Raising kids can be hard, especially if you are a new parent. It is almost inevitable that you'll make a mistake or two along the way. Emma Jenner, nanny to the stars and formerly known as TLC's Take Home Nanny has compiled this list of mistakes you can avoid.
#1 Mistake: Labeling Children
Don't Label Your Children - Call your boy a naughty boy and he will be a naughty boy. Call your two year old a baby and he will behave accordingly.
Tips and Tools - Explain that the behavior the child is exuding is not acceptable as opposed to telling the child they are being naughty.
#2 Mistake: No schedule or routine
You Must Have a Routine - Children developmentally thrive within a routine. If they have no routine their development runs wild hence out of control children. Besides life is a lot easier for the parent with routine.
Tips and Tools - Establish a good routine that works for your family and stick to it. To help you, make a schedule and put it up for everyone to see and follow.
#3 Mistake: No consistency
You Must Be Consistent - If you decide to lay down a law/rule you must have the self discipline to enforce it with real consequences. If you don't enforce the law how can you expect a child to respect it.
Tips and Tools - Encourage yourself to be consistent by rewarding yourself. Parents need to be rewarded too. Decide where you would like to go for a weekend away and pop a postcard on the fridge to remind you where you will be going after a whole month of being consistent.
#4 Mistake: No discipline or boundaries
Children Must Know Their Boundaries - As children grow they start to play up and push their parents buttons, the parent react and discipline them so they don't do it again. It's how they learn to survive in life. Parents who don't discipline their children are putting their children in future danger.
Tips and Tools - Set realistic, age appropriate boundaries.
#5 Mistake: No praise or positive reinforcement
You Must Look For Opportunities to Praise - Praising children for the positive steps they take in life like good manners, eating well, playing well, any new achievement. sharing, etc. will encourage them to demonstrate good behavior and it will give them great confidence for the future hurdles in life.
Tips and Tools - You can praise your children in a number of different ways; verbally ('I'm so proud of you', 'you did an amazing job'), or a special reward that could include stickers, a toy or a special outing with the family.
#6 Mistake: Not making time for your children
You Must Make Time For Your Children - No matter how busy you are, each child needs quality time with each parent. A small amount of quality time full of interest and praise goes a long way to making happy, strong children.
Tips and Tools - It doesn't take much, just set aside 30 minutes a day to spend quality time with your children.
#7 Mistake: Allowing disrespectful behavior (screaming, shouting)
You Must Teach Children Respectful Manners - How can we expect to keep life in the world civilized if we don't teach our children basic respectful manners?
Tips and Tools - Do not allow your children to shout at you or anyone else for that matter. Always talk to your children in a calm respectable tone and don't forget to use your manners, for example, please and thank you. You have to set the example; your children will mirror you. Have your spouse think of a funny way to remind you and help keep you in check.
#8 Mistake: Allowing children to eat too much junk
You Must Feed Your Children Good Food and On Time - Stop with the candy and the junk. Nutritious, fresh food during these years is imperative to fit and healthy development. Please note: too much or too little food can have an adverse effect of your children's behavior.
Tips and Tools - Offer your children frequent, healthy meals and snacks. Having trouble getting those vegetables into your children? The 'Sneaky Chef' is a great children's cook book that will help you incorporate more fruit and vegetables into their diet.
#9 Mistake: Not listening to your children
You Must Listen to Your Children - Most often when a child is acting up it is because they are not being heard. If they feel like they are being heard and taken seriously they will act more maturely and won't have to misbehave in order to get your attention.
Tips and Tools - When your children ask you questions or simply try to talk to you, STOP for a moment and listen to them. They are just small curious individuals trying to learn and develop.
#10 Mistake: Not showing love
You Must Show Love and Affection - A child's feelings of security and trust are created by love and affection.
Tips and Tools - Please take the time to hug and kiss your children. Tell them how much you love them with every opportunity you have.