Parents Being Parents

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Provide order for your children. Your kids should feel like there's a sense of order and a logic to things in their household and in their family life. This can help them feel safe and at peace and to live a happy life both in and outside of their home. Here are some ways that you can provide order for your children: Establish and follow a family schedule so that your children know what to expect. Set bedtimes and wake up times, serve meals at the same time each day, and set time for homework and play.

Keep up with your own hygiene, such as showering and caring for your teeth, and teach your child that the same is expected of them. Set boundaries such as bedtimes and curfews, so they learn that they have limitations. By doing so, they actually get a sense of being loved and cared about by their parents. They might rebel at those boundaries, but inwardly enjoy knowing that concerned parents guide and love them. Encourage responsibility by giving them jobs or "chores" to do and as a reward for those jobs give them some kind of privilege money, extended curfew, extra play time, etc.

As "punishment" for not doing these jobs, they have the corresponding privilege revoked. Even the youngest of children can learn this concept of reward or consequence.

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As your child grows, give them more responsibilities and more rewards or consequences for completing those responsibilities or ignoring them. Teach them what is right and wrong. If you are religious, take them to the religious institute that you follow, if they are interested.

If you are an atheist or an agnostic, teach them your moral stance on things. In either case, don't be hypocritical or be prepared for your child to point out that you are not "practicing what you preach". Criticize your child's behavior, not your child. It's important to criticize your children's actions, instead of your actual child. You want your child to learn that he or she can accomplish whatever he or she wants through his or her behavior, instead of being stuck being one kind of person.

Let him or her feel like he has the agency to improve his behavior. When your child acts out in a harmful and spiteful manner, tell him or her that such behavior is unacceptable and suggest alternatives. Avoid statements such as: "You're bad. Be assertive yet kind when pointing out what they have done wrong. Be stern and serious, but not cross or mean, when you tell them what you expect. Avoid public humiliation. If they misbehave in public, take them aside, and scold them privately.

Teach your children to be independent. Teach your children that it is okay for them to be different, and they do not have to follow the crowd. Teach them right from wrong when they are young, and they will more often than not be able to make their own decisions, instead of listening to or following others. Remember that your child is not an extension of yourself. Your child is an individual under your care, not a chance for you to relive your life through them.

When your children get old enough to make decisions for themselves, you should encourage them to choose which extra-curricular activities they want to do or what friends they want to play with. Unless you think an activity is very dangerous, or a playmate is a very bad influence, you should let your children figure things out for themselves.

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A child may have an opposite disposition, such as being introverted when you are extroverted, and will not be able to fit into the pattern and style that you choose, and will make his or her own decisions instead. Don't routinely do things for your children that they can learn to do for themselves. While getting them a glass of water before bed is a nice way to make them get to sleep faster, don't do it so often that they come to expect it.

Be a good role model. If you want your child to be well-behaved, then you should model the behavior and character you hope your children will adopt and continue to live by the rules that you set. Show them by example in addition to verbal explanations. Children have a tendency to become what they see and hear unless they make a conscious and concerted effort to break the mold. You don't have to be a perfect person, but you should strive to do as you want your children to do, so you don't look hypocritical if you tell your children to be polite to others when they find you getting in a heated argument in the supermarket.

It's perfectly okay to make mistakes, but you should apologize or let your child know that the behavior is not good. You can say something like, "Mommy didn't mean to yell at you. She was just very upset. Want to teach kids about charity? Get involved and take your kids with you to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and help serve up meals. Explain to them why you do acts of charity so they understand why they should. Teach kids about chores by setting a schedule and having them help you out.

Don't tell your child to do something, but ask for their help. The earlier they learn to help you, the longer they will be willing to. If you want your son or daughter to learn to share, set a good example and share your things with them.

Respect your child's privacy. Respect their privacy as you would want them to respect yours; for example, if you teach your child that your room is out of boundaries to them, respect the same with their room. Allow them to feel that once they enter their room, they can know that no one will look through their drawers, or read their diary. This will teach them to honor their own space and to respect the privacy of others. If your child catches you snooping through his or her things, then it may take him or her a long time to be able to truly trust you again.

Being both parents

Allow your child to maintain their personal space and accept that it's normal for them to sometimes keep secrets from you, especially as they get older. You can balance this by having an open door policy so that they can approach you if they need help with an issue. Encourage your children to have a healthy lifestyle. It's important to make sure that your children eat healthy food as much as they can, that they get plenty of exercise, and that they get enough rest every night.

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You should encourage positive and healthy behavior without harping on it too much or making it seem like you're forcing your children to eat or act a certain way. Be the adviser, not the dictator. Let them come to these conclusions on their own while helping them see the meaning and importance of a healthy life. One way to encourage them to exercise is to get them to play a sport early on in life, so they find a passion that is also healthy.

If you start over-explaining to the child that something is unhealthy or that they shouldn't get it, they may take it the wrong way and feel like you are condemning them. Once this happens, they may no longer want to eat with you, and they may feel bad eating around you, which could make them want to sneak and hide junk food from you. When trying to enforce healthy eating habits, start it at a younger age. Giving rewards of candy to children may create a bad habit, because once they get older, some may feel they should reward themselves which can lead to obesity.

While they are young, start them out with healthier snacks. Instead of chips, try goldfish crackers , grapes, etc. The eating habits they learn as they are younger are the ones they continue to have. Emphasize on finishing their plates, and teach them to take a small portion at a time; they can always take more afterwards, but they can't put food back after it has been on their plate. Emphasize moderation and responsibility when it comes to alcohol consumption. You can start talking about this even when children are young.

Explain that they will have to wait until they are old enough to enjoy a drink with friends, and talk about the importance of designated drivers.

Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Child Your Confidante

Failure to discuss these issues early sometimes contributes to sneaking and dangerous experimentation, if they don't understand. Once your children get to an age where they and their friends start drinking alcohol, encourage them to talk about it with you. You don't want them to fear your reaction and to end up doing something regrettable, like driving drunk because they're too scared to ask for a ride.

Be honest with your children about sex. If your child has questions about sex, it is important to answer their questions calmly and without embarrassment. If you don't answer their questions, this can leave them uninformed and ashamed, which can harm them later in life. Be aware of your child's age. It is recommended to teach toddlers about their anatomy and explain conception during early childhood. Teach about puberty, privacy, and maybe sexual intercourse during middle childhood ages Teach tweens about contraception, the pros and cons of sex, and relationships.

Although teenagers are very private people, communicate to your teenager that they can approach you if they encounter something difficult or dangerous. If your child sees you having sex, stop right away and ask them to leave. Tell them that you were having sex after the fact. They probably feel as uncomfortable as you do.

Never make your child feel uncomfortable or ashamed about masturbation.