Top Ten Tips For Parents

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Here is a listing of the top ten tips for parents of teens and preteens:

1.  Give your child choices.  Hopefully, you’ve been giving your child power over his or her own life in small ways all along, so that by the time your child becomes a teen, it is simply a natural progression.  If not, it’s okay to change the rules.  Let your teen know that you want him or her to have more control over his or her own life.  Give your teens choices that make them in control of their own lives.

2.  Let your child have a voice.  No, they aren’t in charge€¦and no, you don’t have to give a voice to rudeness or obnoxious behavior.  But if your child has an opinion, value him or her by listening  and considering.  Your child needs to feel like a valuable member of your family.

3.  You are the parent and the adult.  You have the power to end conversations when they turn into arguments; you have the emotional maturity to stay calm and reasonable when your child does not and cannot. 

4.  Your behavior sets a far more effective example to your child than your words.  Your overreaction, emotional outbursts, and violent reactions teach them that that is acceptable behavior.  Your ability to stay calm (count to ten, walk away, bite your tongue) teaches your child responsible mature behavior and gives them emotional management tools.

5.  Don’t do everything for your child.  When they have needs, help them learn how to meet their needs on their own.  Teach your child how to do laundry, cook, and clean (of course this may vary depending on the age of your child).  Don’t make it a chore; make it a fun way to help your child gain independence.  Stop fighting all of your kid’s battles  It’s going to turn them into whiny, weak adults!! 

6.  You will reach your child more effectively by listening instead of talking.  Make sure your child knows you are there  and don’t just say you’re there, mean it.  Be available when your child needs to talk; make choices in your own life that demonstrate to your child his or her importance in your life.

7.  Don’t try to solve all of your childs’ problems. Instead of reacting with “You should do this” ask your child what they think should be done.  Praise your childs’ ability to think things through, guide them where necessary, and let them know you trust them to make the right choices.  The belief and faith you have in your child helps motivate them to make the right choices.  Again,  stop fighting all of your kid’s battles  It’s going to turn them into whiny, weak adults!! 

8.  Whether it’s a new concept in your house or something you’ve been doing all along, be consistent.  Behaviors should have consequences (good and bad).  Praise positive behavior and enforce consequences for negative behavior.

9.  Recognize that your child is not a bad person even when he or she is making bad choices.  Choose your words carefully  never call your child a derogatory name.  Address the choice they made, give consequences because of the choice.

10.  Treat your child as an individual.  Respect your child, recognize that while this is your child, he or she is also well on the way to being a unique and independent individual.  When you treat your children with respect, you set an example they can follow with you and others in life.

Following as many of these top ten tips for parents as you can and you will soon seen a positive change in the relationship that you have with your children.

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