It’s the middle of January and many of us have broken our New Year’s Resolutions and are back to who we were in December. For parents who are looking for a way to raise their children to be respectful, likeable, and successful adults it’s not too late.
Here are 5 philosophical tips that will pay dividends for years to come including:
- Teach your kids to leave a trail of people who have only nice things to say about them. Lead by example. We just came through the nastiest election in history, and if your kids don’t learn to respect others from you, they’re probably not gonna get it anywhere else. Model empathy and respect for others. What you do matters.
- Give them chores. Several studies support the notion that doing regular chores has numerous developmental benefits, and it doesn’t hurt to have a little help around the house!
- Monitor the progress of their homework. It’s a struggle, we know, but “executive skills” (organization of time) will pay off when they enter the job market. Teach them how to use their planners and check them every once in a while. Encourage them to ask for help and be a teammate, not a boss. If need be, minimize the distractions. Outlaw TV and other non-homework related electronics.
- Allow your kids to struggle and even fail. This is one of the hardest challenges of parenting. Everybody makes mistakes. Teach them to learn from theirs. As W. E. Hickson said: “If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again.” This is how they grow.
- Make sure they have time to get bored. For children, play is work. When they’re left to ponder, their imaginations kick in. Limit their electronics during free time and don’t feel the need to entertain them. “Go bang your head against the wall until you think of something to do,” might be a good response to, “I’m bored.”
Richard Greenberg is the Los Angeles based blogger Common Sense Dad (www.commonsensedad.com) and best-selling author of “Raising Children Other People Like To Be Around.”