How not to exasperate your childrenWritten by Wendy Kittlitz
Expectations: Be clear and consistent about what you expect from your kids.
VeX: Say what you need to say once, firmly. Carrying on about it becomes vexatious and counterproductive.
Age Appropriate: Don’t ask your child to do things that are beyond their developmental abilities.
Scare: Don’t scare your children with empty threats . . . say what you mean and mean what you say!
Positive: Positive reinforcement of good behaviour is almost always more effective than negative consequences for misbehaviour.
Embarrass: Don’t embarrass your children; correct them quietly and privately to preserve their dignity and communicate your respect.
Ride: Children need plenty of gentle reminders, warnings and cues, but don’t ride their case or they will be discouraged.
Anger: Anger spawns anger. If you discipline with anger, it will make your child angry – and then all you have is two angry people! Model control, mom and dad!
Teasing: What seems funny to you may feel like a put-down to your child. Be careful about teasing.
Encourage: Always let your child know you believe in them and want to draw out the best from them!
Wendy Kittlitz is vice-president of counselling and care ministries at Focus on the Family Canada.
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