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Five ways to motive children at home during the pandemic

Lea Lomas

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The current Covid-19 pandemic has forced families to spend a lot of their time at home and this has created new challenges. Staying home all the time has been particularly difficult for parents to manage their children. Whether it is the current pandemic or any other situation that forces families to stay home for an extended time, parents must establish some basic rules for the children to follow. These rules should include having a set schedule for the children to follow and communicating guidelines and expectations. The real challenge will be to motivate the children to follow the rules. Here are five ways you can do this:

  1. Involve the children in making a schedule

Rather than just dumping a schedule on them, you should include your children to a part of setting up a schedule. Set a family meeting and ask the children what they would like to do. Talk about why the schedule is important and what is acceptable and what is not. Don’t forget about setting a certain time of the day where you allow them to be kids: watch TV, jump around, go outdoors, etc. Involving them in setting up a schedule will make them some ownership of their behavior and discipline to follow the schedule.

  1. Let them have a say in how to accomplish tasks

If children are forced to do things, their motivation is undermined. Try to give them a few options when possible so they feel empowered to complete tasks that they have agreed to do. This will also increase the chance of them completing the task. For example, after a study session, give them a choice of a few different fun activities.

  1. Empathize with them

An increasing number of research studies are pointing out the importance of empathy in different settings. It is also extremely important in a parent-child relationship. One of the first steps to empathy is to listen to your children and communicate to them that you understand what they are saying. We all have an innate desire to be heard and understood and if this desire is not filled, it leads to frustration and tantrums. Even if you don’t agree with your child is saying, it important to communicate to them that you understand what they are saying and then provide them with a reason why you do not agree with them or will not allow them to do that.

  1. Provide Reasons

As a parent, you should provide them with reasoning for the rules you have setup. For example, in a stay at home situation, you should explain to them why you have to stay inside. The reasoning will be more effective if the children can relate to it. For example, you can tell them that if they go out and catch the flu, they might have to go to the doctor, and that is not going to be a pleasant experience.

  1.  Try do problem-solving with the children

At times, things won’t go according to plan. Some problems will arise that would require some solving. Include your children in problem-solving. For example, if your child doesn’t sleep on time. Engage them in a discussion to see what possible solutions can be used to make it easier for them to sleep. When they become part of the solution-finding process, there is a greater chance of the problem is solved.

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Life

Disciplining A Child And Creating a Program To Discipline Themselves

Mackenzie Freeman

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When To Consider Raising or Having Children

1. Some people see that their lives would be enhanced if they were a parent and do not want to miss out on having a child,  especially when they hear their friends or associates praising having children in their lives.  Parenthood is glorified and is considered an extraordinary experience. Still, they do not think that there is any downside to having children because parenthood is a given and considered transcendent when a parent has one good experience with its child and the child,  is not interrupted by a Smartphone, headphones or earbuds, which does not qualify as a higher spiritual plane.  Parenting, being a given, must be thoroughly thought through because it is a full-time responsibility, which carves up all of one’s free time.

2. If your motive to be a parent is that people tell you that if you do not, you will regret this decision. This motive is not a good reason to be a parent.  While regretting not having children is a compelling reason to have children.

3.  If your partner wants to have children, should this motivate yourself to do so, even though you are ambivalent?  Being pressured to have a child by a desperate partner can easily backfire, and your partner’s motivation may be that desperate parent has doubts about the success of the marriage.

4. You should not have any genuine concerns about your parenting skills. While having concerns is not atypical, legitimate concerns should not be ignored.  It is essential that you know yourself and trust your feelings that you had doubts about whether you could love and protect your child.

 5.  When you thought about having a child, one factor was that the child could be an insurance policy to care for you as you age, and you feared to be lonely and neglected.

Parents Discipline of Young Children

It is unusual to determine your discipline strategy for your unborn child, but that issues arise in the early years of the child’s life.  Further, in your discussion with your partner concerning discipline, you may realize if there is a significant difference between you and your partner. That issue should be addressed before determining if your parenting styles significantly differ before you commit to having children.   

Discipline Factors

Discipline is directly related to the emotional well being of the parents, the age and developmental status of the child, and
ethnic and racial differences.  One would hope that the emotional well being of the parent would be explored before the parents deciding to have children.  

Stop Doing Tasks For Your Teenagers

A parents goal is to raise competent and capable adults and decide that disciplining their teenagers when they don’t complete essential tasks is not helping them to become well-functioning adults such as:

1. Ensuring that they wake themselves up in the morning when the snooze button on their alarm clock does not effectively wake them up,
2.  Making their breakfast and packing their lunch.
3.  Completing their school-related paperwork.
4. Bringing forgotten items to their school.
5. Do not cover your children’s failure to finish school projects.
6. Doing their laundry.
7.  Contacting their teachers or coaches. 
8. Becoming too involved with their academic responsibilities.
 
Teaching Children Common Sense Life Skills

Parents are concerned that whether they should use common sense to teach a child life’s skills to ensure that their children can function in the real world, which is unrelated to technology or computer knowledge.  Society expects that parents teach their children common sense life skills and will, in some form, punish parents for not doing so.  Parents have to set aside a home-based program to teach these skills.  The common-sense life skills program must be designed to have consequences putting the final responsibility on their children to show that they will suffer from avoiding tasks and must develop self-discipline.

