Learning Parenting Skills (1 - 4 year olds)
When you are a parent, or about to become one, there is a lot of pressure to be the “perfect” parent.
There is no such thing as a “perfect” parent. However, becoming a “skilled” parent is a gift you give yourself and your child(ren).
Learning Parenting Skills (5 - 12)
Every stage of a child’s development demands different skills from the parent(s) and caregivers. The issues confronted with a newborn are radically different from the issues confronted with a teenager.
In the early years, developing a strong attachment with your infant and adjusting to the demands of parenthood are key. For toddlers and young children, the issues of appropriate discipline, effective communication, redirecting misbehaviour, and encouraging the development of self-esteem are at the forefront.
With teenagers, parents and caregivers are tested with issues around the use of drugs and alcohol, sexuality, appropriate expression of emotions, respect, and responsibility.
Although each stage has unique challenges, there are key parenting skills that are common to every stage of development. These include skills such as communicating assertively, disciplining appropriately, fostering respect, side-stepping power-struggles, and instilling responsibility.
Learning these skills takes commitment, practice, time, and effort. Parenting courses are a great way to develop your parenting skills. In a parenting course you learn evidence-based skills in a supportive, confidential, and fun environment.
The tools learned in parenting courses are applicable to a wide range of family arrangements; be it a two-parent home, a single-parent home, a blended family, or any other family configuration.
A specific course of Stepfamilies is available to address their unique challenges and opportunities. Unique issues for Stepfamilies are the emotional baggage that each person brings to the new family, addressing different approaches and parenting styles, establishing limits, and avoiding loyalty conflicts.
Everyone involved in a child’s life does not have to have the same parenting styles. They do, however, need to agree on the strategies implemented and present a united front when handling parenting issues. Disagreements about parenting decisions need to be discussed when the children are not present and may require compromise among the adults.
Quick Tips for Building a Sense of Responsibility in Your Child(ren)
Children are not born with a sense of responsibility. It is something that must be carefully nurtured and instilled by the adults in their lives.
For pre-schoolers try engaging them in “games” such as putting toys away with one hand behind their backs or cleaning up after supper with only one hand. If they do not actually put all the toys away or clean the table, it is not as important as engaging them in the process.
For early elementary school age children charts with checks or stickers and rewards work like magic. A system of structured expectations and record-keeping allows the child to take pride in her or his achievements.
Nine to 11-year-olds can be very competent and being given the opportunity to contribute with daily household tasks enhances their senses of efficacy and belonging.
Don’t Forget About Your Needs
As much as you love your children, it is important to nurture your own spirit. Looking after your physical and emotional well-being will benefit yourself and your child(ren) in the long run. Asking for help is a sign of self-awareness and great strength.
For information about Parenting Courses contact:
356 Queen Street, Fredericton
Tel: 458-8211; 1-888-829-6777