For having no sense of structure as a child, I sure spent a lot of time on ‘restriction.’ What my parents lacked in communication, they made up with discipline. The link between these 2 is, more structure = less restriction, yelling, and emotional abuse.
That being said, I’ve made some decisions about raising children.
- Manners Very important! Children should be seen, not heard, and if they are heard, “please” and “thank you” better be in the mix.
- Let Them Cry Seriously, babies need to learn to self-sooth as much as they need to feel secure. At least wait 10 minutes before giving in once in a while. And before you go in to rescue said crying child, ask “do I need to give someone something to cry about?”
- Routine. Don’t yell at your kids for not doing what they’re supposed to do, if you have never guided them in a routine.
- Explain what the hell is going on. All I remember from my childhood is having to do things like go to school and church. My parents were not big on explaining the purpose or reasoning behind anything.
- Encourage Creativity This could be your child’s saving grace, and an outlet he/she turns to later in life, OR they can just turn to drugs and alcohol to cope.
- Turn the TV off during dinner. Even the family dinner should have some structure. Everyone at the table should feel secure that they can start and finish a sentence or story. It’s even better when parents respond and discuss. The family will bond over this kind of regular interaction.
- Build self–esteem. Trust me, the kids at school aren’t going to do it for your kids, so make sure and let them know they are fricken awesome and beautiful.
- With structure comes security. Nothing is more valuable than a safe foundation in life.
And if all else fails…..