Top Four Parenting Tips for this Year
The second quarter of the year is still a great time for making changes and improvements to the way you raise your kids. The trouble is, we often do have a good start, but begin to derail our good intentions, and we return to our default mode of parenting. So nothing much changes from year to year.
We have selected the four tips that we think will have the most positive impact on kids this year.
1. Focus on Your Kids’ Strength
Most of us have been conditioned to focus on what kids can’t do. It’s not your fault. You were trained by teachers and parents who were adept at picking up your poor behaviors, highlighting errors, and encouraging you to eliminate your faults.
There is a better way. We can unearth kids’ strengths, in effect, unlocking their true potential for success and happiness. Three elements come together to make strength, and parents need to be mindful of all three: performance (being good at something); energy (feeling good doing it); and high use (choosing to do it). Rather than locking on to your child’s weaknesses, set your antennae to your child’s strengths.
2. Focus on Friendships
Friendships are an important part of the road to adulthood for a child or young person. With families shrinking in size peer relationships are now fundamental in providing kids with a sense of belonging, a place to hone their identity, and a group upon which they can develop their future relationship skills such as tolerance, empathy, and forgiveness.
Friendships can be problematic. Not every child is naturally outgoing and makes friends easily. If your child is like this, but generally seems happy, then there may be no need to do anything. If your child has difficulty forming friendships and is worried about that, then there are many ways to approach this including encouraging kids to spend one-on-one time with others, making extra-curricular activities fit their interests, and coaching kids to develop friendly behaviors.
3. Balance Kids’ Extra-curricular Activities
Being busy is now recognized as major stress for many children and young people. The new norm now is to over-schedule our kids. Going back in time, sports, music lessons, and activities like scouting were the big deal for kids after school. Now the choice of activities to keep kids busy after school hours is mind-boggling.
Having so many options is wonderful but it does place a new set of pressures on parents. Many complain that family life is like now living on a hamster wheel, always in constant motion, with hardly a time to catch their breath. The cost of loading kids up with scheduled activities is that many don’t get the chance for free play. The benefits of all this activity in terms of kids’ skill development, personal growth, and broadening social horizons are well-founded.
4. Give Kids Tools to Manage Anxious Moments
Let’s be frank with ourselves, we don’t have a childhood resilience problem as many teachers and professionals say, but we do have a childhood anxiety problem. Many parents are anxious and they don’t know it, and many children routinely experience anxiety, which goes unrecognized. Everyone feels worried from time to time, but these feelings pass when the stressful situation has passed. Anxiety occurs when these anxious feelings don’t pass and happen for no obvious reason. It’s a serious condition that can be managed and minimized with the right tools.