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Parenting Styles – Or How Parents Impact Child Development

Parenting Styles
Parenting Styles

Parenting Styles: Click to enlarge

Understanding child development is not an easy task. It requires a lot of study and research in order to come up with a logical and systematic approach. Raising a child does not consist of following a recipe. It is not based on instructions. There are no specific procedures or steps on how to raise a perfect child. The role of the parents is apparently very crucial in the process because their children look up to them as role models. However, parents can an do make mistakes. They are not perfect. It is therefore important to fully understand the significance and relevance of different parenting styles and how these distinctive styles impact child development.

Parents influence their children in so many ways. This is the reason why it is always best, first and foremost, to ask yourself this question: What kind of parent am I? It may sound simple but it is definitely a tough one. It can certainly leave you lost in thought for several minutes, or hours, or even days before you can come up with an answer. It can be disappointing if you do not know who you are as a parent. Without having a strong sense of who you are as a parent you can end up like a ship without a rudder. If you plan to hire a nanny, for example, it is important that the nanny can take on your role effectively when you are not available. It can be difficult to find a suitable nanny,  going to a maid agency is probably not your best move because a nanny's job can be a very specialised one.

Do you know that there are many parents who do not share the same ideas about parenting styles? That is right! Parents have different personalities and they are all unique. What they do though is for the best of their children. There is actually no such thing as bad or good parenting. But, of course, parents can influence children both in a positive and negative way. Styles come in different titles and definitions. Nowadays, the world is no longer limited to two types of parents – strict and lenient. Parenting styles, too, have evolved dramatically. Thus, it is best to hire a nanny who can copy your own parenting style, but perhaps in a way that is less daunting, exciting and more child-friendly.

In a general sense, parenting is categorised into three different styles – Authoritarian, Permissive and Authoritative. In order to make an informed choice when hiring a nanny or a part time maid, let us delve deeply dive into each the parenting style.

The most common style of parenting is authoritarian. Parents tend to be controlling because they expect their children to follow strict rules established by them. This approach aims to manage the behaviour of their children and expectations from them are high. Although it is true that strict parenting produces well-behaved kids, it can also make them rebellious. Furthermore, strict parenting can create a serious problem between parent-child relationship. A nanny is primarily a child care professional who understands that it is good to set guidelines to children but they need to be reasonable and realistic.

Permissive parenting, on the other hand, is the opposite of authoritarian. In this style of parenting, parents believe that children should be given the freedom of choice. The word “lenient” comes back to play in this type of parent. Of course, you do not want to hire a lenient babysitter or a domestic helper. They should be able to handle kids even in their most difficult times. Children who experience more freedom than other children are often difficult to handle. Choice and responsibility is good for children but it is still absolutely necessary that they are not allowed an excessive amount of freedom. Setting limits, after all, is an important part of parenting. A good domestic helper must know this.

The authoritative style of parenting is probably the category where most of the parents fall into. In building a great relationship with their children, parents connect with them by setting up rules and guidelines and take time to listen to what their children think. Open communication is the key. These parents tend to be more nurturing and thus they can easily earn trust and respect from their children. Like authoritative parents, nannies should also encourage independence, allow children to express their opinions and at the same time administer fair and consistent discipline. Children who are raised by authoritative parents tend to have a happier disposition because they have good emotional control. In addition, they also show good social skills.

The Benefits of Being Surrounded With Positive Social Support

A positive environment provided by parents, nannies, babysitters and child carers help to bring up well-adjusted children

A positive environment provided by parents, nannies, babysitters and child carers help to bring up well-adjusted children