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Life

I stopped being a helicopter parent and we are much happier

Lea Lomas

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stay home. This has also meant that families get to spend a lot more time together. In my case, I have had an opportunity to spend some quality time with my son. I have always been a helicopter parent, which means I have been overprotective of my son. I have taken an excessive interest in their life. At times I found myself double-checking his homework to make sure he has done the best he can. I had installed a camera in his room to monitor what he was doing. I used to check the camera excessively. There was a time he had to on a school field trip. I was so nervous that I decided to join them. I was the only parent to have joined them on the field trip. It was so embarrassing for me but it kept me from worrying about my son. It was just a lot of very unhealthy behavior. I had reached a helicopter parent burnout situation.

One surprising benefit of staying at home has been a change in my behavior towards my son. I have finally learned how to abandon being a helicopter parent. In the past, I have been hovering over my son like a helicopter. I might have to pretend to be chill and laid back but my mind is always on my son. A helicopter parent intends to make sure their child is safe from anything that could hurt them. This is not a bad intention to have. The problem with it is that it can be exhausting for the parent and annoying for the kid. Being home all the time made being a helicopter parent even more exhausting. Where is he? Did he do his homework? Is he hungry? Did he go out of the house? Did he fall? If I kept thinking about my son, I would just not able to do anything else.

Abandoning being a helicopter parent doesn’t mean I completely forget about my son and not care about him. It means being more selective about it. For example, I am still diligent to make sure he attends his virtual math class but I don’t need to know where he is all the time. I encourage him to eat healthy food but I am not overly stressed about every single thing he eats. This has made my son also more responsible for his actions. He now understands that I am not always hovering over him, protecting him, telling him what to do and what not to do. He has realized that is he is running the show, not me.

Staying at home has meant that there no strict schedules to follow. We have learned how to live and let live. We are together in the same house but not intruding into the personal space of the other all the time. We have interesting conversations about various things but I am constantly telling him what to do. Another advantage of abandoning being a helicopter parent is that I am a happier person and my son can feel that. There is more quality time we spend together. I think my son is better prepared to transition to the real world. Eventually, he will grow up and he would have to be responsible for his own life. If I had kept going on as I was, it would have made it harder for him. The COVID-19 pandemic will be always be remembered for the devastation it has caused, but it did allow me to change myself and for that I am thankful.

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Life

“Bad Cop” Parenting Helps “Good Cop” Parenting Impress Minds

Leslie Tander

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Dads seem to go along with everything, while moms, though fun, seem to get dubbed “strict”. A great example is the TV sitcom family, the way parents always fall into the roles of good cop/bad cop. The dads always seem to get off easy, not having to make the tough decisions, while the moms take on the role of big, bad disciplinarian. 

People tend to view me as a strict parent, but I don’t hit or verbally abuse my kids; I just make them mind. Am I a “bad cop”? I do say exactly what is on my mind. While I know kids will be kids, I still expect my children to conduct themselves with manners.

At first, it bothered me greatly that people judged me as a strict parent, but then I realized that I couldn’t parent according to what people thought of my parenting skills. I must parent according to what is best for my children. There is a sweet balance with kids, and inaction can hurt them as much as overreaction. Besides, I don’t have to play bad cop all the time. As a single mom, I get to take on the role of “good cop” at times, as well, and it is welcomed with all the more endearment when I do.

My parents divorced when I was 10 years old. I stayed with my dad, a sweet but stern disciplinarian, in the summertime. Then, during the school year, I lived with my single mother, the scary disciplinarian. I learned manners. I never kept a huge circle of friends, but with few exceptions, the friends I had in school had parents who were much more lenient than mine. All of this made me believe that the good cop/bad cop television stereotype was just that – television and at least somewhat fiction.

The first time we went to Portland to visit my boyfriend’s family, they appeared mortified at my parenting methods. I was helping his mother and sister prepare a feast, but my children were acting as if they had taken caffeine pills. They were running, jumping, and yelling, out-of-control, so I called a halt to the circus and sent the kids to the backyard since it was nice outside. His family started whispering amongst themselves and giving me the death stare, but someone could’ve gotten burned or something broken and someone cut. I don’t think asking them to take the circus outside was unreasonable. They knew they were out of line. They were just waiting for me to say something, but there you have it…they weren’t going to stop until I said something.

I try to be warm and responsive with my kids, but I am also a voice of authority, not a harsh or mean one, but I mean what I say. I think it’s all right to reason with your kids sometimes. When you reason with your kids, though, do it in such a way that you discredit their reasoning. This way, you can get a clear picture of your kid’s motivations, so that you’ll know how to move forward.

Thank goodness, my boyfriend agrees with me on discipline issues for the most part. Sometimes he and one of the kids will have a disagreement, where each is unrelentingly “right”. In those cases, I am the voice of reason and common ground. It’s like nursing a little seed.

I want my step-son to feel like my birth son. I want all my kids to possess couth, honor, respect, empathy, mercy, and the ability to love others.

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