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8 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Be Good-Tempered

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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.

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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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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

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Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

In today’s chaotic world, having family time isn’t always easy. It can get pretty hard to coordinate schedules, especially if the family is large. Life demands that we work, attend school, nurture friendships, hobbies, etc. All of those things are extremely time-consuming and important—but so is spending time with your family.

Why is family time so important? Because we all need love and support, and a good, strong family can provide that regularly. For children, spending time with their family helps shape them into good, responsible adults, improve their mental health, and develop strong core values.

There are many positive effects of spending time with your family. My family and I, for instance (and this includes grandchildren as well), meet every Tuesday night for dinner and games. My older son and I take turns cooking. This gives all of us a chance to try some new recipes. After dinner, we play games. And without fail, they inspire competitiveness and laughter. As family night has evolved, the grandkids have invited their friends over as well, creating the need for more chairs but also expanding our circle of fun.

Aside from the obvious fun and games, there are other reasons why spending time with your family is paramount. In this article, I will provide you with multiple reasons why spending time with your family regularly is a win-win. And then, I will lay out some ways on how to do it.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important

Here are six reasons why it’s important to spend time with your family.

1. Provides the Opportunity to Bond

When you spend time together as a family—talking about your day, your highs, your lows—it fosters communication. As parents, it gives you the chance to listen to your children, to hear them out, to learn about what’s going on in their world. It also provides you with the opportunity to use life situations as teaching moments.

Before our Tuesday night dinner/game nights, my family used to see each other pretty regularly but not consistently, especially the grandkids. Our family night changed all that. Now, it’s guaranteed that the grandchildren, along with some of their friends, will be there. Not only do I get to find out what’s been happening in their lives, but they also get to know us better. It’s creating memories they can treasure forever, as well as modeling the Get-Together tradition for when they eventually have families of their own.

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“Spending time partaking in everyday family leisure activities has been associated with greater emotional bonding within families.”[1]

2. Teaches the Value of Family

Taking the time to be with your family lets your children know they are valued—that spending time together is a priority. I know that in today’s world, both parents are busy as both usually working. What better way to let your children know they are loved than by carving out time each week to spend with them?

According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., “words like honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage are core to centuries of religious, philosophical, and family beliefs. Use them and others to express and reinforce your family values. Teach children the behaviors that flow from these principles. Use quotes to ignite meaningful dinner conversations and encourage kids to talk about these values.”[2]

3. Enhances Mental Well-Being

Spending that quality time together gives your children a safe platform in which to express themselves, ask questions about things that are bothering them, or talk about their day and things they’ve learned. I know that my 9-year old granddaughter can’t wait until it’s her turn to talk about her day. She usually goes on and on and has to be stopped to give everyone else a chance to talk about their goings-on.

“Research shows the quality of family relationships is more important than their size or composition. Whoever the family is made up of, they can build strong, positive relationships that promote wellbeing and support children and young people’s mental health.”[3]

For children, having the opportunity to seek advice from parents they trust—as well as being able to have a sounding board and help with problem-solving—is priceless. In addition, being able to voice their opinions and be heard—and to feel like what they have to say matters—is an esteem-builder. All of these can have a very impactful positive effect on their well-being.

4. Helps the Child Feel Loved

How do you think a child feels knowing their parents want to spend time with them—talking, sharing experiences, playing games, listening to them? It will make them feel as though they are important, and a child that feels important is happier and more apt to thrive. Setting aside chores or work to spend time with your children demonstrates that they’re essential—that they matter. What a gift to give your child!

“If a child has your undivided attention, it signals that they are loved and important to you. This can be further nurtured by experiencing joyful activities together, as it demonstrates that you want to spend time with your children over and above all of the daily demands.”[4]

5. Creates a Safe Environment

If you regularly spend time with your children, you are also creating an atmosphere of trust. The more trust they have, the more likely they are to share with you what’s going on in their world. As they get older, you’re going to want to know. Negative influences can show up at any time, but if you’ve always been there for your child, they are more apt to come to you and ask for your advice.

Spending time together generates familiarity and feelings of being supported. When a child feels safe and comfortable, they’re more likely to open up. This is one way to get to know your child and know what’s on their minds. Are they okay? Do they need your guidance? If so, how?

6. Reduces Stress

This is significant. We all suffer from stress at one point or another in our lives. Spending time with family helps alleviate that stress. It’s an opportunity to talk things out, get feedback, and maybe brainstorm for a solution to the problem that is causing the stress.

