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8 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Be Good-Tempered

8 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Be Good-Tempered

Children come into this world not knowing how to handle themselves. It’s up to us as adults to guide them toward self-control and approaching life with an even temper.

Kids will definitely fly off the handle at times, but we need to expect that, and react empathetically so they can learn by example how to better deal with aggravating situations as they arise. It’s okay if they make mistakes, but leaving their temper unchecked as they grow into adults can lead to major problems down the road.

In order to teach our children to be good-tempered, we must:

1. Teach them about feelings

Childhood is a confusing time for everyone. We are thrown into this world with the capability of experiencing a plethora of emotions, and no idea how to handle any of them.

It’s important that adults take the time to teach children how to recognize feelings of anger, sadness, and discomfort, and to provide them with strategies to help cope when these feelings arise. It will take time for them to master these skills, but as with all aspects of childhood, it is expected to be a work in progress.

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2. Explain listening skills

If you’ve ever interacted with children, you know they can get themselves worked up over absolutely anything. And most of the time, it’s a huge misunderstanding that was caused because the child wasn’t truly listening to what the other person was saying.

There’s a difference between hearing somebody, and actually listening to them. Teach your children to be mindful when others are speaking, rather than simply waiting for their turn to speak their mind.

If a child learns that listening is just as much a part of communication as talking is, he’ll surely grow into a good-tempered adult.

3. Show them problem solving skills

Once you get children understanding their feelings and truly listening to what others are saying, you’ll also need to guide them in how to actually resolve the issue they’re facing. There are many methods you can utilize to do so, but one of the most effective ways is through role playing.

Discuss a variety of “what if” scenarios in which your child will have to make a decision that could lead to a positive or negative outcome, and discuss the options fully. Act out the scenario both ways, taking care to point out how both parties are feeling throughout the role play.

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Doing so will help children understand that their actions play a heavy part in how a certain situation plays out.

4. Discuss anger management skills

Everyone gets angry at some points in life. Anger is a natural human emotion, so there’s nothing wrong with being angry. However, there is something wrong with acting on your anger in a way that negatively affects others around you.

Children need to be taught strategies they can use to cope with their anger that lead to positive resolutions for all parties involved. One notion that should be stressed when discussing anger with children is that anger is always triggered by another emotion, be it fear, jealousy, frustration, or a feeling of rejection.

Help children get to the bottom of their anger, and they’ll better be able to manage their behavior when their emotions begin to flare up.

5. Establish rules

Children need boundaries growing up. As the adult, you’re in charge here. Establish ground rules that your children must obey under any and all circumstances. They’ll learn there are certain actions or behaviors they simply won’t get away with.

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However, it’s not enough to just establish the rules, but it is necessary to explain them as well. Children who understand why certain behavior is unacceptable will be less apt to break the rules than children who are simply told “because I said so.”

Since they understand the given rules of a household, they’ll lead much more even-tempered lives..

6. Provide structure

Children should definitely be given some freedom, but for the most part, they should learn to follow a daily routine. This includes before school, after school, and at bedtime.

Again, these house rules are made by you, and the consequences of not following them should be crystal clear to your children. As they get used to following a schedule throughout their day, the thought of deviating from the plan won’t even cross their minds.

7. Help them practice delayed gratification

I know some adults that could use some help here, too! In today’s world in which answers are at our fingertips, and material possessions are just a mouse click away, children need to learn that not everything is “on demand” like their favorite cartoon is.

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In fact, the most rewarding things in life are those which we have fully anticipated for days, weeks, months, even years. Earning a good grade on a test takes weeks of preparation and hard work, but the reward lies not only in the actual grade, but in the feeling of success and accomplishment.

Help children see this by creating schedules on a calendar that will show their progress over time. Growth is not necessarily noticeable by children unless it is visualized and discussed on a daily basis.

Showing them how they’ve grown as they work toward a goal will help keep their need for gratification satisfied while working toward that long-term goal.

8. Model appropriate behavior

I cannot stress this last point enough: If you want your children to be even-tempered, you too have to be calm and collected at all times. They learn about life by watching you.

If you fly off the handle at every little bump in the road, they learn that doing so is an appropriate response to frustration, and will act accordingly. However, if you stay cool when bad situations arise, your children will follow suit.

It doesn’t matter how you used to be before you had kids. Once you have a child that looks up to you, you need to remember that they will grow up to be just like you in many ways, and act accordingly.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on August 22, 2019

14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent.[1] That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population.There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.

One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.

But providing stability is easier said than done. With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things you can do to make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.

1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.

Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.

Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.

2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents

At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.

Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.

Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.

Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.

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3. Build a Community

In addition to finding support with other single parents, also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.

Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.

4. Accept Help

Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.

There is no shame in asking for help and accepting assistance from loved ones. You will not be perceived as weak or incompetent. You are being a good parent by being resourceful and allowing others to give you a much-needed break.

