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Everyday Parenting Ideas

posted May 29, 2013, 1:39 PM by Anastasia Quinn Keck
Everyday Parenting Ideas

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Encouraging Developmental Relationships with Kids

This month, our conversation centers on the importance of developmental relationships. Healthy developmental relationships happen when youth and adults actively listen to each other; treat each other with respect, honesty, kindness, and empathy; have a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the relationship; respectfully challenge and hold each other accountable; and enjoy their time together. Try these tips for encouraging caring relationships in your child's life.

At Home:

·         Be emotionally close: No two parents show love in quite the same way. Some shower their kids with lots of hugs, high fives, and kind notes; others are more stoic or reserved. Tap into your own way of showing your kids you care.

·         Communicate openly and directly: When you speak to your kids, are your messages grounded in love, respect, and clarity? Do you ever say one thing and mean another?

·         Set clear rules: The key to reducing everyone's stress and frustration about rules and expectations is to be clear, consistent, reasonable, and evolutionary.  "Evolutionary" means being responsive to your child's changing developmental needs and what they've demonstrated about their choices.

·         Give kids chances to help out and serve others: Show your kids that they are valued at home by giving them increasing levels of responsibility. Then take it a step further by helping them get engaged in service in the community, whether in the neighborhood, school, or somewhere else.

In the Community:

·         Do teachers, coaches, and youth leaders like, respect, and treat children fairly? Thank the adults who spend time with your kids. Notice those who make special efforts to be there for your children. These may include teachers, youth leaders, extended family members, neighbors, music instructors, tutors, bus drivers, and many other people in your children's lives.

Have you asked adults you respect to watch out for, mentor, or spend time with your child? Encourage the adults you know and trust to spend more time with your children. Offer specific invitations for connections based on mutual interests.