Parenting – solving problems

Parenting is a tough job, there is no precise manual for it. Many books have been written about parenting and TV programs have been made about it. Every parent has their own way of raising children. But there are a number of basic rules that make it easier and can solve problems with parenting.

Apply daily schedule and structure

It is important to make a clear daily schedule. This can be done with the help of an icon board, but also with a large sheet of paper. Write on it the things that happen every day or week: eating, sleeping, going to school, exercising, etc. An icon board is very useful, so you can change the pictures, because not all activities happen every day.
You don’t have to record everything down to the minute. It can be done per (half) hour or per half day.

As a parent, you can make a daily schedule for yourself, on which you can always cheat. Don’t plan the layout too full, not every minute has to be fully planned, leave room for spontaneous things. Try to schedule fifteen minutes or half an hour every day for each child and for yourself and any partner. Sit down and play a game with the child, read to him or ask him how his day has been.

You set a fixed time for the activities that happen every day. Eating, sleeping, brushing teeth at the same times, always in the same order. It is okay to deviate from the routine occasionally, but do not do this too often. During the holidays or on a birthday, eating and sleeping times can be shifted.
A tidy house gives a family more peace. Add structure to tidying up and cleaning.

Establish rules

Every family has rules that everyone must adhere to. Too many rules is not good, but neither is too few. There are a number of points to keep in mind when setting the rules.

  • Draw a line with the possible partner, discuss the rules and goals that you both agree with.
  • Follow the rules consistently, no means no and remains no.
  • A child must know clearly what is and is not possible.
  • Supervise in a strict and fair manner.
  • Stay calm, shouting won’t help anything, don’t let the child irritate you.
  • Explain clearly and simply to a child what behavior you expect.
  • Make some important rules that everyone must follow, including parents!
  • Set a good example yourself: clean up the things you use yourself, don’t curse, shout or hit, etc.
  • Don’t spoil everything, especially if you have a child who is difficult to raise, you grumble all day long, and then set a few important basic rules: don’t hit, shout, throw, break things, etc.
  • Tidy up the house, sort or throw away all the junk, that gives more peace in the house and in the family.
  • Use a punishment spot (this will be discussed in more detail later in this article)


Determine penalty spot

There must be consequences for violating the house rules. This can be done by means of a penalty spot. Hitting a child or hurting them in any other way as punishment is not allowed, and it doesn’t help anything, it doesn’t solve anything.

  • Determine a place where the child can sit quietly and safely, without distractions, or play with something (this could be the bottom step of the stairs, the hallway, a chair in the corner or a mat on the floor).
  • Do not send the child to his own bedroom, which is a place to play and sleep.
  • A spare room is a good place for older children.
  • If you have multiple children, create a punishment spot for each child, and not next to each other, because they will sometimes receive punishment at the same time.
  • Give one warning, crouch down (for small children) and look the child straight in the eye, speak in a clear, stern tone.
  • The second time a child breaks the rules, he or she has to go to the punishment area.
  • 1 minute per year of age at the punishment spot, no longer.
  • You can keep track of time with a kitchen timer.
  • Don’t respond to whining, whining and other attention seeking.
  • If the child leaves the punishment spot, put it back again, if necessary ten times.
  • After the minutes are up, you can remove the child from the spot, and the child must then apologize for the rule he or she has broken.


Own responsibility

Let the child do and try a lot themselves, within a safe framework. Letting a 3 or 4 year old child play outside alone is not safe, but an 8 year old child can. Adjust the activity according to age.

  • Dressing and undressing oneself.
  • Spread your own bread.
  • Hang up his own coat and put away his stuff.
  • Helping with chores around the house: washing dishes, tidying up, putting laundry in the laundry basket, etc.
  • Give pocket money from the age of 6 and clothing allowance from the age of 12, so that the child learns to discover the value of money.

If the child does more himself, he or she will be more involved and will be less stubborn and unruly. They feel big and therefore gain more self-confidence. New skills are also learned in this way.

To prepare

Prepare the child for the activities that follow.

  • Five minutes before going to bed, say: ‘You’re going to bed in 5 minutes.’
  • ‘After dinner you can play for another 10 minutes, then you have to go back to school’

This way your child knows where it stands and will protest less if you do something different. In this way the child can prepare himself for the next activity.

Play or glands

Brothers and sisters can really annoy and bully each other. The children must learn to play together. Of course, children already learn to ‘share together, play together’ at school. But at home, children must also learn to get along well with each other. Just warning and punishing does not help enough. As a parent you can play together with your children and teach them to be kind to each other. Teach them to ask if they want the toy the other has, instead of taking it away. Teach them to say thank you. Playing together is very important. Set a good example yourself: ‘children don’t do what you say, children do what you do.’
First, stay present and explain what is expected of them, then you can let the children play alone. You can keep an eye on things from a distance.

Shopping with children

Shopping with children often causes problems, they whine to ask if they can have something tasty, touch everything, run through the store and throw tantrums if they are not allowed something. The following tips can make things a little easier.

