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.
Encourage kids to try different sports to see what interests them. Children can benefit from playing soccer or basketball, participating in gymnastics or martial arts, or doing other age-appropriate sports.