5. Get Creative with Childcare

Raising a child on a single income is a challenge, with the high cost of daycares, nannies, and other conventional childcare services. More affordable options are possible if you go a less traditional route.

If you have space and live in a college town, offer a college student housing in exchange for regular childcare. Or swap kids with other single parents so that your kids have friends to play with while the parents get time to themselves.

When I was younger, my parents had a group of five family friends, and all of the children would rotate to a different house each day of the week, during the summer months. The kids would have a great time playing with each other, and the parents’ job becomes a lot easier. That’s what you would call a win-win situation.

6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

As a single parent, a backup plan or two is a must in emergency situations. Make a list of people you know you can call in a moment’s notice. There will be times in which you need help, and it’s important to know ahead of time who you can rely on.

Look into whether or not your area offers emergency babysitting services or a drop-in daycare. Knowing who will be able to care for your child in the event of an emergency can relieve one potential source of anxiety in stressful situations.

7. Create a Routine

Routines are crucial for young children because knowing what to expect gives them a semblance of control. This is even more important when in a single parent home.

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If the child travels between homes or has multiple caretakers, life can seem extremely chaotic and unpredictable. Establish a routine and schedule for your child as much as possible. This can include bedtime, before/after school, chores, meal times, and even a weekend routine.

Having a routine does not mean things cannot change. It is merely a default schedule to fall back on when no additional events or activities are going on. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant because they know what to expect, and days will run much more smoothly.

8. Be Consistent with Rules and Discipline

If your child has multiple caretakers, such as another parent, grandparent, or babysitter, communicate clearly on how discipline will be handled. Talk to your ex, if you are sharing custody, as well as any other caretakers about the rules and the agreed-upon approach to discipline.

When a child realizes that certain rules can be bent with certain people, he/she will use it to their advantage, causing additional issues with limits, behavior, and discipline down the road.

This article may help you to discipline your child better:

How to Discipline a Child (The Complete Guide for Different Ages)

9. Stay Positive

Everyone has heard the saying, “Mind over matter.” But there really is so much power behind your mentality. It can change your perspective and make a difficult situation so much better.

Your kids will be able to detect even the smallest shift in your attitude. When the responsibilities of motherhood are overwhelming, stay focused on the positive things in your life, such as your friends and family. This will produce a much more stable home environment.

Maintain your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to be silly. Look towards the future and the great things that are still to come for you and your family. Rediscover and redefine your family values.

10. Move Past the Guilt

In a single parent home, it is impossible to act as both parents, regardless of how hard you try. Let go of the things that you cannot do as a single parent, and instead, think of the great things you ARE able to provide for your children.

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Leave behind the notion that life would be easier or better with two parents. This is simply not true. There is a multitude of pros and cons to all family dynamics, and the one you are providing for your kids now is the one that they need.

Don’t get bogged down by guilt or regret. Take control of your life and be the best parent you can by being present and engaged with them on a daily basis.

11. Answer Questions Honestly

Your kids may have questions about why their home situation is different from many of their friends. When asked, don’t sugarcoat the situation or give them an answer that is not accurate.

Depending on their age, take this opportunity to explain the truth of what happened and how the current circumstances came about. Not all families have two parents, whether that is due to divorce, death, or whatever else life brings.

Don’t give more detail than necessary or talk badly about the other parent. But strive to be truthful and honest. Your children will benefit more from your candor than a made-up story.

12. Treat Kids Like Kids

In the absence of a partner, it can be tempting to rely on your children for comfort, companionship, or sympathy. But your kids are not equipped to play this role for you.

There are many details within an adult relationship that children are not able to understand or process, and it will only cause confusion and resentment.

Do not take out your anger on your kids. Separate your emotional needs from your role as a mother. If you find yourself depending on your kids too much, look for adult friends or family members that you can talk to about your issues.

13. Find Role Models

Find positive role models of the opposite sex for your child. It’s crucial that your child does not form negative associations with an entire gender of people.

Find close friends or family members that would be willing to spend one-on-one time with your kids. Encourage them to form meaningful relationships with people that you trust and that they can look up to.

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Role models can make a huge difference in the path that a child decides to take, so be intentional about the ones that you put in your kids’ lives.

14. Be Affectionate and Give Praise

Your children need your affection and praise on a daily basis. Engage with your kids as often as possible by playing with them, going on outings, and encouraging open dialogue.

Affirm them in the things that they are doing well, no matter how small. Praise their efforts, rather than their achievements. This will inspire them to continue to put forth hard work and not give up when success is not achieved.

Rather than spending money on gifts, spend time and effort in making lasting memories.

Final Thoughts

Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on.

However, studies show that growing up in a single parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life.

Use these tips in order to be a reliable and capable parent for your kids, while maintaining your own well-being and sanity.

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Featured photo credit: Eye for Ebony via unsplash.com

Reference

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