- The #1 requirement to teach a child is to love him or her. Show great love to your children by giving them appropriate physical affection. Hug them often to make them feel loved. Tell your children you love them, and are proud of them; and make sure they know they are loved. Give them your love, attention, confidence, empathy, understanding, and your time.
- Experts have made parenting too complicated. Parents are very capable of teaching their own children, and children will learn values best from their parents. However, take time to find practical and inspirational resources on parenting (books, classes, Internet, older women with wisdom). Learn about parenting stages, discipline, child development, health and safety, and how to raise grateful, well-adjusted children. http://parenting.family.org
- Home is the center for learning where children will learn dependability, loyalty, integrity, selfless service, consideration for others, honor and respect for women, work ethic, practical skills, accountability, the importance of an education, and spirituality. Teaching will be most effective after you have put forth the effort to build a good relationship.
- Parents who were raised in an abusive, neglectful family, can choose to live a better life by seeking help from those with professional experience, or people with practical experience. Parents can choose to continue good traditions and discard the bad traditions in the homes they were raised in.
- It is a misconception that quality time makes up for quantity time. Children need both. We need to build better relationships with kids and spend more time doing that. Parenting is like anything else in life. It is a journey and a process, and it is never too late. You can always help a child modify behavior; however, these things take time.
- Some believe that “It takes a village to raise a child.” The problem with that statement is that today’s village is not only a sex-saturated, crime-ridden society with many broken homes, but it sends many mixed messages. Will the village teach and reinforce your family values, if they include honesty, integrity, knowing right from wrong, consequences of choices, service to others, morality, respect, patriotism, obedience, and good, decent, ethical values? Will the village teach your children to pray, and practice abstinence before marriage? Children need to be able to operate in the bigger world, without adopting the values of the world.
For many parents, there is a tendency to view the world around us as the enemy, as the counter-force that undoes the values we try to teach, and that lures our children into paths we would not choose for them. However, in today's world, doing a good job of raising the child we want without help from a larger support group is almost impossible.
Parents can look for others who teach the same values you do, with teachers and youth leaders who are good lifestyle examples for your children. Find an institution, usually a church or synagogue, a community organization, or a group of parents with similar values, hopes and goals for your children.
- Parents who purposely intervene to soften or eliminate the consequences of their children’s poor choices, reinforce the idea that there are no consequences for their actions—which opens the door for more problems. It’s far better for parents to discipline their children while in the home, than for society to discipline them later.
- Discipline your children when necessary, but never raise your hand in anger. Do not be harsh and unkind with your hands. Hands need to symbolize love, not hate and anger. To correct a child, do it quietly, privately, and with love. This way the child will not resent the correction. After disciplining, reassure your children of your love for them, so they do not think of you as their enemy. No child should fear their parents. Things done by love have lasting effect over discipline by fear.
- Lead your children with loving persuasion, not force or threats. Use positive incentives and reinforcements.
- Learn to understand and appreciate your children’s differences. Children come into the world with their own personalities.
- Do not overly focus on your children's success or their self-esteem will be based on their accomplishments. Parents' overemphasis on high achievement in their children sends the message that children's only value hinges on what they achieve. Often the emphasis on excelling says more about the desires of the parent than those of the child.
A primary role of a parent is to ensure a child's positive sense of self-worth. Parents who are overly critical and emotionally unresponsive to young children may raise children with low self-esteem and insecurity which will follow them throughout their lives, no matter what their achievements.
Children internalize their sense of self-worth at an early age. Withholding praise from kids makes them feel insecure, and they will spend their entire lives trying to win their parents' approval. If they do not develop high self-esteem as children, it is more difficult for them to feel innately valuable as they grow older. Those with low self-esteem often sabotage their own efforts because they are so afraid of failing to meet the expectations of others. Those who do not have high self-esteem are often disorganized, procrastinate and do not succeed because they either do not try or set unrealistically high goals. "What's Stopping You," Robert Kelsey
Teach your children to learn from their failures. Praise them for their effort and hard work, not merely their innate talent or intelligence. This will give them high self-esteem; and feeling worthwhile, they will have the confidence to try again after failure. Carol Dweck, psychologist and researcher, Stanford University
- "The way you live your life is the strongest sermon you will ever preach. Children tend to repeat our actions, whether we like it or not, just as a mirror reflects our smallest detail.
"If we want to change what we see in the mirror, our efforts are best spent not on trying to change the mirror, but in improving ourselves. In other words, if we want our children to be more courteous, patient, or selfless, we must strive to make sure those qualities are clearly visible in our own lives.
"Of course, children make their own choices--some of which seem to have no clear origin in their heredity or their upbringing; but, it is also true that the best advantage a child could ever have is the loving example of a parent, though not perfect, who is honestly striving to model virtuous living. Someday, someone may say to your children, "You are just like your mom...or just like your dad." If you have done your best to set a good example, it will be high praise indeed." (Music and the Spoken Word, March 10, 2012)
"The Doctor Is In" - Dr. Ray
Dr. Ray Guarendi is a father of 10 and a clinical psycholotist.
Listen to the Radio Broadcast on Spokane's KTTO 970 AM radio station
10:00 am weekdays, Monday through Friday.
To participate in the call-in program, call 1-877-573-7825 toll-free during the show.http://drray.com/