Tag Archives: Top Ten

Top Ten Ways of Facing Parenting Issues with Children

parenting issues with childrenIf you are facing parenting issues with children you probably need to stop, take a good look at yourself and how you manage the children, and see if you are making wise decisions.

 

Hindsight is always 20/20 vision and this is especially true for parenting issues with children.  It is easier to look back on a situation with your kids and know exactly what you should have said and should not have said, but in the heat of the moment parenting becomes a much more difficult issue!

 

If you are facing parenting issues with your children, think about these ideas…

 

1. Talk to Them

Make sure you keep lines of communication open.  Talking to your kids can make all the difference, especially when explaining the reasons for disciplining them.

 

2. Be Strong

When you make a parenting decision, don’t be easily swayed by complaints from your child.  If you make a decision, consult them but in the long run your decision should stand.

 

3. Big Them Up

Make sure you speak positive words to your children, especially in front of others.  Never complain about them to others in their presence because it is embarrassing and will build resentment to your parenting.

 

4. Be Fair

In all parenting issues with children you need to be perceived as fair, not unreasonable or petty.

 

5. Make Consequences Just

Make sure that the consequences for disobedience are just and in proportion to the offence.  Consequences should also alight with the offence, so staying out after curfew for example is best deal with by grounding for a week rather than the removal of another privilege.

 

6. Be Consistent

The biggest issue parenting children is in the area of consistency.  You need to follow through every single time, even if applying the consequences is inconvenient or upsetting to you.  Your consequences must not be dependent on your moods or other factors.

 

7. Never Play Favorites

Favoring one child above another splits families and one of the parenting issues with children that can cause damage for the whole of a child’s life.  Treat all of your children the same and do not play favourites, even though you may find one child a lot easier to handle than the other.

 

8. Let Unimportant Things Slide

I strongly suggest that you let some small things go unpunished rather than reinforce the view that you are a petty parent.  Failing to rinse a plate should not be made a huge issue, but staying out late or lying should be deal with.

 

9. Be Unemotional

A huge parenting key is to take emotion right out of your parenting.  You should never scream, yell or lose your temper.  If an issue has been raised, deal with it without emotion or visible anger.  You did it, this is the consequence, that’s the end of it.

 

10. Show Unconditional Love

Whatever your child does, good or bad, they need to know that your love for them is independent of what they do or say.  Your love must be unconditional and absolute, and nothing they do will make your love decrease!

 

If you apply the principles discussed in this Top Ten you will be well on your way to becoming an awesome parent for your children.  If you slowly grow in knowledge and wisdom you can face parenting issues with children with courage and confidence.

Children and Divorce: A Top Ten Survival Guide

Children and DivorceChildren and Divorce are a potent mix.  The pain that you go through during your divorce is reflected and sometimes amplified for your children.  Most often they have no idea of exactly what has gone wrong in the relationship, and frequently they blame themselves for the resulting divorce.

 

So how can you love your children and divorce their mom or dad at the same time?  The fact is, relationships break down from time to time and children suffer as much as adults, especially if they have a good relationship with the ex.

 

All through the divorce you will experience pain, and so will the children, but our Top Ten survival guide can help both you and the kids survive this difficult time…

 

Children and Divorce: Our Top Ten Survival Guide…

1. Assure them the Divorce is Not Their Fault!

They are your children and divorce is not their fault.  Explain that it is a decision that mom and dad have made, and although it affects them, it is not their fault, and there is nothing they can do directly to repair the relationship.  What’s done is done, and you all have to do the best you can dealing with the fallout!

2. Maintain Routine

Routine is a friend to your children, so as much as you can keep them in a familiar routine.  There will be times you have to vary it, especially when trying to fit visitation in, but make sure they are able to continue in what they see as important in their lives, even after school things like football or dance classes.

3. Careful What you Say

As tempting as it is to speak badly of your ex, you need to stop doing this.  Always speak kindly of them, because throwing mud is ground lost, and you can turn your children against you if you speak negatively.

4. Be Transparent

As much as you think the children will understand, speak openly and honestly about your reasons for the separation.  Your children deserve to know the truth about the divorce.

5. Don’t Make the Children Choose Mom or Dad

Having to choose between the two parents places your children in an uncomfortable position, so avoid forcing them to choose, especially pressuring them into choosing you.  When dividing their time, try to keep it even and fair between the two of you. If they don’t choose your way, let them live with their decision and never guilt trip them.  Don’t take it personally, but rather tell them that you love them no matter what thye do or decide.

