The 4 “C”s of parenting

There's no one-style-fits-all way of parenting or a sure-shot manual that tells you how to do it. When a child is born, a parent is born. And as they grow and develop, we use our individual personalities mingled with the child's personality to develop our own tailor-made style to suit our respective families. Family therapists agree that the 4 Cs of parenting are the most crucial - Choices, Consequences, Consistency and Care. See what they say about each of these qualities in this article from AnxiousToddlers -1. Give your child choices. Children have very little control over their lives and the choices that are made for them. Often children will exert the only power they have and refuse to poop or eat.Giving your child choices doesn’t mean letting them run the show. It means helping them problem-solve their own behavior. Sometimes giving choices helps your child make better decisions.For example – you want your child to turn off the TV and come to dinner. They are ignoring you – as usual. You say, “You have two choices – you can choose to turn the TV off and come to dinner or you can choose to ignore me and go to bed early.” 2. Consequence behavior – be it good or bad consequences. When people say “consequences” there is normally a negative connotation associated with it. Consequences can be good or bad. You want to teach your child that there are consequences for their actions.If your child makes great choices – they might reap the rewards of those choices. If they make poor choices they might see negative consequences.It is important to help children see the cause and effect of their behavior. It is teaching them that old adage “For every action there is a reaction.” In a perfect world I would suggest linking natural consequences to behavior.For example, if your child refuses to go to bed – the consequence might be early bedtime the next night. If you child went to bed easily the night before – you might recognize that behavior by giving them an extra story before bedtime the next night. It is important to connect the dots for children and let them know why a certain consequence or reward is being given. For example, “You made some great choices last night and went to bed without any problems! Because of that great behavior – I can take the time to read you an extra book because I know you’ll go to bed right after.”Good-Parenting

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3. Consistency, consistency, consistency. Should I say it again – consistency! If you are going to get only one thing out of this article – let it be CONSISTENCY. Did I really need to capitalize the word – yes! It is that important. I always tell parents – it won’t matter what you do or say – if you are not consistent about it.

Children are little archivists. They are archiving what you said yesterday and if you followed through. They are testing the waters and seeing where your limits are and if they can be pushed. If you say something – stick with it. If you say, “If you do that again [blank] will happen.” – do [blank] when it happens again. Because – it will happen again. 4. Parenting with care and respect.Parenting with respect can make the one difference in your ability to be effective. You can give your child choices, consequences and be extremely consistent – but if you do not show your child love and respect – your parenting will have some serious cracks.Children learn the most from our actions. When we demean or belittle our children – we teach them to do the same. When we shout at them all the time – children become deaf to our words and wait for us to scream.Parenting is a challenge. We all have our bad days. We all have those moments when we wish we had a rewind button. Parenting isn’t about perfection – it is about intention. Identify your parenting intentions – and take one day at a time – that is what good parenting is all about! This list is a wonderful place to start!This article was published on Anxioustoddlers.
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