Life has endless challenges. It’s a truth that we can never deny. Even those of us who are strong-willed have their times of being down and weak. We get those moments of thinking negatively and sometimes even tell ourselves that we are incapable of doing something. We seem to think that we are not smart enough or highly skilled enough to accomplish something that truthfully could have been even easier for us if we just tried. This negativity most often leads us to not being successful. When we think negative, we become stuck somewhere and not progressing and the lack of progression leads us to more failures and shunning opportunities for success. The cycle just goes on and on. This is why we need to be surrounded with positive social support to be able to avoid being eaten up whole by our negativity. This will help us get back on our feet and strive for success in life. Let’s take a closer look at how we can actually apply this kind of idea to parenting.
One of the most common problems of kids is when they haven’t mastered a successful potty training. For example your kid still doesn’t know how to do the right thing even at the age of 4. You start getting this negative thought into your head thinking that you’re not doing well enough in teaching your child. One of the most often resorts that most parents do is to run to their parents for help thinking that they might be able to do something that you’ve failed to do when training your child. The worst thing that it could ever make you feel when you’re not able to accomplish something in your childcare training is that you’d feel like you’re a failure. When you stick that idea of being a failure into your mind, other negative side thoughts would soon come after that. But if you have a good positive support, you won’t be led into frustration or any other negative feeling even more – you will only get otherwise.
If you have a good positive support from people, it’s easier to get rid of the negative feelings. For example, one of your friends may say, “I had the same problem with my son when he was 4 years old too. Sometimes they just need a little more patience from us to help them successfully learn it. If you stay patient and positive, it won’t take too long before he’ll be able to master that. Just give him a longer chance to learn.” Another friend may also say, “I have read a great book about potty training before when I was trying to train my child with it. It has really helped me a lot! I would be more than happy to let you borrow it and learn from it. I am sure it would help you as well!” There are also other types of friends that would make you feel better by making you look at the positive side of things. For example, a friend may say, “Even if your child is already in College, who cares if he still doesn’t master his potty training? Cheer up! I’m sure a lot of other people are struggling with the same thing even if they are older than a college kid!” When you hear this from your positive-minded friends, it’s easier for you to get rid of the negative feelings and anything else that may come with it. Their positivity will not cause you to give up but actually feel encouraged and even more determined to help your child through. Hearing these and having the positive support that they are giving you will help you walk your way to a successful potty training with your kid.
Another problem that you would possibly go through with your kids is their attitude problems or how they are becoming too liberated even with the way that they dress. They tend to forget modesty as something that is crucial and think that they can just wear or not wear anything they want. You want to teach them how to do this but then they keep failing to obey you that even your nanny can’t get help from you in helping your kid change this behavior. So what do you do? You go to your positive minded friends and tell them about it. Hear out what they would like to say if they went through the same situation or can relate in any way when they were younger. One friend may say, “I went through the same problem with my oldest daughter. She’s been badly influenced by the fashion culture of the outside world in a really wrong way and it was very hard for me to deal with it. But I kept my cool and stayed patient with her. I would take her with me on a mom-daughter dates and help her shop for clothes that would make her still look very nice without making her immodest. Try it with your child, I think it will help.” Or another friend may say, “I didn’t have that sort of problem with my kids but I do remember when I was younger of how rebellious I was to my parents and did the same thing. I did not care what was right or wrong with what I was doing just as long as I want it I do it. But you know what? My parents were very patient of me and they actually stick with me through the rebellious times I had towards them. They showed me love, care and compassion that just broke me into realizing that I did wrong and that led me to change. Trust me, if you do that with your child she will realize one day.”
Both of the examples mentioned showed how much help having positive social support can help you with your parenting challenges. This will provide you a way out from your negativity thus helping you embrace the encouragement and eagerness to succeed. Also make sure that you fully inform and teach your babysitter or your nanny with these kinds of tips so that they too can help you accomplish that success.

How to Give Feedback to Your Nanny


feedbackYou employ a nanny.  Your nanny is like any other employee: in order for her to do her best, she needs to know what you expect of her.  She needs feedback to know how she’s doing . . . what she’s doing well, where there’s room for improvement, etc.  Here are a few tips on giving performance feedback to your nanny.

*Feedback should be provided promptly.  Don’t wait months after an event before providing your nanny with praise or redirection about that event.

*Feedback should be specific.  Ensure that she knows exactly what she did right or wrong.  If you are redirecting her behaviour, you must tell her not only what she did wrong, but what doing it right would have looked like as well.

*Positive feedback may be public or private.  Negative feedback should be private.  People like to be praised, so feel free to provide your nanny with positive feedback both publicly and privately.  (Public feedback is feedback that is provided in the presence of others.)  Negative feedback (also known as redirection) should only be provided privately.  You (or you and your spouse) should pull the nanny aside and have a private conversation about the behaviour to be redirected.

