Parenting can be overwhelming. You juggle work, home life, finances and your child’s extracurricular activities and yet at the end of the day, you still don’t feel you have gotten enough done.
You can get lost in a cycle of chores, responsibilities and deadlines. That’s when it’s time to hit the pause button and consider the powerful force that is motivating you to work so hard for your child.
Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to love, but how do you show love day-in and day-out to your child? How can you strengthen your parent-child bond amid the frenzy of daily life?
Answering those questions are at the core of Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), a free program designed to help cement your connection with your child. Funded locally by Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Triple P offers common-sense parenting strategies to create a more peaceful home.
Here are some quick tips to build on the loving relationship you already have with your child, from Dorothy Llamosas, a Triple P therapist:
- Be consistent. Sounds easy, but this can be one of the toughest things for parents to do. Be consistent with discipline so your child knows what is expected. You need to give your child clear, logical consequences for actions you don’t approve of ahead of time.
- Keep a routine. A household at night can be chaotic with homework, dinner and getting ready for bed. That’s why it’s important to maintain a schedule. Have a child who hates bath time? Insist the bath comes before letting your child watch a favorite television show.
- Emphasize the positive. When your child is behaving or doing something right, provide positive reinforcement. It doesn’t even have to be verbal—maybe a quick hug, a warm smile or even a wink.
- Let them contribute. Simple chores can help children feel like they’re an important part of their household. Have your child pick out what they want for dinner and let them get involved in preparing the food, such as kneading dough or pouring ingredients.
- Be a role model. Do you want your child to be more polite? Make sure to use words like “please” and “thank you” when you’re at home and in public with them. Do you want your child to put the smartphone down? Consider whether you’re spending too much time on your phone. Your child will learn a lot from watching your behavior.
- Ask for help. There are no perfect parents. So if you find yourself struggling, reach out for help from friends, family or local organizations.
“Parenting is the most difficult job any of us will ever do in our lives, but it’s also the one we’re least prepared for,” says Professor Matt Sanders, who developed Triple P with his colleagues at Australia’s University of Queensland.
“Some parents may just need a light-touch of Triple P, a few ideas to help them set up a better bedtime routine or manage occasional disobedience,” says Professor Sanders. “But others may be in crisis and need greater support. So Triple P is based on the idea that we give parents just the right amount of help they need—enough, but not too much.”
Triple P, for parents with children ages 0 to 12, and Teen Triple P, for parents of teenagers, are both offered in Palm Beach County. To learn more, contact either Parent-Child Center at 561.841.3500, ext. 1087 or Center for Family Services at 561.616.1222.
And for more valuable parenting information and incentives for your family, sign up at www.EveryChildPBC.org.