6. Spend Time with Them

Children and divorce equals pain and loneliness, so the best way for you to show your love for your kids is to spend time with them.  Take them out for an ice-cream, to dinner or for a walk in a park, or have a great night at home with a movie and popcorn!

7. Take Time for Yourself

Put the kids first, sure, but remember in all of this you are also in pain, so take some time for yourself.  Treat yourself occasionally, enjoy friends or just stare at the stars for an hour one night.  Whatever you do you need to protect both your children and yourself during this divorce.

8. Minimize Drama with the Ex

Divorce can be tense, and your children feel the tension.  Talk to your ex-partner and even if you hate one another, agree to speak well of each other especially in front of the children.  If you finish yelling at each other the children will feel the pain, so put on a happy face and control yourself!

9. Remain Positive

If you are experiencing divorce and the children are unstable and reacting, always try to remain positive.  Speak positively about your ex, yourself and especially the children themselves, because positive words build up while negativity breaks down!

10. Remain Firm about Your Decision

Children are always hopeful that you might get back together again, and you may look back with rose colored glasses on your relationship, but you need to remain firm on your decision to divorce.  Having your ex-partner sleeping over sometimes might work for you and your needs, but it will confuse the children and raise hopes of reconciliation.  Give them a firm and stable situation for their sake.

 

Using this survival guide and applying these Top Ten ideas can help you cope with the developing situation.  With the right attitude you will help your children and divorce situation.

Top Ten Ways Single Parent Families Can be Fun

Single parent familiesSingle parent families are common these days, but often they are more difficult to manage than two parent families, especially after separation, and especially if the separation has been a nasty one.

 

Many single parents unwittingly use their children as pawns in a tug-or-war between the two parents, and this causes a lot of friction not only between the adults, but also among the children.  Often the relationship between family members is tense and trust is reduced because of this, but it does not have to be this way.

 

Single Parent Families can be fun, and here’s our Top Ten Ways to Achieve This…

 

1. Don’t Attack your Ex

Attacking your ex actually hurts your children, so try to speak well of the ex-partner as much as you can.  If they speak ill of you, then try to refrain from telling your kids horrible things about the ex, because over time they will figure out who is the honest one and who is throwing mud!

2. Make Time for your Children

Spending time with them at whatever is important to them is the ultimate act of love that they will understand. Make time to spend with them, even if it costs you time and money, because it says “I love you and you are important to me!”

3. Be Slow to Start Dating Again

Dating after a break up is tricky enough, let alone if children are involved.  Your children feel isolated and threatened by another person coming on the scene, especially if they have kids too.  Be slow to start dating again, and make wise decision with regards who is coming into your life, and your children’s lives!

4. Do Something Crazy!

Why be the boring parent?  Your single parent family should be a place of love, peace and fun, so do something crazy.  Make cupcakes, have a mud fight, grab some popcorn and have a movie night.  Be a little more relaxed and a little bit crazier and your kids will love it!

5. Have a Games Night

Games nights are not only fun but they build relationship.  In times past we might have suggested playing Monopoly or Twister (and they are still great), but in the 21st century, why not ask your kids to set up a family LAN party, or play the X-Box or Wii together?

6. Keep Your Place the Fun One

If your children go between your home and your ex’s, make sure yours is the fun one, and it can be fun even with chores, rules and consequences.  Minimize screaming, and try fun things like letting them decorate their room

7. Apply Rules and Consequences without Emotions

If you lose your temper, you lose!  Never yell, scream or emotionally attack your children.  You have rules, you have consequences, and one follows the other without yelling, debates or arguments.  Stick to the consequences but do so without the drama!

8. Hit You Tube!

One really great night you can have with your kids is sharing videos you have found on You Tube.  Funny ads, crazy clips, music videos, whatever you like.  The night will go quickly and the fun will flow!

9. Jammin’ in the Car

You have to drive places together, so why not put the radio or CD on and sing all trip.  Even if your voice is terrible, it is especially fun with young kids.  My kids were convinced that my car ran on music when they were young!

10. No One Else Has to Understand

Don’t worry about what others may think.  The most important thing is that single parent families like yours are loving and safe, not tense and dramatic.  Others may think you have lost your mind doing crazy things with the kids, but you know your family is worth it!

