Families are strengthened when parents act positively towards and with their children. Although most parents do their best to teach and train their children, all parents except God fall far short of being perfect parents. Even though we have no perfect parents on earth, we can all take a positive approach to our parenting whether our children are still small, teenagers, or adults with families of their own.
The following parenting advice comes from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other authorities. The best parents I know follow this counsel.
Give daily doses of love. We all need outward assurances that we are loved, and we cannot give children too many hugs, kisses, and I-love-yous. We can also show love by praising and acknowledging accomplishments and efforts, including good behavior.
Make time for children. In this busy world with so many pressures for parents, children are sometimes put aside for what may be considered "more important" things. This is a mistake that many parents make. We need to remember that children want our attention more than anything else and will go to great lengths to get it. Like giving children affection, giving them our attention can help to build their self-esteem.
Spend as much time together as possible. I am so very impressed with the young parents that I know because they are so good at this. They play, walk, and talk with their children. They spend time reading with their children or taking them skiing, shopping, etc. Studies have shown that the simple act of eating dinner together each day as families can bring huge dividends in the lives of our children.
Tune children in. I remember a time when my children were young when my daughter came to me with a problem. I was busy multi-tasking as most mothers need to do when I heard her say, "Mama, listen to me with your eyes!" She taught me an important lesson! Children understand their importance to us when we take the time to truly listen.
Set rules. Children need boundaries in their lives. They need to have clear, consistent rules and an understanding of which behaviors are good and which ones will not be tolerated.
Teach good morals and correct principles. All children need to be taught the importance of obedience to rules, honesty, respect for themselves and others, love of country, etc. They need to learn good values that will last for generations.
If you are already parenting positively, give yourself a pat on the back. Families can learn, grow, and develop into strong basic units of society through positive parenting!
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