Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook but using love and logic you can help shape your kids into decent human beings. When my oldest daughter was born 18 years ago I had a whole plan for her life. But reflecting back nothing went as planned and that’s ok. Your children will grow into people they want to be and its your job to help them find who they want to be and to provide safe boundaries for them to develop and explore.
1. Provide family support and relationships
Hug your children, be their biggest fan, communicate often and regularly, and don’t assume that your kids know how much you love them, tell them and show them at all ages. Spend as much time as you can with your children and set aside time with them to strengthen the bond and relationships. Encourage your children to have relationships with other trusted adults that they can call when they need advice or support. Also create your own network of support as encouragement for times when parenting gets hard.
2. Establish parental expectations and discipline
Create and communicate rules, responsibilities, and expectations for how your household is ran on a regular basis. When these standards or rules are broken there should be reasonable and fair consequences. Being consistent is the key to success.
3. Be present, be active
Presence is more valuable than presents! Spend time with your children all together but also alone individually if you have more than one child. Making time for your children shows them that you value them, because time is the most precious gift you can ever give them. Show your child you care and get involved in your child’s school, or volunteer to help with their extracurricular activities. Communicate with your child and know their whereabouts, who they are with and what they are doing as well as the amount of time they will be gone when you are not with them.
4. Provide a positive school environment
Choose a school that is a good fit for your child where they feel safe and are nurtured intellectually as well as socially. Peers will influence your child’s school experience, therefore help facilitate interactions with positive peers. Allow your child time to develop those friendships outside of school by inviting friends over and allowing them to be a part of some family activities. If your child is homeschooled, provide opportunities for your child to interact socially with peers their own age on a regular basis.
5. Community involvement
Get out and involved in the community with your child. What is your child interested in? What are they good at? There are endless ways to get involved with the community. Community sports, art shows, group walks and races, library book clubs, volunteer opportunities etc. This gives you and your child the opportunity to network in the community in positive ways and explore new things.