 

So make yours one of the most loving, most fun and safest single parent families on earth by applying these tips and other ideas.

What Does it Mean to be a Good Parent? 10 Practical Things to Do!

I want to be a good parent, and I’m sure you do too, but what does this actually mean?  Looking around in a public place you will see many people who are examples of bad parenting, so like you I know what I don’t want it to look like, but I also recognize that there is far more to being a good parent than simply having a well behaved child in public.

 

good parentHere’s 10 Practical things you can do to become a Good Parent

1. Be Consistent.

This is one of the biggest things in becoming a good parent… consistency!  Whatever you promise a child as a consequence of their actions, always follow through with it, whether a reward or something they do not like.  Don’t modify the consequences to avoid a fight or make your life more comfortable or easier.

2. Screaming is Losing! 

That’s right, if you reach a point of screaming, yelling or any other display of anger, you lose… immediately!  You lose your child’s respect, and the ability to positively influence your child.  Discipline should be applied without emotion, and without fear, because the consequences must be established before the offence is committed.  Then if they do the act, the consequences happen, it’s that simple!

3. Listen to your Kids. 

You can ask questions of your child and their behaviour, but you also need to listen.  They often don’t need a lecture from you, especially if they know they have messed up, but you are far better asking why they did something, then listening to their answer.  Turn the TV off, close the lap top, put the magazine down and give your child your undivided attention.  They will love the fact you prioritized them over whatever you were doing, and you will learn about them and what they are doing and thinking!

4. Spend Quality Time.

Spending quality time with your child helps you to get to know them, their fears and their concerns, their hopes and dreams.  Don’t take over their lives, but learn about them.  Sit and talk, or text if they prefer, but communicate with them in their language!

5. Technology is Cool, but it’s a Killer.

Computers, TV, DVDs, and mobile devices can take over your child’s life, and your life for that matter, and you have to place limits on these. They might be cool, but they can kill quality time with your children.  Sure they are fun, but for both of you make sure you take 5 minutes every half an hour for a proper break.  A get up, walk, go outside and talk together break.  And overall limit the time to 2-3 hours a day.

6. Look at Yourself.

Because believe me, your children will be looking at you.  Being a good parent is about being a good example to them, and live a life that you want them to emulate, even if things you have done so far in life are what you do not want for your kids.  Be who you want them to be, not who you once were, and start making changes to become the type of person you want your kids to become.

7. Feed Them Well. 

Simply this… watch their diet.  Don’t feed them junk food and soda, you can actually affect how their brain develops, so give them lots of outdoors and sunshine, and feed them healthy food.  Vitamins are also a good idea, and especially fish oil.

8. Know Where They Are.

Make sure you know where they are and who they are with, and also what they are doing. Establish a curfew and stick to it, especially with teenagers.

9. Know Their Friends, and their Friend’s Parents.

Who do they value in their lives?  Make sure you know their friends, and the parents of their friends.  Do the friend’s families have the same morals and standards that you do?

10. Teach Them Respect.

Being a good parent is teaching your kids respect, for themselves, for you and for others.  If they are angry, teach them coping strategies, and make sure respect for others becomes ingrained in them.  This will help stop behaviors like stealing, taking advantage of others sexually and even bullying.

 

Apply these strategies if you want to be a good parent and you will see positive and important changes in your kids which will last a lifetime.

What Does it Mean to be a Good Parent? 10 Practical Things to Do!

How to Parenting Ideas that Work!

how to parentingThere is lots of parenting advice on the internet, but learning how to parenting ideas, ones that you can really use in your situation, is much harder to find.  Facts, figures and opinions abound, but actually finding “how to” information becomes a more difficult prospect.

My Top Ten How to Parenting Ideas

Here is ten of the best how to parenting ideas I have found…

1. Take the Emotion out of Disciplining

When our kids disobey we get angry and this is the worst thing we can do.  A screaming match is a bad way to parent, so one of the best how to parenting ideas is to take the emotion out of the situation, and logically lay out the consequences, without yelling.

2. Make Your Rules Simple

Kids need rules, but they need rules that are easy to understand and simple to follow.  Choose your battles, meaning you choose important rules to be harder on and learn to let some of the little things slide by without comment.

3. Make your Rules Clear

One of the first excuses you will hear from your child is that they did not understand what they did.  Make your rules clear, and tell them before they transgress.  It is not good coming on heavy afterwards if they have misunderstood, so get it right the first time.