*You may wish to keep a nanny journal.  A nanny journal is a log of communication between nanny and parents . . . a record of each day’s events as recorded by the nanny, with room for parental feedback as well.  For example, the nanny may write, “9:00 a.m.:  Johnny is crying.  He has a fever of 39C.  I applied a cold wash cloth to his forehead and gave him medicine to help him sleep.  He woke up at 11:15 a.m. feeling much better.  No fever or tears.”  The parents, when reviewing the nanny journal that evening, may write next to that entry, “Susan, if Johnny has a fever over 38C going forward, please call one of us at work.  We’ll need to decide whether to take him to his paediatrician.  The cold wash cloth and medicine were good ideas, and that may be the solution on future occurrences as well, but with a fever of 37.5C or more, we want you to call one of us so we can decide if a doctor is necessary or if the cold wash cloth and medicine approach is best.”

Your nanny is like any other employee: in order for her to do her best, she needs to know what you expect of her.  In order for her to know that, you must provide her feedback on her performance.  You must tell her what she’s doing that is meeting or exceeding your expectations, what she’s doing that is not meeting your expectations, and how she can improve her performance to meet your expectations where she is not currently doing so.  As her employer, you owe her no less.

How to Deal With Your Child When He Lies To His Nanny

lying child

lying childThere are times when kids lie. It’s all because of their immaturity and lack of knowledge as kids. That is why, as parents, you should know how to help them how to distinguish right from wrong.

So how do you deal with your kids when you find out that they are lying to their nanny?

  1. Discuss with your child about the lie he made. Try to find out why he lied, what motivated him to lie and if it was just about being bored and if he’s just trying to make something exciting happen (in the wrong way). You can also go on discussing to find out if he was trying to avoid being responsible for something he did wrong or tried to protect a friend’s mistake by just lying instead of exposing the truth.

  2. Discuss with your child about the importance of being honest at all cost. Explain how trust can be easily lost without it and how difficult it could be to rebuild trust after that.

  3. Introduce ways in which your child can accomplish his goal without feeling the need to lie. Tell him/her of ways in which he/she can freely express without having to lie.

  4. Discuss with the nanny and enlighten her about the lie. Give her the right perspective to it.

  5. Get your nanny to help out in achieving with your child a good understanding of right and wrong. She may also follow the first three steps above in doing this.

  6. If you notice that your child is constantly lying, just repeat the steps above until he/she will be led to the change.

  7. If after all the efforts of teaching your child how to not lie he’s still doesn’t change for the better, then this time you need to take disciplinary actions towards this repetitive wrong behavior. Make sure that every time you speak with him, you still talk with a loving and gentle sounding tone to avoid threatening him. But this time, you have to make strict points and rules that will help him realize that it’s a serious matter you’re trying to ask him to cooperate with. For example, you can get him grounded for a week. You can say it this way, “Ana, I love you very much and I want to give you the best life you could ever ask for. However, that’s not going to be possible if you don’t change for the better and start telling the truth. Because of this behavior, I will not allow you to attend your friend’s birthday party and you are grounded for a week.” Also make sure that the nanny is taking note of the lies that your child would possibly say every day.

  8. If your child’s lying comes to worst, you have to put him/her under a strict disciplinary action or you may take your child to a psychologist or school counselor.

By following the steps above, you can respond in a good way when your child is lying to the nanny.

Effective Communication with Your Nanny

Hiring a wonderful nanny for your children means finding someone that could communicate very well not just with you but also your children. She should be able to have the same outlook or perspective in handling your children’s behaviour and organizing their activities like the way you do. It’s important to keep good communication relationship with your nanny and here are some good ways to do it.

  1. Creating a NANNY JOURNAL – this is one of the best ways to communicate with your nanny every single day. If you want something to be done you can write it down in this journal. For example you want your nanny to feed your kids with something that will keep them healthy, you can write down the name of the task and then explain the instructions on how she should do it. Make it a thorough explanation to be sure that she is doing the exact same thing as you’ve instructed her to do. You can also ask your nanny to communicate the same way with you and freely express the things that she needs to tell you. For example, she has trouble in dealing with your child’s tantrums. She can write down her experience, share what she did to solve it, state whether if it worked or not and then ask questions on how to do better. For example, “Ana wanted something but she couldn’t express it and she just kept on crying the whole day no matter what I do to stop her. What should I do in order to help her with what she needs next time?”

  2. Communicate via CALL and TEXT – this will keep you updated on everything no matter how busy you are and enable you to keep communicating with the nanny as well. Ask her to update you on achievements or anything good that comes up with your child. For example, your nanny may text you, “Ana got a star from class! She’s very happy!” By knowing this, you will know how to reward your child when you get home and make her feel that you’re proud of her.

