I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever want someone to think or say “Here comes the Kolbs.” I want people to enjoy being around my family and I want to be able to take my family somewhere without worrying about how they will act. All of this comes from raising well-behaved children. Children you won’t have to constantly worry about, constantly have to get after and constantly have to apologize for. I have 6 tips that will help you raise well-behaved children.
1. Equip yourself. Read up on parenting. Talk to other parents. Get as much advice and insight as you can to help you navigate through this thing called parenting.
2. Have clear expectations. Before you go anywhere, explain to your children how they are supposed to act. What they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to. If you don’t allow something at home, it isn’t allowed somewhere else. Or if you allow something at home, be respectful of other people when you go somewhere. Also, be very clear on consequences if they behave badly and rewards if they behave properly.
3. Teach them how to perform essential actions. Practice makes perfect and children sometimes don’t know how to behave a certain way. Practice these things at home. For example, children aren’t born with an understanding of knowing how to pick up toys. This is where teaching them how to do something takes place. Teach them how to pick up toys and reward them for doing it.
4. Be consistent. When it comes to discipline, consistently is key. Even in public or at a friend’s house, you need to be consistent. If you give your child a consequence, follow through with it, even if you’re in front of people. The first time you don’t follow through with something is leaving that door wide-open for you children to think they will get away with it next time.
5. Model behavior. Children learn the most through observation, if they see mom doing something, they are going to think it’s okay. If you don’t want them to do or say something, then you need to not do it. If it’s not okay for you children then it’s not okay for you (or depending on what it is, explain to them why it’s okay for you and not for them).
6. Hand out grace as needed. We aren’t perfect and neither are our children. Sometimes we need to go easy on them and sometimes it may even be our fault. There are times when you need to hand out grace but you need to very careful as to when you extend it. Make sure it is acceptable to give out grace, not just because it’s easier at the time.