Monitor your own comments about other parents and families. Your kids are always listening and we may appear less tolerant than we intend to if we are careless.
Give kids room to make and realize their mistakes. Preventing them from learning from mistakes will build a sense of false security and diminish their ability to manage disappointment.
It can help kids to name feelings to help a conversation move forward. Try something like, “Some kids in this situation might feel angry, sad, or afraid. Do any of those sound true for you?”
Laugh and be silly as a family. Read comic strips, play pretend, play games, sing out loud . . . it’s the small things that hold us together.
While your values and rules are important, giving your kids the room to develop and express their ideas will not only build their confidence, but will make them less susceptible to peer pressure and undue influence.
When misbehavior happens, emphasize the right way to act. Once kids know right from wrong and choose wrong, then it is appropriate to discipline them.
Eat dinner together as often as possible. Try sharing one good and one difficult thing from each person’s day.
Value actions as well as words. Listen to what you teen tells you, and pay close attention to what he does as well as with whom he does it.
Parenting is too much to do alone. Lean on family and friends. Ask others to be a positive force in your child’s life, help enforce boundaries as well as do fun things together with your child.
Think before you speak. Try never to make offhand negative comments (“You’re so lazy!”) as they can have long-term effects on your child’s self image.
When behaviors drive you crazy, give yourself grace. Seek out the wisdom of other parents you admire, try new strategies, and remember you weren’t born knowing how to parent.
Express an interest in your child’s friends and social life. Having the people outside of family who are important to them acknowledged will remind your kids that they are important to you.
Don’t give false praise. Be authentic, but kind. Kids can tell when adults are being fake or insincere.
Surround yourself with families you admire. Learn what you want and don’t want to do. Be intentional with the choices you make in managing your family.