Raising children is never easy, but child psychology can provide a wealth of knowledge to reduce household conflict and raise well-balanced children. Child psychology uses both theoretical knowledge and research-tested techniques to provide ways to encourage a child’s growth while setting boundaries. Best of all, you don’t need to have a psychology degree to interpret them. Whether it is bedtime tips or communication strategies, this branch of science offers many helpful tidbits of advice for parents.
1) When your child is entering school, talk to them about how every person is different. Inform them that while it is important to be kind and polite to all people, it may not be possible to make friends with each individual. By taking this approach not only will you make your child more confident, but you will also help prepare them for various playground encounters.
2) Put your child’s artwork, including drawings made at playtime, up on the wall or the refrigerator for display. This will reinforce your child’s creative processes and help build their self-esteem.
3) Ask your child to help you out in the kitchen while you are cooking a meal or preparing snack. The child will be pleased to be able to help, and will often be eager to learn essential cooking and cleaning skills (although Marilyn Wedge from Psychology Today warns that in the beginning having your child in the kitchen may be more work than it is help!).
4) The National Sleep Foundation recommends a peaceful environment to help children wind down before bedtime. Thus, it is important to establish structured times to play video games or watch television that are far earlier than bedtime, since these activities often keep children from wanting to fall asleep. You should also avoid chastising your kids if they are not ready for bed, and instead engage them in a serene activity such as reading or read a story to them yourself.
5) Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. from Psychology Today cautions against allowing children to have televisions in their room. Although they may complain that their friends are allowed to have them, it will often keep them from sleeping, and creates a sense of isolation since they are watching TV alone. Instead, watch television as a family, so that you can monitor what your child watches, and discuss aspects of shows that they find interesting or confusing.
6) Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. As a parent, it is important for you to be able to say “no” to your child. This will remind your kid that you are the parent, and they need a parent, not a friend, from you. Your child will feel secure when you are able to set boundaries, and remember to stick to them to make them effective.
Ultimately these techniques will work best when you remain calm, and are constant and regular with your instructions and requests. Inconsistency can confuse children and make them less likely to listen. Clearly, child psychology provides a wealth of insight into how children think, and utilizing strategies derived from this science can help create and maintain a happy, harmonious household.
Allison Gamble writes for PsychologyDegree.net. A curious student of psychology since high school, her studies ultimately led her to writing and editing. She keeps her understanding of the mind close at hand in the weird world of internet marketing.