Practice unconditional love and watch how connected you and your child become. Tend to feelings before you address behavior. To get you started here are 4 different things you can do.
1. Start and end with love. Ask yourself, “Is this most loving way I can handle this?” Be kind and attentive, and watch what happens.
2. Make your child feel unique. The best way to do this is to use specific, not global praise. Focus on the little details when you send praise your child’s way. Things like, “I like the fact that you used every single color in the box to make this drawing!” That tells him/her you’re actually paying attention. And that my friends, is what creates high self-esteem.
3. Give your child some freedom and power. With “Freedom Comes Responsibility.” The way to let go, without feeling like you need to be a helicopter parent in order to keep him/her safe, is to surround freedom with clear boundaries, AND the willingness to let him/her learn from the results of his/her actions. When you show your child you trust their decision making skills, they realize they must dig deep and remember all that you have taught them without reminders from you. That immediately gives them a sense of personal responsibiltiy, makes them feel connected to you, and proud of themselves.
4. Raise the bar a little bit by doing something a little more grownup this weekend. Maybe take in a museum, have dinner at a “real” restaurant. Do something that says, “i believe in your ability to handle yourself well in public. Doing things like that asks your child to self regulate and tells him/her why you constantly say, “There is a reason I ask you not to burp at the dinner table! It’s so we can go to a real restaurant one of these days.” Well one of these days could be this weekend!
Have a great weekend. Let me know how things work out!