SMART AND PRACTICAL PARENTING
- Failure is okay.
To be self-sufficient, kids need to pick themselves up once in a while. Most parents would know what their kids are capable of, but parental instincts often make them intervene to make things easier for the children. Remember, this is beneficial in the long run – a teenager who knows how to do their laundry can overcome a momentary discomfort. Before rushing in to help with any task, ask yourself: “Is my child in grave danger?” Then think about whether your child has the essential abilities or sufficient sleep and is not at all hungry. Yes? Time to back off and see what happens.
- Implement homework rules.
Rule number one: Do the hardest thing first. Rule number two: No phones. However, some homework does require the help of technology such as computers for research, but no to unnecessary videos and chit chats over social media. Rule number three: As soon as they are done with homework, it’s time to prepare their bags for the next school day. This is a clear and straightforward three-step process that kids can easily follow, therefore, there’s less nagging from you.
- Remember H.A.L.T.
Child tantrums can be caused by Hunger, Agitation, Loneliness or Tiredness.
- Teach your child to do acts of kindness.
Kids need to learn that helping others is an everyday practice, and not just because they were told to do so. Challenge your child to accomplish small weekly tasks, such as helping a classmate open a bag of chips, or sharing their snack.
- Bedtime must be on strict schedule.
A study published in 2013 in the journal Pediatrics found that seven-year-olds who follow irregular bedtimes had more behavioral problems than those with consistent bedtimes. And the longer the irregular bedtimes went on, the worse the problem became. If you work outside the home, it is naturally tempting to keep the kids up to be able to spend more time with them. But a sacrifice is necessary to make, even if it means that you sometimes miss lights out. Still, make sure to be involved in the routine like making a call to say goodnight.
- Let them read whatever book they like.
Kids who read for pleasure excel academically. Recent studies show that they do better not only in language arts, but also in math. Even if you’d rather him pick a great classic novel over a graphic one, don’t make him feel bad by choosing otherwise. Genre would not matter for as long as they get hooked in the habit of reading.
- Chores in exchange of money is a no-no.
Giving kids allowance to introduce them to money management is acceptable, but giving them as a reward for making their beds or helping you carry the groceries would make them ask “How much? Why would I do that for free when you are paying me to do it?”
- Be a brave role model.
If you want your kids to be confident, practice your own self confidence and they will follow. Similarly, if your child sees you laughing over a backwards shirt, they would likely giggle instead of feeling awkward and embarrassed when it happens to them.
- You are not their personal fast food cook.
It’s a child’s duty to eat what their parents eat. For picky eaters, parents tend to choose the all-or-nothing scenario, which is easily the best and most convenient choice. What parents can do instead is offer a variety of foods at mealtime. For example, the main course plus rice or pasta, a fruit or vegetable, and milk. This way, your child can eat just the pasta and the vegetable and get protein from milk.
- Hear them out at age 14.
This is the age when peer pressure and think-for-myself attitude sets in, rather than just simply following the leader. Ask about their friends – this way, there’s a high probability that they will open up to you about what’s happening behind the scenes and offer your support.