We know that, as parents, it's easy to get overwhelmed with work, chores, finances and crazy schedules.
But sometimes you've got to remind yourself to slow down and show your child some tenderness - especially at times when they seem to be pulling away from you.
So how can 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 offered by Parent-Child Center, Center for Family Services and BRIDGES), 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 afterschool activities, homework and dinner. Try to maintain a schedule as much as you can, so everyone knows what's expected of them.
- 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. While they may grumble, chores can help kids feel like they’re an important part of their household. If they're old enough, ask your child to make their own lunch, walk the dog or help with laundry.
- 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.
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 the Parent-Child Center at 561.841.3500, ext. 1087 or Center for Family Services at 561.616.1222.
- Dorothy Llamosas, therapist, Triple P
- Matt Sanders, Triple P developer, University of Queensland in Australia