  3. Communicate via E-MAIL – you may also communicate with your nanny via email. She can email you asking questions like, “Ana’s friend Lucy wants to come over for a tea cup party tonight. Should I say its okay?”

  4. Communicate via VIDEO CHAT – nothing is better than seeing your kids on camera while on a break from work and getting to talk to them about their day. It’s also a good chance for you to communicate with the nanny and respond to any questions that she may have about the children and other things that involves them.

By keeping a good communication relationship with your nanny, you can be sure not to worry about her taking care of your children whether you’re around or not. You can have confidence that she’s on the same page regarding your kids as well as their activities by following the steps above.

Encouraging Your Child’s Creativity While Helping Them Embrace Reality

Let Children Dream
Let Children Dream

Let Children Dream

Children have wild imaginations and big dreams. As a child grows older and learns more of the world, he will start to ask questions, seek answers and visualise what the future may hold. When a child first starts to dream and let his imagination go wild, reality and practicality will not be something that he will be concerned with. But as he grows and his thought processes mature he may the widening gap between his big dreams and the limitations of reality troubling.

There is a great need for you as the parent, or nanny, or child-carer to help him maintain his dreams while keeping them anchored in the real world.

How to Do This

There are ways to keep encouraging your kids in their dreams while helping them learn to incline their thoughts with the real world. You can do this by applying the following steps:

  • Ask your child what he/she wants to be when he/she grows up and allow them to speak their minds out to you. Give them time to describe it even if it’s not perfectly clear how it should be. Give them the freedom to express their thoughts and feelings about their dream. When you find anything that’s said or thought right, give praises and appreciation. Let them know that they were correct in something that they said and encourage them to stay on that line of thinking. If they say something that sounds funny, let them know that they made you laugh. Make them feel as comfortable with you as possible so that they will feel that freedom while sharing their dreams with you.

  • Get creative in your conversation with them by asking questions. Get onto the “what if’s” and hear out what they would respond you with. If you have anything in mind that you think would make them participate, ask away. For example, if your child tells you that he wants to become a doctor, ask him why he chose that to be his answer. Let him freely speak. Give him options if you have anything in mind. For example, ask your child if he’d be interested in taking up another profession related to it. Offer facts and let them think and speak out what they think about it.

Get Your Child onto a Variety of Experiences

  • Get your child involved in music lessons, art classes, dance classes and other types of short classes which will enhance his or her talent or encourage a talent that he/she haven’t discovered yet.

  • Take him/her to places like the museum where he/she can appreciate arts and creations that are on display. You can also take your child to festivals, state parks and even to concerts that are appropriate for his/her age. Anything that would allow him/her to learn and embrace as a part of the culture.

  • You may also take your child somewhere where he/she can appreciate other people’s culture that is different from your own. This will help in avoiding culture shock and such effects.

  • As a child grows older, their curiosity increases. Make sure to cultivate their curiosity by allowing them to ask you questions. Answer these questions with a good illustration and explain it to your child how it works. For example, he/she wants to know how breathing works. You can go online and look for resources that would help you elaborate this to your child in a way that he/she could easily understand. If your child wants to get creative and express it, allow him/her to use his/her fingers when it comes to painting and teach them how to use colors as well as mixing them together.

  • Always encourage your child to do very well in school and aim for a high mark. Teach them to want to soar high in their class standing. When your child grows a little older, encourage him/her to take classes that would develop his/her perspective on things of this life. This will develop his/her mind and make him/her embrace school in a good way.

Keeping Your Child’s Dreams Grounded in Reality

  • When your child reaches the age where he/she can already go to school, take a step by step grounding of your child’s dreams. When you get into a conversation with your child about his/her dreams for the future, give some praises and encouragement. Make your child feel that he/she is making the right choice by complimenting them. You can say that they picked the right profession for their future. If he/she wants to be a doctor, you can say, “It’s a good thing that you chose that! I think you would make a really good one!’. After that, you can start asking what he/she thinks would be good skills to develop in order for him/her to reach that dream in the future. This will help your child think and engage in a brainstorming process.

