Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An interesting parenting article

A friend posted this on FB. I love this! A great article.

Top 10 Things - Kids Most Want and Need from Their Parents

  1. Patience
  2. Understanding
  3. Listening
  4. Soft voices
  5. Structure
  6. Consistency
  7. Love
  8. Freedom connected to responsibility
  9. Family and extended family
  10. Role models

Patience: Things take time. It’s a simple and frustrating fact of life. You want your child to learn faster, change quicker, get unstuck sooner, and move ahead in life. But kids learn and change as fast as they are able, and no faster. If you can accept that, allow yours to be exactly where she is, and help her move, slowly and steadily, toward her goals, she might surprise you. Impatience, and its sidekicks Anger and Frustration, actually slow change, eating up energy and time. Tools like the Balloon Breath and a Special Place can help you keep your cool and gain perspective.

Understanding: Childhood is a profound and challenging time, yet we quickly forget what it’s like to be a kid. With your understanding, your child will feel supported enough try new behaviors. Without it, he can feel cut off and alone. Let your imagination take you back to when you were ten, or eight, or five. What were you like? What crazy things did you hide from your parents? What were you proud of that they didn’t understand? How did they handle it? What would you have preferred? You don’t have to agree with your child’s point of view. You can still impose consequences on poor behavior. But if you can at least understand how he feels and why he does what he does, you can become the true coach on his life team.

Listening: Sometimes kids need to talk. A lot. They don’t want a quick fix or even a full solution. Often, unless they ask for help, they just want to know that you hear them. Even when they do ask, it’s still better to listen first and solve gently. After all, how can you understand what your child is experiencing until you really hear what she thinks and feels?

Soft Voices: No one likes to be yelled at, and children tell me they hear their parents’ words more clearly when they use soft voices. Otherwise, they hear the roar but miss the message. Tools like the Balloon Breath and Listening to Your Heart and Belly can center you before you speak, keeping you focused on the lesson you hope to impart.

Structure: Since much of life is unpredictable, clear boundaries, rules, and routines are comforting; they provide a dependable framework for your child’s life and help him feel safe. Try to incorporate imagination time into the structure of your day or week with the same stability as bedtime rituals and family meals. Your child will come to look forward to and rely on it.

CONTINUE READING Top 10 Things - Kids Most Want and Need from Their Parents ON INTENT.COM

By Charlotte Reznick on

Charlotte Reznick Ph.D, author of the forthcoming book, The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success (Perigee/Penguin NY, August 2009), specializes in helping children and adolescents develop the emotional skills necessary for a happy and successful life. She is a licensed educational psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at UCLA.

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