Do you sometimes feel like you're just not reaching your kids? Examine different ways your parenting style might better influence outcomes.
- TIP: Children of alcoholics and victims of domestic violence often marry the same sort of people.
- Step 1: Parent with mature restraint, listening to and nurturing your kids. Allow your children to make and own their choices and mistakes -- and deal with the natural consequences.
- FACT: The USDA reported in 2008 that children born in 2009 to a middle-income family were expected to cost nearly a quarter million dollars to raise. Child care, housing, and education comprised 64 percent of that cost.
- Step 2: Stay clear of using physical intimidation to maintain order. Fearful children may become teens and adults who are depressed, insecure, unable to express emotions, and vulnerable to abusive relationships.
- Step 3: Avoid instituting a strict reward system. Like trained animals, the kids learn to "act" for a payoff, rather than internalizing the reasons for good behavior. Try reasoning with them to avoid having your children lose motivation to be independent.
- TIP: Some kids learn orally or visually, and others by doing. Be flexible before concluding what effect you are having.
- Step 4: When it comes to doling out consequences for bad behavior, be consistent and don't be overly punitive. Consistency on your part helps build stronger relationships: you're kids will trust you because they know what to expect.
- Step 5: Teach respect for others instead of letting your children do as they please. Trying to be a friend instead of upholding expectations can create hostile, defiant, angry, and selfish children who have trouble getting along with peers.
- Step 6: Set goals and clear expectations without becoming emotional or pitting your children against another parent. Be sensitive to how the children take in and understand information individually to improve communication.