’s instructions. If this is not recognized, then a parent may become overwhelmed in trying to get their child to stop throwing their clothes on the floor, and to complete a chore, and to come home on time, all in the same day. However, all of these behaviors show a lack of a child’s ability to follow instructions. If the parent instead teaches the child the behavior skill of Following Instructions then they can prompt the use of the skill in all of these situations, following through with a reward or negative consequence depending on their child’s response. Solely using positive and negative consequences may deter or motivate a child for a small amount of time, but for long-term change they need to learn how to act in all types of situations. Smarter Parenting lessons teach behavior skills that include videos, activities, and printouts to make implementing behavior skills easy and effective. A small number of skills can improve many negative behaviors.
Behavior skills improve both parent and child behavior
The behavior skills needed to effectively shape a child’s behavior is found all in one place. Smarter Parenting provides tools for how to be a better parent (Effective Praise, Correcting Behaviors) as well as skills you can teach your child to behave better (Following Instructions, Decision Making (SODAS Method)). The whole family can work together to improve the dynamic at home and strengthen family relationships.