- 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
Based on your knowledge of incidents at your kid’s school, how satisfied are you with the school’s efforts to control bullying?
Not satisfied—too many kids are still reporting problems.
46% (13 votes)
Somewhat satisfied—compared with last year, there are fewer incidents.
29% (8 votes)
Very satisfied—the school has a zero tolerance policy. Teachers and kids have gotten the message.
25% (7 votes)
Total votes: 28