The “F” Word in Parenting – FAIR
How many times as a parent do you hear “that’s not fair”? Well I actually never hear it from my teenagers as of a result of the way I parented them by always modeling what is “fair” and setting those limits. Teaching children about being fair needs to start early.
Having a positive relationship with your children needs to start at birth. For children to understand what “fair” is requires parents to parent “fair”. This requires communicating with your children. Children need to understand expectations on behavior. When a child clearly know the difference between desirable and undesirable behavior they will understand that there is a “fair” punishment for a crime.
Consequences for poor behavior needs to be clear and also needs to be followed through when the inappropriate behavior occurs.
When a consequence is followed through and the child is reminded about the expected and / or appropriate behavior the bad behavior is a lot of the time less recurring. The correlation between I miss behave this happens versus when I behave I get praised and encouraged teaches them a lifelong lesson of making good choices and the balance of “fair” versus “not fair” in the real world.
Promoting a “fair” environment works best when you notice when a child is doing good. Rewarding and praising good behavior we often forget to do in young children as it is what we as parents expect Right? Well as parents yes we expect good behavior but some good behavior needs to be modeled, taught and communicated to children.
In new situations children sometimes need to be given choices when modeling expected behavior because as we all know children love to be in control. When children think they are not in control- this is when poor choices and behavior issues can present themselves.
When being a “fair” parent always talk to your child in a soft confident voice, give eye contact and listen to your child. Teach your child how to do something versus tell them. Teaching a child your expectation is way easier than trying to reteach your expected behavior. Remember your behavior is the model your child will base his behavior on.