- Family and Parenting
10 Parenting Tips to Happy Successful Kids
Becoming a parent is one of the most life changing events that can happen in an individual's life. It is an event that stretches the heart with love and begins a new path of learning and challenges. Most of us do not start out as parenting experts and we need advice to support our efforts to raise children. With only one chance to get it right the following tips are a useful reminder to parents, of important things they can do to raise happy successful children.
10 Tips to Being A Better Parent
1. Improve Communication with Your Child. When your child wants to share a concern, stop what you are doing and listen. Give your undivided attention and don’t make yourself busy with other tasks. Let your eye contact and body language let them know you are interested in what they have to say. Give them time to finish speaking before you jump in. Validate that you understand them correctly by repeating what you heard them say. If we take the time to develop good communication children will be more likely to seek us out as confidants.
2. Talk to your children about their day. Be creative with how you word your questions. Try to avoid questions that elicit one word responses, “How was your day today?” Instead ask children open-ended questions that encourage them to elaborate and give detail “What was the most exciting part of your day?” Take an interest in what they have to say about their experiences and their friends. Use door openers that invite children to say more about an incident or their feelings. "I see," "Wow," "tell me more," "Say that again, I want to be sure I understand you."
3. Become a good listener. Being a good listener is an important practice, for the development of a healthy connection between you and your child. When talking to children avoid using it as an opportunity to insert your own agenda. Ask what they may want or need from you in the conversation; such as advice, simply listening, dealing with feelings, or help solving a problem. Realize your children may only tell you a small part of their thoughts and feelings. Listen carefully to what they say, encourage them to talk, and they may just share the rest of the story.
4. Provide positive praise. This tip is one that can help children on the road to success almost immediately. Positive beliefs and expectations are consistent predictors of children’s academic achievement and social adjustment. So do not hold back on those encouraging words of praise. Take notice when children and teens are being good. Praise them frequently for positive behavior, or for doing those little things that are so easy to take for granted. Praise builds a child's confidence and reinforces positive communication. Without praise children end up getting the message they just aren't good enough.
5. Get involved. Research reveals that children of involved parents typically have higher self-esteem and fewer behavior problems at school. The most effective forms of involvement are when parents spend time working directly with their children on learning activities at home. Set aside time everyday to help children with homework, read to them, or play an educational game together.
6. Establish daily routines. Eat dinner together and use it as a time for positive conversation. Ensure children go to bed at a regular time and get lots of rest. Keep bedtime something to look forward to by reading a story. Set up a space and time to get homework done and be available to assist during this important time. By establishing routines children feel secure and ready to take on the challenge of learning and growing.
7. Support oral language development. When children are exposed to talking they learn important skills that support their success in reading. Try not to use baby talk or oversimplify your comments. Use proper sentence structure and increase vocabulary by using new words in a meaningful context. Show children an appreciation for words and language by reading to them and exploring songs, rhymes, and even riddles together. For older children model oral language with rich conversation, that extends vocabulary and build conversation skills.
8. Use constructive discipline. The next time you have to discipline your child be sure to have their complete attention before you begin speaking. Make eye contact by bending or sitting down to become the child’s size. Speak in a calm quiet voice so they must listen closely to what you are saying. Ensure children understand why the behavior is not acceptable and what they can do that is acceptable. Ask children to clarify that they understand and praise them for any attempts they do to make things better.
9. Read to children. Support the academic success of children by taking time to read with them. Studies show that parents who get involved and read with their children outside school contribute significantly to their achievement in school. It is also a wonderful way to build a closer bond and learn more about your child's interests and opinions.
10. Express your love. Hugging is one of the most important things a parent can do to validate their child and build a connection. It is also important to let children know how much you love them by saying “I love you,” often. Children are never too old to hear these words. For a special surprise try writing it in a note and putting it in their school bag, as a little reminder they can keep with them. Be generous with your expression of love and remember, the effort you put in today will make a difference in the success of your child tomorrow.
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