Parenting.org leaves no stone unturned when it comes to connecting with your child. Boiling down the essentials to five categories: Communication, Getting to Know Your Child, Discipline, School Involvement and Modeling Behavior.
- First thing first, Communication. Don't dismiss what your child says or right off his or her feelings; although we all know after a while everything they say sounds like whining. It is important to listen to your children before they reach the age where they stop talking to you all together. Though recess drama is a good way to start a conversation, stay involved in their education. Such involvement goes beyond talking to teachers and staff, successful communication starts at home. Parents must engage in conversations with their children, explain and interact to help them understand. Then you won't find yourself screaming or counting to 3 a hundred times a day.
- Now it's time to Get to Know Your Child. For fathers, this section is exciting because their mind instantly goes to playing baseball or testing out the latest Guitar Hero; but to truly know your child you must look beyond playtime. Parenting.org highlights your child's potential for developing an eating disorder, an old story, but a relevant one. They also discuss teen cutting and self-injury, issues that can't always be solved on the playing field. Connect with your child, it is never too late and nothing is more important.
- Discipline... Always a touchy subject with parents. How to do it? What's effective? What's legal? In this day and age it seems more children "wear the pants" while parents simply submit to their will. First, parents must understand that bribing children is not an effective form of discipline! If anything this method teaches children how to control parents at an early age. Although I can't tell you how to discipline your child, I can tell you always stay calm, pick your battles because not everything warrants "the look" and avoid empty threats at all costs.
- School Involvement relates back to Communication; but, Parenting.org presents a new twist by touching on means to pressure-proof your children. Fighting peer-pressure is a song all parents know too well, one which in some homes, is repeated daily. It is vital to build your child's self-esteem in a realistic way so they don't easily fall victim to the social pressures they face regularly. Empower your child, parents may not be an extension of their children but they are the foundation of their strength.
-Modeling Behavior can be tricky because you can't teach someone how to be genuine. But we do want to instill an honest sense of appreciation in our children. Allow them to experience how to do without so that they will truly value what they are given. This can start with a task of simply letting your child earn an allowance one which you sternly encourage that the save (at least a percentage).