Be an amazing parent:
Highlight Family Values
An important task of parenting is to talk about your values in a clear and concrete way.
(Example: My children knew they had to at least make a C grade in school. If they didn’t, their social time was reduced and homework time was increased.) Education is a key family quality in our household.
Use teachable moments to explain your belief system . (Notice a pregnant teen, read a story in the newspaper about drunk driving, hear a story about a friend who went to a party and got into a dangerous situation). Use these real-life examples to explain better ways to handle life.
Try to talk about the tough subjects so your teen/ child knows where you stand. Addictive drugs, sex, pornography, sexting, dating, marriage, babies, religion, education, following the law or rules. Don’t assume that your teen knows where you stand. It is important to discuss each subject and make your values clear. (When my daughter turned 18, I found out she was smoking cigarettes. She informed me as a legal adult; she could do that. I informed her that as another adult, I would not give any money to someone who smoked. Since she got her clothes, cell phone, car and college from her parents, she made the choice not to smoke cigarettes. A very smart and healthy life choice ).
Talk about the future. Let your child know ahead of time what is expected of them. For example, set standards of behavior like when a teen graduates high school….they must get a job or go to higher education. My children understood that we would help pay expenses for college but then they would be on their own. After that…no bail-outs. No expenses paid, etc. Concrete rules were laid out about driving when our children got a driver’s license. Tell your children detailed expectations for each life stage. (Example: Both my children would be turning 18 before graduating from High School. I prepared them years in advance that an adult is not determined by an age but by taking on all major responsibilities. An adult holds a job and pays for all their expenses. Therefore, they knew rules would not change just because they turned 18.)
Teach skills for adulthood: chores, making money, holding a job, how to budget, how to pay bills, how to balance a checkbook, financing a car, grocery shopping, paying taxes, getting insurance, or the responsibilities of having children. Send them out into the world as prepared as possible.
Take into Consideration that each Child is a Unique Individual
Each child has their unique personality. One thing that makes parenting so challenging is that there are no set techniques that work perfectly for each child. Therefore, rules and discipline must be molded to the child. Is your child meek, strong-willed, or creative, etc.? Take those things into consideration Example: One child hated to be grounded another hated to have money taken away. I used these tools differently to teach and instill values into my unique children.
Developmental Stages must be taken into consideration: Children and teens have limited abilities to learn according to their age. It is important for parents or caregivers to be aware of your child’s development stage. For more information on understanding the age development of a child, Try www.MNParentsKnow.info or Wikipedia for more information. Set your expectations to fit your child’s level of understanding.
Example for Teenage years: Here are some changes as a child becomes a teen:
- Pulling away from parents.
- Becoming more independent.
- Making important decisions for themselves.
- Discovering Personal Identity (figuring out who they are as a person. Examples below: — Will often try out a variety of clothes, hair, music, values.
— Very curious, adventurous, open to new experiences (like new babies who want to touch everything or put it in their mouths.)
- Driving a vehicle.
- Exposure to addictive drugs
- Decisions about sexual relationships
- Serving in the Armed Forces
- Graduating High School
- Career and higher learning decisions
- Legally responsible (age 18)
Once you know what is expected of the age group your child is in at the time, you can adjust your rules and consequences, accordingly.
Some other parenting resources would be The Power of Positive Parenting: A Wonderful way to Raise Children by Glenn Latham and Sidney W. Bijou. Positive Parenting in Action by Laura Ling and Rebecca Earnes. For more Valuable Quick Parenting Tips go to www.supportivetalk.com. You can also choose to book a conversation to discuss your parenting or child discipline woes.