Parent Survival Training

  1. Always be consistent.  Children thrive on routine. When a parent is inconsistent they are seen as easily manipulated by their children.
  2. Parents do have greater rights than children.  Simply by being a parent you can and should be the decision-maker as well as the granter of rewards.
  3. Do not permit manipulation.  Do not engage in arguments with your child, you need to make a decision and stick with it.
  4. Do not feel guilty when you are right.  As a parent, you should not feel guilty for doing what is right for your child’s well-being, even if the child does not like it!
  5. Behavior that is rewarded will be repeated.  Reinforcing any behavior with your attention will make it more likely to occur again – both good and bad behaviors.  Make sure you do not reward inappropriate behavior.
  6. The reward must be worth working for.  No child can ever be expected to work hard for a reward that is not significant to him.  Find something for which the child will be willing to work.
  7. You are always a model for your child.  You must be aware of your words and actions at all times.  Children will mimic what they see their parents doing, that is how they learn.  What they learn is up to you.
  8. Adolescents should not be treated like children.  Be ready to change your techniques as your child matures.  Allow some room for them to make their own choices and to learn to live with the consequences while you are there to back them up.
  9. No child can make you feel anything.  It is not your child’s fault that you are angry or become upset.  You must maintain control and deal with your child in a calm manner.  Children make mistakes and you are there to teach them.
  10. Change does not occur overnight.  If a bad habit had been in place for a long time, it will also take time to reverse the practice.  The effort is worth it for both you and your child to promote a more loving, positive home life.

Adapted from: Parent Survival Training by Marvin Silverman, Ed.D. and David Lustig, Ph.D.