Anger Management

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Anger Management

Anger can be a paralyzing and debilitating condition.  But it can be a terrifying and degrading experience for your child if you're taking your anger out on them.  Physical and verbal abuse of a child can have lasting and lethal implications, so it's crucial that as a parent, you do whatever necessary to get your anger in check. 

As a parent, you have a wonderful opportunity to undo the wrongs that were done to you as a child if you had an angry and abusive parent or parents. It can be very curative and demonstrate you where your troubles lie are and inspire you to fix them. Perhaps your past is filled with unresolved hurt and anger.  If so, take the necessary steps to heal yourself.  If you don't, you could unwillingly and unthinkingly harm your child. Studies have shown that children whose mothers often express anger are more likely to be difficult to discipline.  Identify problems from your past and honestly look at current situations that are angering you. Maybe you aren't fulfilled at work; perhaps your spouse and you are having relationship troubles, maybe you have other personal issues or unfulfilled goals that are bothering you. If all your child ever sees is your angry face and hears an angry voice, that's what they'll most likely grow into as well. 

It's important to 'pick your battles' when parenting. Accidents and nuisances don't warrant the energy and agony it takes to get angry.  But misbehaviors such as a child hurting themselves, others or property demand a firm, quick and appropriate response from you. You will probably have to continually remind yourself that the small stuff isn't worth getting worked up over. And remind yourself also that you're the one in control of your anger; don't let your anger control you.  Put yourself in time out, take a deep breath, walk away, do whatever you have to in order to get a grip on yourself before addressing the situation if you feel your anger coming on strong. 

Playing With Your Child

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Playing With Your Child 

Your child defined play as using thing, actions, and languages to represent real and imaginary experiences. This allows your child to experiment with objects and situations that he may not experience in the real world. This is called symbolic play, and language and literacy can blossom through this opportunity.

- Dramatise a story together with your child

Have fun with dress-up clothes when you dramatise. You can also include dancing, singing and music-making in your dramatisation.

Playing engages your child in experimenting with language and helps them understand language needed for reading. 

 

- Use blocks with your child

You can build imaginary structures, scenes and many things inspired by books that you have read together. You can also use play dough to mould, sculpt and construct these imaginary things. natural objects e.g. stones, leaves and sticks can also be used. You can then help your child to label thier creations.

Playing develops language as your child talks with you, comparing , describing and labelling the things that he has used to play and create with.

 

- Design your very own family game with your child

This can be as simple as you want it to be, for example picking out objects that start with the letter 'C' in the house. You can also make your own family board game. Your child can label the board with your help, write and read out the rules as you play.

Playing enables your child to think and speak in an organised manner, as they explore possibilities made available while creating new things through play.

(adapted from Early READ, raising readers for life, A guide for reading with little ones)

 

 

 

Do As I Say and Do

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Do As I Say and Do 

Children learn to imitate at a very young age.  It's how they learn to behave, care for themselves, develop new skills, and communicate with others. From their earliest moments they watch you closely and pattern their own behavior and beliefs after yours. Your examples become permanent images, which will shape their attitudes and actions for the rest of their life. 


It's important to be responsible, consistent and loving with your child.  This also holds true for the relationship you have with your spouse, your parents, and other family members and friends that are also a part of your child's life.  Own up to mistakes when you make them, and communicate open and honestly with all family members.  
It's also important to take good care of yourself.  When we're focusing on what's best for our child it's easy to neglect our own needs.  Your child and your family are counting on you physically and emotionally, so it's imperative that you teach your child by example that taking care of yourself helps you to take care of them and the rest of your family.  This shows your child that not only do you love them and the rest of the family, but you love yourself as well.  This is an important step in teaching your child about self esteem.  This may involve getting a sitter and treating yourself out to dinner and a movie, or doing another favorite activity on your own.  This teaches your child that you are not only their parent, but your own person with your interests and needs, and also gives them a chance to show you how well they can do without you with them for a while. 


It's also important to nurture your relationship with your spouse.  Let your child see you communicate in a positive and healthy manner with one another, and show love and affection for one another so your child can begin to learn early on what a healthy marriage should be like.  


You'll soon see your child patterning many of his behaviors after your own.  So make sure that what you say and do around your child will help build a strong sense of security and self esteem. 

 

Consistency In Discipline

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Consistency In Discipline

Consistency is key to successfully teaching your child right from wrong when disciplining them.  It keeps small misdeeds and bad behaviors from later becoming bigger misdeeds and worse behaviors.  You have to stand firm and mean it when you say, "Turn off the television now"or "no dessert after dinner because you didn't touch your dinner." Consistency teaches your child there are defined consequences for misdeeds and inappropriate or unacceptable actions or behaviors.   Inconsistency when disciplining makes you directly responsible for your children's misbehavior and doesn't teach them how to be responsible for their actions. 
It's also that each partner is consistent with the discipline.  If one parent is too strict and the other is too lenient, the child will key into that and try to manipulate the situation to his or her advantage.  Parents must agree on disciplinary action in advance and make a commitment to one another to be consistent in implementing and following through with the consequences.  This can be especially difficult if the child's parents are separated or divorced.  Though you may not be together anymore, it's imperative that you parent on common ground. Openly and honestly discuss these parameters with your former spouse and your child in advance, so that if discipline is needed, the consequences of such misbehavior are well understood in advance. Any disagreements between parents should be discussed out of the child's earshot. 

Consistency is about being strong and standing firm, even when doing so is extremely difficult or exhausting.  It can sometimes be hard to come home after a hard day at work only to find a hard night of parenting in front of you.  Your child will consistently test the boundaries and 'push the envelope' with you to see if there's any play in those consequences.  By standing firm you are showing there is not and that you expect them to do nothing less than take responsibility for their actions.  

 

Teamwork And Strong Work Ethic

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Chores can help your child learn about teamwork and work ethic

Chores can help develop a sense of responsibility and self worth in your child.  It should be understood by all family members they are expected and necessary to a household running successfully and efficiently.  They can help create a sense of unity and family and is a great place for your child to learn about teamwork.  Parents should take special care to handle the delegation of chores to children so they don't become a source of frustration or create arguments. 


Allow your child to have an active say in the delegation of chores.  Give them choices.  We all have household chores that we don't like to do, but if it's a chore the child enjoys doing then there's less likelihood it will create a battle in the end.  The child will most likely appreciate having the chance to be heard and having a choice. 


It's imperative that you set parameters early on for the successful completion of a chore.  They may not perform up to snuff when they first start performing the chore, but show them where improvement is needed and praise them for a strong effort.  Also make sure the child understands there will be repercussions if they only put forth a minimal effort. Ensure the child understands the need for the chore's effective and efficient completion. Set consequences for substandard completion as a team.  Make sure they see that if they don't perform their chores, it affects the other members of the team. Spouses must work together and be a strong example for their children by completing their own chores each day.  And don't allow a child to undermine your authority by battling with you over a designated chore.  Stand your ground and don't give in, and emphasize the consequence and negative effect an uncompleted chore has on the family.  


Also keep an open mind when a child wants to discuss their thoughts or express their opinions about chores.  Make sure the conversation stays positive and on target. 

 

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