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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.
Angry? Frustrated with your child? Try lowering your voice – speak quietly and slowly and in a quiet place. Lowering your temperature will help lower theirs.
Without pushing or pressuring them, help your kids master something they find challenging. Encourage them and praise them for their effort.
Limit tech time. Look for ways to get your kids involved in activities that are physical, creative and interactive.
Listen. Don’t judge! If your child feels comfortable coming to you with problems, you can help her solve problems and make decisions that she may not be mature enough to make on her own.
Capture in words and photos the moments of your life with your child. Record them, keep them, and share them at the end of the year.
Try new activities to help your child step outside of his or her comfort zone. For example: Conquer a fear of heights with indoor rock climbing.
Empower your child! Listen to his or her ideas and provide appropriate opportunities for your child to participate in decision-making.
Together, create a list of your family’s favorite healthy snacks and meals. Work to integrate these into your regular eating habits to stay healthy.
Set high, but realistic expectations. Make sure you set goals that help your kids reach their personal best.
For New Year’s, have a family gathering and go around the group, letting each person share one favorite memory from the past year and one struggle he or she overcame. Go around the circle again and let everyone share one goal for the new year.