Being a parent is a challenging role for all parents, but more so for working moms and dads, or for those with more than one child to simultaneously parent. It makes your job that much tougher. Thankfully, many of the professionals overseeing infant day care in Silver Spring MD, are not just trained care givers, but are also parents themselves. And they’ll attest firsthand to the winning parenting strategies that work, and those that don’t. Positive parenting always trumps the more “negative” kind.
Torn Between Priorities
Parents are often torn between doing what’s right, and keeping their children happy. While the two may be the same thing, often, they might not be! A child might display extreme signs of happiness and love for the parent – if they always get toys and treats. However, feeding children candy and cakes all the time (even though it makes them happy), might not be good parenting.
That’s why meal planning at a day care in Bethesda is always a balancing act between healthy and tasty. As a result, children grow up with the right priorities – understanding that while “taste” makes them happy, other foods, like vegetables, are essential too. Often, the treat (e.g., healthy Gelato), is a positive reinforcement for embracing the other choice – which a child doesn’t like too much. But that approach helps them prioritize both, what’s good and what’s right.
Strategies that Work
This small example, of childcare meal menu planning, illustrates how parents can incorporate positive parenting into every aspect of the child’s life. The essence of the approach is to nurture good behavior with positive reinforcement, as opposed to the use of threats and punishment. And that’s exactly the approach that trained professionals at child care in Silver Spring use. Some of those strategies and techniques include:
- Setting clear ground rules
- Being consistent in applying the rules – especially when more than one child is involved
- Not skimping on appreciation and affection. This includes presenting children with tokens of appreciation, including verbal (“Good job!”, “Excellent work!”), physical (hugs, pats on the back), and material (treats, toys, gifts)
- Communicate. Communicate! Sometimes a child may “break” a rule because they didn’t understand it’s consequences
- Don’t constantly tell your child what’s good or bad. Encourage them to make independent choices. If it’s the right one (e.g., they choose veggies over cookies for a meal), then reward them (with cookies) as appreciation
Like the caregivers, teachers, and center staff at Bethesda day care, it’s also vital that parents are always available to children when they’re struggling with making sense of right and wrong. Spending more time with your children gives you more opportunity to spot “teaching moments”. It’s also important to prioritize positive discipline over punitive punishment.
Even when children do err, as they likely will from time to time, the best approach is to reinforce positive behavior. There’s ample research that confirms the longer-term benefits of positive parenting. It gives children more confidence, and is highly effective in motivating them into adopting good behavior.