  • Give each child clear instructions about what is expected of him.
  • Give each child their own shopping list with a few groceries on it, spread throughout the store.
  • Have the child pick up the items and place them in the cart.
  • Let the child drive a small cart themselves.
  • Keep talking to the child to keep their attention.
  • Place small children in the appropriate seat in the shopping cart.
  • Involve them in shopping.
  • If it doesn’t work one way, you can try going grocery shopping without children


Keep your children with you in public

Children run in all directions, especially when there are no clear rules.

  • Children up to three years old can go in the pram or stroller.
  • If the child does not listen, he or she should walk by your hand or hold the buggy for a few minutes.
  • The child is then allowed to run free again and is given a new chance.
  • If the child listens well, praise him.


Bed problems

Children can sometimes find it very difficult to stay in bed and just go to sleep. Parents can spend the entire evening (and sometimes night) with their children. Then everyone is tired and irritated and that atmosphere continues throughout the day. The parent who tucks the child in must return to the child for the rest of the evening or night. You can alternate days if you have a partner.


  • Listen to the crying, learn to recognize it: is the child in pain, hungry, tired? If the sound is high-pitched and continuous, the child is in pain. Then you go to the child and see what is going on.
  • Is the sound always interrupted? Then there is nothing wrong, the child asks for attention (cry-stop-cry-stop)
  • If the child continues to cry: go there, tuck the child back in, do not make eye contact, but look at the nose or stomach.
  • Do not talk to the baby, but make reassuring sounds (shhhh), rub the baby gently over the tummy.
  • Make the breaks between visits a little longer, because the baby has to learn to go to sleep on its own.



  • The light in the bedroom should be turned off, you can leave the door to the hallway open for a little light, or turn on a night light in the room.
  • Avoid all excuses; give the child water, let him urinate, etc.
  • The child is no longer allowed to sleep in the parents’ bed, but sleeps in its own bed.
  • The first and second time you put the child back to bed and say; ‘it’s bedtime.’
  • The third (and subsequent times) you don’t say anything, you just tuck the child in.


Sleep separately

Does the child always sleep in your bed, or do you sleep with him? Then it is time to teach the child to sleep alone. This will certainly take quite some effort in the beginning, but it is necessary. The child must learn to feel safe in his own bed. And it is important for the parent to be able to lie in bed with their partner again.

  • Put the child to bed quietly, read a story and cuddle the child.
  • Sit next to the bed and do not look at the child.
  • Ignore howling, shouting and other ways of attracting attention.
  • When the child gets out of bed, put him back in bed but don’t say anything.
  • This may be repeated up to 20 times, but eventually the child will go to sleep.
  • The next day, sit a little further from the bed, every evening, until you are sitting outside the room.



Children can suffer from nightmares at a young age. A number of things are important:

  • Always take your child seriously.
  • A night light can help.
  • Leave the hallway light on and the door ajar.
  • Make sure your favorite cuddly toy is at hand.
  • Do not leave the child until he or she has calmed down.
  • Explain that the dream didn’t really happen.
  • Tuck your child back in, hug and kiss, and sleep soundly in his or her own bed.


Good food

Many children have difficulty eating. Sometimes the child really doesn’t like something, but often it is a way to have control over the parents, a power struggle.

  • Tell the child what to eat, a whole plate full is not realistic, but a few bites are.
  • Keep repeating the command, always telling how many snacks the child still needs to take.
  • Demonstrate how to eat.
  • If a child does not like something, offer it again later or in a different form.
  • Take a bite at the same time, ‘one, two, three!!!’
  • If the child finishes eating quickly, there is still time to play, which can stimulate.
  • Praise the child when he takes a bite, speak in a high voice, it is okay to exaggerate, clap your hands.

Children who run away from the table can be put in a punishment spot after the first warning. A child must remain seated at the table and eat. Up to 5 years of age, 15 minutes of sitting at the table is long enough.

Dressing and undressing

Dressing and undressing is not always easy. Here are some tips to make it a bit easier.

  • Lay out the clothes the night before.
  • Let the child choose from two or three items of clothing (that you have selected). For very picky children, do not offer a choice, you decide.
  • Make sure you leave enough time in the morning for getting dressed and in the evening for undressing.
  • Let your child try it themselves and encourage them to dress and undress themselves.
  • Give compliments when the child helps out.
  • Give feasible assignments that are age-appropriate.
  • Stay positive.
  • Make it a game.
  • Use the punishment spot when things go wrong.


Car rides

  • Make the ride interesting: play games along the way (whoever sees ten red cars first wins).
  • Take toys with you, for the little ones you can tie them with a string, so that the child does not keep throwing the toys on the floor.
  • Put on a nice children’s CD or an audio book.
  • A DVD player is also very useful, but expensive.
  • Stick toy animals on the window.



The best rewards are attention, love and compliments. There is no need to give sweets or presents. Stickers or stamps can help with learning or unlearning behavior.

Where it is, you can of course also read it.
This article is a summary of various tips from the book and from The Nanny, see sources.

read more

  • Parenting – important rules
  • Punish, reward and ignore
  • Providing structure for children with behavioral problems

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