Have a sense of humor about yourself. Kids are drawn to parents who don’t take themselves too seriously.
Emphasize the fun aspects of sports and physical activity. Children are more likely to stick with an activity if they really enjoy it.
Resilience is a state anyone can achieve. Your child, however, will be more resilient in some situations than others. Help your child see where he or she is especially capable in handling tough experiences alone and in which circumstances your child should turn to others for help.
Place limits on money and talk about why you have the limits you do. For example, you may say that it’s important to save, which is why you don’t say yes to every request to buy something from family members.
Get to know your teenagers’ friends. The more you can connect with them and show them that you’re interested in them, the more likely they’ll try to connect with you.
Set clear, simple limits for young children. They are more likely to follow rules when they understand the rules, when adults are sensitive to their feelings, and when adults notice when they change their behavior for the better.
Teens will pressure you to loosen the reigns and give them more privileges. Think carefully about which rules you can loosen and which need to remain firm.
Notice when your children do the right thing. Tell them that you’re proud of them. Positive feedback gives young people information about which behaviors are appropriate and which are not.
Young teenagers are heavily influenced by their friends. They’ll claim that “they’ll die” if they don’t have a smart phone or some other gadget. Don’t be quick to give in—set standards for what you believe is best for your child.
Set a good example. Exercise with your kids. If that isn’t possible, model what you value by getting involved in some type of physical activity. Stick with it and talk about it.
Your kids may be quick to point out how your rules aren’t like other family’s rules. Be firm. Explain that your family is different. Emphasize how you want your kids to grow up well.
Create a toy exchange with other parents you know. Instead of buying all kinds of toys for your kids, have each family buy different toys. Then periodically swap them out. That way your kids will feel like they’re often getting new toys—without you having to buy them.
Learn the names of your neighbors when you’re outside or when your kids are playing outdoors.