14 strategies parents need to know
One important way to help children feel encouraged is to spend special time being with them. Have fun! One primary opportunity for cultivating closeness: when tucking children into bed, ask them to share with you their saddest time during the day and their happiest time during the day. Then you share with them. You will be surprised what you learn.
A Story from Amala Katir: Sita didn't realize how important one positive discipline tool had become until one night when she tucked her two girls into bed and walked out. One daughter, Ravindra, shouted, "Mom! You forgot to ask what was the saddest thing that happened today and what was the happiest thing." Not only had their previous endless crying and getting out of bed repeatedly stopped, but these questions asked every night as a remedy had opened a wonderful new world of communication and bonding.
Scheduled Time: One of the most encouraging things parents can do for their children is to spend regular, scheduled special time with them. You may already spend lots of time with your children. However there is a difference between "have to" time, "casual time," and "scheduled special time."
There are several reasons why special time is so encouraging:
1) Children feel a sense of connection when they can count on special time with you. They feel that they are important to you. This decreases their need to misbehave as a mistaken way to find belonging and significance.
2) Scheduled special sharing is a reminder to you about why you had children in the first place—to enjoy them.
3) When you are busy and your children want your attention, it is easier for them to accept that you don't have time when you say, "Honey, I can't right now, but I sure am looking forward to our special time at 4:30."
Plan the special time with your children. Up to age 6, it can be daily. From 6 to 12 it can be more occasional, even weekly. Brainstorm ahead of time a list of things you would like to do together then.
A father in Mumbai creates a rangoli design with his daughter on Dipavali. By having fun with her, he builds a relationship of trust, affection and cooperation.