According to Brandy Drzymkowski, “During the holidays, your closest five people probably shifts to family and friends. You may even get to see loved ones who live far away. Good news! This can actually help lower your stress levels. Studies show ‘face-to-face interaction…counteracts the body’s defensive ‘fight-or-flight’ response.’ In other words, quality time spent with loved ones is nature’s stress reliever.”[5]

So, now that you know some of the benefits, what are some ideas for making family time happen?

How to Make Family Time Happen

Here are four things you can do to make family time happen and spend more time with them.

1. Family Dinners

This, as I said above, is a wonderful way to spend time together. While you’re having dinner, you have the chance to discuss things that are going on in your lives—the ups, the downs, and everywhere in between. It’s like having a buffer against life’s challenges.

Aside from that, eating dinner together has many additional benefits. Studies have shown that for kids who eat regularly with their families, there is less risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression.[6]

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“Our belief in the ‘magic’ of family dinners is grounded in research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals.” It further states, “We recommend combining food, fun and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner—the type of environment that makes these scientifically proven benefits possible.”[7]

According to Parenting NI, “children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behavior. According to studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse via Arizona State University, teens who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.”[8]

As you can see, there are multiple benefits to spending time with each other routinely. You can’t go wrong with this family activity.

2.  Regular Movie Nights

This is another fun event, although, from personal experience, I have to caution that choosing a movie that everyone wants to see is not easy. So, give yourselves plenty of time so you don’t spend two hours searching for a movie, and then end up watching no movie at all because the night is practically over. Try and choose a movie before the day, if possible.

Afterward, open it up for discussion. Ask questions pertinent to the movie. What do you think of ABC? Should they have done that? Would you have done something differently? There are so many questions you can ask to spark a conversation and keep the night going.

3. Game Night

This is another occasion for great fun. If you have a competitive spirit, it makes it even more fun. There are numerous games out there—Balderdash, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Charades, to name a few—that can create fun havoc. All I can say is, on game nights, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay if you lose the game. The fun is in being together, laughing, debating, and having a good time.

In addition, “Playing board games is great for children for many reasons besides the obvious; it’s fun to play games! Age appropriate games can help children to think strategically, solve problems creatively, work on pattern recognition and build simple math skills. They also help children develop social skills such as following rules, taking turns, and graceful winning or losing. Additionally, a family game night provides an opportunity for children to bond with siblings, parents and family members as well as peers. It can promote tradition building and establish a fun routine.”[9]

So, go find your family a game and start having fun!

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4. Sharing a Hobby

If you and one of your kids like to do the same things, do it more often. For example, my oldest son and his teenage son go on long bike rides together on the weekends. Not only do they get to exercise, but they also get to talk and look at beautiful sceneries. They’ve also incorporated cooking into their routine. They plan the meal, shop, and prepare—activities that bring them closer together.

Sharing a hobby is a great way to bring family members together. It bonds people in amazing ways. According to Alison Ratner Mayer, LICSW, “One of the easiest and most important ways to build a child’s self-esteem is to spend time with them doing something not only that they enjoy but something that you also enjoy. There is a special magic that happens between a parent and a child when they share a mutually beloved activity. It sends the message to the child that their parents are having fun, true, honest, real fun, with them.”[10]

Final Thoughts

Spending time with the family is an investment. It is an investment in the happiness, well-being, and security of that system. It can also serve as a way to break out of the daily rut and the constant worldly demands, while at the same time, building a strong family unit.

Even though it isn’t always easy to find the time, finding the time is key to staying close and to providing and receiving love and support. There is no greater gift than the gift of time. That’s what we all seem to be missing nowadays. So, in giving that gift consistently, everyone feels loved and appreciated.

The family that takes the time to interact regularly is typically happy. They know they are part of a tribe, and that’s essential in today’s chaotic world. To know that there are people whom you can count on—people who will have your back in times of need—is invaluable.

Now, go and plan something plan with your family, if you haven’t already.

Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Pittsburgh Parent: Spending Time Together—Benefits of Family Time
[2] Roots of Action: Integrity: How Families Teach and Live Their Values
[3] Beyond Blue: Healthy Families
[4] Esperance Anglican Community School: The importance of family time
[5] Brandy Drzymkowski: Spending Time With Loved Ones Reduces Stress
[6] Harvard Graduate School of Education: Harvard EdCast: The Benefit of Family Mealtime
[7] The Family Dinner Project: BENEFITS OF FAMILY DINNERS
[8] Parenting NI: The Importance of Spending Time Together
[9] WNY Children: Family Game Night- The Benefits of Game Play
[10] Child Therapy Boston: The Benefits of Sharing a Hobby With Your Child

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