ParentFurther RSS Feeds
Sometimes tweens and teens need to talk through problems and seek advice from people other than mom or dad. While you don’t want to encourage secretiveness, try to make sure that your child has other caring, responsible adults in his or her life to talk to.
Communication is as much about how we listen as what we say. Listening non-judgmentally to our children as they mature and have more complicated things to say to us can be difficult. But, the better we listen, the more likely our children will be to open up.
When sass and backtalk enter your child’s repertoire (and they will!) calmly but firmly let him know, “In our family we don’t talk to each other that way.” Then be sure to follow that rule yourself!
Find a natural place for regular, pressure-free check-ins with your child. Some families find that conversation flows smoothly while traveling in the car. Others find it easy to chat while on a walk or a run, while washing dishes, or even during commercial breaks.
Model good communication with your child by having “conversations” with her even before she can speak: talk, ask questions, pause where you would naturally. As she gets older and joins in, remember to make eye contact, listen, and ask questions. Sit down to “chat” every day.
Focus on what you’re doing right. As parents it’s easy to dwell on our foibles and failings. Few have achieved a 4.0 grade point average in parenting – let perfection go and aim for B’s.
Not all guilt is equal. Guilt can undermine confidence, but there’s a difference between useful guilt and false guilt. Useful guilt is our conscience telling us that something important is genuinely out of whack – like when screen time has taken over face-to-face time in the family.
You’re wiser today than you were yesterday. We all make mistakes along the way, but that’s what makes parenting an art form. Children grow up, we figure things out, and we move on.
Your kids want you to be confident. As adults, we don’t want to work for bosses who don’t seem to know what they’re doing. The same goes for kids. Confident parents make kids feel secure. Sometimes you just have to fake it ‘til you make it, but that’s OK.
You are the expert – for your child. In your role as a parent you’ve spent a lot of hours watching, listening, experimenting and readjusting. Consider the information and advice you are getting from other trusted sources, but in the end, make parenting decisions based on your own experience and intuition.
Support academic success at home. Sit with your kids while they’re doing homework. Support critical thinking by asking your child questions. Encourage reading for pleasure.
Support physical activity and proper nutrition at home through everyday efforts. Make it a point to have one healthy meal together each day. Start going for a walk every day when you get home from work or after dinner.
Understand that by supporting and empowering kids to find physical activities that interest them, you’re doing more than just “keeping them active”. You’re helping lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle throughout the rest of their lives.
Understand that every child is unique and grows at his or her own pace, but the more we know about what to expect as our children grow and develop, the more we can do to be better parents.
Model the spiritual and religious beliefs that are important to you, and set a good example for your kids. Actions often speak louder than words, and your children learn a great deal by observing your actions.
Get to know other families when you wait at the bus stop with your kids for school.
Don’t expect kids to understand the rules right away. Keep repeating them. Be positive as you restate them. Be patient.
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.