  • As your child grows older and reaches a higher level in his studies, most ideally when in middle school, you can increase your grounding of his dreams by asking him questions and offering more of reality. For example, your child wants to become a singer. You can say, “I think it is good that you want to pursue that in the future. A lot of people love living out their passion more than just as a profession. However, not everyone stays on top of their popularity and their fame goes down sometimes. And there are other things involved in that such as having no privacy in your life as people will be taking note of your every move. However, you know I would love to support you in whatever you want to do in life that would be good for you. I just have to tell you honestly that I’m not that comfortable of the idea.”

MOM’s Position on Maids Coming in as Tourists

Foreigners on Tourist Visas to be Denied Work Permits
Foreigners on Tourist Visas to be Denied Work Permits

Foreigners on Tourist Visas to be Denied Work Permi

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has clarified its stance on Singapore's maid agencies stated intention of bringing women from neighbouring countries into Singapore on tourist visas and then applying for work permits as domestic workers. They said they would do that in order to skirt the Philippine government's requirement that the employers should pay for the placement fees. MOM says it has rejected work-permit applications of maids who were in Singapore at the time of the application. The Straits Times however, said that the number of rejections is known to have been small. Let's hope MOM increases its level of vigilance.

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Getting Your Toddler to Share

Toddlers Sharing

As parents we feel pleased when we see our toddler willingly and graciously sharing her toys, disappointed if we observe selfish behaviour, and appalled when somebody else's child is overly possessive with his toys.

As parents, nannies and child care professionals though we need to understand that sharing is not an innate behaviour, but something that is learned at a particular stage of development.

Before sharing, toddlers must first comprehend the concept of ownership. You'll know that she is working on this when she starts saying "Mine", this will probably start around the age of two years old. Ownership demonstrates autonomy and a sense of self, and as paradoxical as it may seem, she needs to develop this before she can begin to understand sharing. In between developing a sense of self and a willingness to share, toddlers will begin to show their toys with others but without actually letting the other take possession. When you see your child showing a toy to another, you can gently encourage sharing, but don't force it. She will share when she is ready.

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Saying Goodbye to Your Toddler

Just about every mother has been through that difficult task of leaving your toddler somewhere, either at home or childcare. Some situations are really tough and I still cringe when I think back on the moments when I would try to leave for work. My toddler would form herself into a cross barring all passage through the front door, and when I finally did get past her, she would cling to my skirt or blouse all the way to the elevator.

Only a mother knows the kind of guilt that follows on from an ordeal like that.

It was my husband's turn when she started attending play school. He used to drop her off and try to leave without being pulled back by the crying. We also enlisted uncles and aunties and grandmothers to take turns in dropping her off and picking her up. I think one of her uncles spent quite a few full-length lessons in her play school.

If you are not able to use a grandparent or other relative, then the next best thing is her familiar maid, nanny or babysitter who often can help making saying goodbye almost painless.

Here are some tips which should help:

  • Having a household routine helps to give a sense of order and allows your child to feel safe and confident that her parents will return and that the world is a predictable place.
  • Follow the same pattern each time you leave. Again, a routine suggests predictability which assures your child you will return.
  • Usually, it is best not to sneak out unnoticed, unless your child has a very strong bond with the relative, nanny, babysitter or maid looking after her. It could easily lead to mistrust every time you go into another room and are out of sight for a while.
  • Say "goodbye" confidently, cheerfully and quickly. Drawing out the process could lead to an escalation which might have otherwise been avoided.
  • Set-up a pleasant situation for your child to be immersed in after you leave. A good babysitter can make the world of difference here, but just starting a favourite DVD movies, or playing one in the Resource section on this website, may be enough to prevent a melt-down.
  • Get the babysitter to come half an hour before you need to leave. A new person coming and the parents leaving all at once is too much, too quick. Let the changes happen gradually.
  • Do your best to convince yourself that your child will be OK while you are away. There is not much point in going out for a nice evening if you don't enjoy yourself. After all, it is easy for the nanny to call you if something is not right.

Managing The Terrible Twos

The terrible twos have a terrible reputation but, perhaps I was just lucky with my daughter. I breezed through it, and still think of it as one of the most enjoyable ages to mother a child through. Many parents approach their child’s second birthday with an air of trepidation — after all, the phrase “the terrible twos” does not exactly fill one with confidence. In fact, the twos need not be terrible at all. Your child is entering her late toddler years, an incredibly rewarding stage when she is learning at a rapid pace and is increasingly developing into a self-possessed, unique individual.

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