- Take your kids seriously. If it’s important to them, it should be important to you, in a real, and not patronizing, way.
- Listen to them closely. Even when you’re busy or your mind is preoccupied, make time to focus on what your kids have to say.
- Let them set the agenda. Don’t expect to meld your children into the individuals you think they should be; follow their lead and help them be the best them.
- Praise them smartly. Say “Good job” less often to your kids and express more substantive observations, such as “You caught the ball!” and “I saw you concentrating so intently!”
- Set clear expectations. If your kids know the goal, they can drive toward it and feel proud of achieving it.
- Spend time with them—doing what they want to do, playing what they want to play.
- Don’t solve their problems for them. Despite your every instinct to jump in and help, let your kids work through their challenges themselves. However…
- Have their backs, always. Make sure they know you are their supporter and defender, and will be there for them when they need you, every time.
- Don’t answer for them. If someone asks your kids a question, let them answer even if it’s a bit uncomfortable, or even scary.
- Make sure they know you’re proud of them. Unconditionally. Every day.
- Be confident yourself. And project that feeling of confidence in all you do.
Parents Talk Back
Which of the following old-school thrills would your child find most exciting?
Hitting a baseball or sinking a basketball for the first time
11% (5 votes)
Going on a theme-park ride for the first time
34% (16 votes)
Getting a puppy (or other pet) for the first time
43% (20 votes)
Riding a bike or trike for the first time
13% (6 votes)
Total votes: 47