I see a lot of issues with children’s behavior (or lack thereof) in my work with families, but the truth of the matter is, it’s not just the child: How your child behaves is your responsibility.

This might sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many parents I meet who blame everybody but themselves for how their child is turning out. Make sure you set a good example I’ve learnt that you need to take responsibility from day one. You’ve been blessed with the incredible miracle of a life, this blank canvas, that’s up to you to paint in a positive way. All her values for these upcoming years are set by you – you’re the major voice in your child’s life. So as well as telling her how to behave from infancy, you also need to be a positive role model. Setting a good example is essential, right from the start. You should have learned this by now, if not…Start today

Don’t wait until she is four years old and a challenging child. Believe me, you should start instilling good values, behaviour and respect from the earliest time your baby can understand. This will make your job as a parent so much more enjoyable, and your child so much nicer to have around.

Don’t start making excuses STOP the “I don’t have time.”

“It’s other people’s fault” or “I’ve got too many kids.”

I’ve heard all these excuses before and I’m afraid that none of them really wash with me – c’mon, let’s be real. It can be done and you can do it. Remember, be accountable.

This family I saw…whilst I was working in America recently, I saw a mum with her family in a hotel. She had four young children eating lunch in the restaurant and they were all sitting around the table together, with a napkin on their laps, having a wonderful conversation with each other and behaving beautifully. It was refreshing to see – I gave her such a big smile because I knew she’d got it spot on.

In these days where consumerism is king and we all find ourselves increasingly time poor, it’s too easy to think you’re showing your child how much you love her by giving her things she wants, all the time. Well, material items can’t replace giving your child the time and attention they need.

Don’t use excuses.

You can’t replace memories with possessions, so you need to understand the importance of spending time together. Don’t use the excuse that you’re at work all the time. Even if you only get two hours a day with your child, try to make sure those two hours are quality time for you and her. Believe me, your child will value this much more than anything you could buy her.

It takes time to become a mum and dad. You can’t clock in and out and it doesn’t come instantly for some. Your relationship with your child takes time to grow, so don’t try and rush things. Sometimes there are no instant fixes as a parent. Bear in mind it will take time to find solutions to your parenting dilemmas and sometimes you need to make decisions and hope they are the right ones – better to make them, than not at all. But have the confidence to trust yourself, and don’t be too hard on yourself. And when you’re wrong, just tell yourself you’re learning from your mistakes and do it differently next time. This creates healthy, positive behaviors for you and sets a healthy, positive example for your child as well. And, that’s the best thing you can offer your family.

Copywritten by Jo Frost

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