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Top 10 Tips for Parents

Aug 17, 2007
Invest in your kids with quality time like a Love Savings Account, when things get rough between you you'll both draw on it to stay connected. Quality time might be: reading together, dicussing dilemmas that arise on TV shows you watch together, playing games, coaching their sports teams, cooking together, camping, or sharing a hobbie.

2. Use phrases like "Wow! How did you do that!", "Awesome job!", " I am so proud when you handle yourself like that!", and "I know you can handle this, I have faith in you, let me know if you need my support".

3. Tell them how you feel, "I feel __, when you __, and what I would like is ___." This models responsibility for your feelings, and makes a specific request without blaming. Phrases like "You always/never..." put people on the defensive and block communication.

4. Make the punishment fit the crime. For example, if they fail to do a chore regularly, let them know they will have to do an extra one each time they "forget", or must do their chores prior to watching TV or playing with friends.

5. Give kids choices. "Would you like broccoli or green beans with dinner?" This avoids power struggles, leaves them feeling respected. Does it really matter how they get their green veggies?

6. Empower kids about money. Set up a savings account, teach them experientially about investing, debt, interest and life's expenses. If they see how much your mortgage and groceries cost, they'll understand why $300.00 shoes are not realistic.

7. Set boundaries about time alone and personal space. "When the door is closed or I am on the phone, don't interrupt me unless you are on fire." (Well, you get the idea!)

8. The best gift to your kid is good self-care and a loving relationship with your partner. Model that parenting does not equal martyrdom. Spending time alone with your partner gives kids a healthy model of love and a sense of security.

9. Teamwork and communication are valuable life skills! Put kids in environments where they learn to work as a team, and can safely express their thoughts and feelings. Team sports and organizations such as the Scouts are great team builders.

10. Have your kids contribute at home and in your community. I suggest you let kids pick chores when possible, would he or she rather clean the kitchen or fold laundry? Compliance is higher when kids have some choice in how they help out. Chores foster pride and ownership in your home and volunteering produces pride in service to the world.
About the Author
Andrea Bishop, LCSW is a therapist and Success Coach working with clients worldwide. She specializes in communication building, boundaries, life transitions, job change and family/marital relationship work.To meet with her by phone, call 828-280-3675 or visit http://www.successcoachinginstitute.com.
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