Growing great kids requires work. And creativity. And belief. And hope. And confidence. And....well, you get the point. It takes a lot to raise great kids. But we can all do it, one day at a time.
5 Winning Ways
1. Show, Don't Tell!
Children are often given orders, "Use your manners, get off that, put that down, be kind, eat your vegetables." It's a dizzying array of commands that they are subjected to on a daily basis. The easiest way to teach prosocial behaviors, however, is to model them ourselves. We all know that kids are more likely to copy what we do, rather than follow what we say.
2. Give 'Em a Break!
Bear in mind that kids are just learning about the world, how to get along in it, how to handle BIG feelings, how to be in relationships with peers, how to handle conflict, how to get their needs and more. Try to look at all behaviors through a developmental lense. Think less about punishment and more about guidance and teaching.
3. Teach Social Skills
Your child's emotional literacy is every bit as important as her learning how to read (and some experts believe that it's even more important). Teach her how to identify and deal with feelings, like anger and frustration. Make all feelings be okay in your home. "It's okay to be sad, angry, frustrated, etc." "Let's talk about what is making you feel this way." "How can I help you?"
4. Be optimisic.
Model optimism and a "can-do" attitude. This is especially true if your child tends to see the glass as half-empty. If your child is a "Negative Ned", honor that he may have been born with a temperamental style that leans in this direction, but persist in teaching him ways to cope. If your child says, "This is horrible! We have to wait in a long line for the movie!", you can respond, "Yeah, but looking on the bright side, we can finish our marathon game of 'rock, paper, scissors'. Let's go for best out of 15. I hope the line doesn't move too quickly, so we can finish!"
5. Cultivate Humor
Humor can help take you and your child through almost anything. Capitalize on your child's natural sense of humor, find fun wherever you can. Keep things lighthearted as often as possible. Laugh. Go for big belly laughs. Smile as much as you can!
What other things would you add? What's one of the most important things to raising great kids for you? We'd love to know!
As always, from Kidlutions, we wish you happy parenting!