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Parenting Tips & Advice

The TGtS Parenting Team has put together some hints and tips that can be used in day to day life to get the most out of your relationship with your children.

Being a good parent has nothing to do with wealth, age or the relationship status of you and your partner. It's all about the love, respect and cooperation you and your child show one another.

Although your offspring might seem like total nightmares at times, it’s important to remember it’s not because you’re a bad parent; it’s a totally normal and a natural part of growing up.

By having realistic expectations, it will not only improve the relationship between you and your child but give you piece of mind you’re being too hard on them.

Keep them occupied; when juggling a career and hectic home life this may seem like it’s easier said than done.

But research has shown that children are more likely to misbehave when they’re bored.

By providing plenty of engaging indoor and outdoor activities for your child, you’re not only keeping them entertained but keeping them out of your hair too, meaning, you carry out some of those all-important jobs you have to do around the house. Colouring books, board games and play dough are always great boredom busters. As well as old favourites like fort building and a hide and seek. If you’ve got a spare ten minutes, why not join in?

Give them plenty of attention; children need plenty of physical affection! Daily kisses and cuddles are an essential part of your child’s emotional development. It not only shows them how much you care for them but also the dynamics of kind and loving relationship.

With this in mind, it’s also important to highlight the bond between yourself and your partner. Although they may squirm at the sight of mum and dad kissing and holding hands every now and then, it instils the knowledge they need to be able to mimic this in the future. Small gestures like making your partner a hot drink in the morning don’t go unmissed either.

Make sure you’re listening; as parents, we’re all guilty of switching off, when faced with a talkative child.

This is why we need to make more of an effort to listen. Next time your child claims they have something important to tell you or wants to show you something, stop what you are doing and give them your full attention.

Understanding your child’s interests, likes and dislikes will only strengthen your relationship and teach you how to cater to your parenting style to suit their needs.

Frequently let your child know how well they’re doing; as parents we’re sometimes a bit too hasty when pointing out our children’s bad behaviour. Although this is a crucial part of parenting, children need to be told when they’re doing well too.

By giving your child plenty of descriptive praise, it highlights their accomplishments and encourages future good behaviour.

Set clear boundaries; if your child misbehaves the key is to stay calm, give them a clear instruction to stop their bad behaviour, followed by what you would like them to do instead.

For example “Stop throwing your toys and play with them nicely.”

This could go one of two ways. If they’ve listened, praise them for doing as they’re told and if they haven’t, be stern and follow through with a fitting consequence.

Nothings worse than an empty threat, so make sure you show your child you mean business.

Take care of yourself; it can be difficult to be the calm, cool and collected parent you want to be when you’re stressed out.

So don’t feel too guilty for giving yourself a little ‘me’ time. As much as you love your children and want to spend time with them it’s great to ensure you’ve got an evening to yourself every now and then.

Unwind and focus on what you want to do for a change.

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