Blog Post Teaser Image

Keep parenting simple

30 August
Posted by:
Michael Grose

Parenting is becoming over-complicated these days. It’s best to keep things simple. Discipline is one area that can become way too complex. 

If you rely on star charts and similar reward systems then you may be complicating matters.

If you continually reward kids’ good behaviour with treats and other material rewards you may be complicating matters. 

If you tie pocket-money to kids’ good behaviour then you may be complicating matters.

Keep discipline simple. Recognise kids’ good behaviour with a smile, a word of appreciation or a pat on the head. Parent recognition has always been a high driver for kids, so make the most of this.

Expect kids to help without being paid. Complex payment systems (you get $1 for making your bed, and 50c for folding your washing...) complicate matters. They don’t help then maybe they don’t go out to play or turn their TV on until they’ve done jobs. There are plenty of common sense simple solutions for this one.

Tie rights and responsibilities together. If your child uses the family computer (which is a right) then he has a responsibility to turn it off after him, share it around and generally treat it well. If not, then he loses the right/ privilege/ opportunity to use it for a day or so.

Parenting becomes complicated when we institute overly-complex systems to do the ordinary or the mundane, or to change kids’ behaviour. Sometimes we fight with kids over the system we’ve put into place rather than the issue at hand. If this is you, then step back and think how you can simplify matters by going back to basics.

The basics include some of these things:

 Catch kids being good, but not all the time as it will become meaningless.

 Ignore some of the crappy behaviours and focus on the ones you like.

 Expect kids to help, behave well and do the right thing (your expectations are very powerful as they indicate intent).

 Don’t answer back to kids. Instead walk away rather than become involved in a game of a child’s making.

 Act rather than talk when kids don’t cooperate.

 Focus on your own behaviour “(I’ll listen to you when you use a nice voice.’) rather than always focusing on kids’ poor behaviour ( “Don’t use that tone of voice with me.”

You can add your own simple strategies & ideas to this little list. Just keep it simple.

My book One Step Ahead has heaps of ways to help you keep parenting simple.
  • behaviour
  • discipline
  • good
  • parenting
  • positive
  • simple
  • Subscribe to Michael's blog