Idea 1: Relationships are the most important thing.
|Photo courtesy: CrystalHollenbeck.com|
- It will not spoil a child of any age to be frequently kissed, hugged, patted on the back, nuzzled, snuggled, read to and talked to. In fact, it this the best part of parenting!
- Look your children in the eye when they are talking to you. Teach them how to listen by doing a good job yourself. This may require you to unplug, detach yourself from your phone, computer, iPad or TV. You will be greatly rewarded if you give your kids a chance to just talk, starting when they are young.
- You don't have to always prove that you know more than your children. You don't always have to share your opinion. You don't always even have to respond beyond a smile, a "that's so cool!" or a "tell me more". Older kids and teens won't talk to you if all you do is harass or correct them, so just listen.
- Do stuff together. Whether it's weeding the garden, taking the dog for a walk or playing, kids crave physical activity (even video game zombies crave it, I promise) and if YOU are doing it with them, they will want to do it even more.
- Don't be unreasonable with your kids. Remember who they are and treat them how you would want them to be treated by any other adult.
- Laugh. A lot. If you can learn to laugh at yourself, at frustration, at drama and difficulty, you will teach your children to do the same, and the world could certainly use a few less stressed, victim-mentality-focused people!