4. Make the Rules and their Consequences Consistent

Consistency is the key for how to parenting ideas that work.  You cannot overlook a rule one day and expect to enforce it the next, so make clear rules and stick to the consequences, even if enforcing them is awkward for you.

5. Make Consequences Proportional

Kids often have a sense of justice, so they need to feel that the penalties you set are not only fair, but also are in proportion to the disobedience.  I would always be harder on an out and out rebellious attitude than a child forgetting something or making a mistake.

6. Communication is Important

Communicating is another key to how to parenting.  Learn how to communicate, whether it be by text, taking them out for an ice-cream or going fishing or shopping.  If you want to communicate, speak their same language, and clearly spell out the rules and the consequences.

7. Stand By Them

Your kids need to feel that you are on their side, even if they have done wrong and they know it.  Don’t be a crazy, one eyed parent, but make sure your child knows that you are with them and want the very best for them.

8. Always Use Positive Words

When disciplining children you need to encourage as well.  You might be furious, but always have some word of encouragement, either afterwards or before. Watch what you say carefully because many frustrated moms and dads have deeply hurt their children with words, so think carefully before your speak.

9. Love Them with your Time

Nothing says I love you more than taking time for them.  Put the book or compute down, close out of Facebook and turn off the phone.  Take time out of your busy day to give how to parenting to your child.

10. Unconditionally Love Them, No Matter What!

Your kids need to know that you love them, no matter what they do or say.  Tell them every day, several times a day. They may roll their eyes or shrug it off, but secretly they will love it!

 

Apply these 10 ideas and you can effectively learn “how to parenting” that will make your family closer and keep you close forever!

Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 3)

Bad ParentingHere is the conclusion of your series on Bad Parenting

It has been a fun, tongue in cheek look at bad parenting, but you can learn a lot from looking at how NOT to parent your child.  If you missed the previous installments, click here to Start at the first article.

8. The Screaming Match

Bad parenting most often results in a screaming match. For both parent and child, frustration and stress on the relationship are often expressed by emotions, and the most common emotion is yelling.

Screaming at your child, standing over them or poking your finger at them is rude, demeaning and closes communication with them. It lowers their respect for you and even if you scream but they fall silent, damage is being done which can last a lifetime.

Emotions are part of living in a family, and if you’ve had a particularly stressful day it’s not uncommon to feel like you want to scream. However, if you lose your temper you lose the plot, so take a breath, count to 10 and walk away until you are in control of your emotions.

Once you are calm enough, sit with your child and discuss the issue, focusing on them not on the problem. Allow them to express their emotions, but take a break if they are getting worked up. If you can calmly express the reasons for your decision without it becoming a screaming match then you have achieved a major victory.

Remember, the words you say cannot be retrieved, so take time aside to think and speak rationally and carefully to your child.

9. Criticizing Your Child

Experts tell us that criticism and verbal abuse can, like physical abuse, have a slow and negative affect on the development of children. In older kids it can cause low self-esteem and depression, and leave your kids feeling humiliated and betrayed as they grow up, oftentimes unable to maintain healthy relationships in later life.

Comparisons between siblings are some of the most damaging forms of criticism for developing children. It causes resentment between the kids and a feeling of favouritism which can negatively affect both children.

Public putdowns and shaming them in front of others can be equally as damaging. No one likes to be made to feel like a failure, so emphasizing that failure never causes good and always hurts a child.

Kids fail just like we all do at times. Instead of making negative comments in front of friends, and instead of comparing your children’s strengths and weaknesses, concentrate on building your child up, both publicly and privately.

Try to identify your child’s strengths and qualities that make sure that they feel great about these strengths. If you need to blow off steam about your child’s failings, do it alone to a trusted friend and make sure that they cannot hear you!

10. Too Much of a Good Thing

Most parents want to bless their children, but some feel that giving them everything they want is quite often not a good idea at all.

In our modern world there is a constant flow of new gadgets and fashions that every kid wants, especially as they hit the teenage years. Many parents give their children everything they ask for, and rather than their respect and love they receive venomous anger if they refuse to buy an expensive or inappropriate gadget.

Also, there is a constant stream of activities that your child can be involved in, and if you are not careful every afternoon and evening could be filled with things that your child wants to do, from tennis lessons to Karate, from guitar lessons to dance classes. Over-scheduling is a clear and present danger for the modern parent, and while the child might enjoy these activities, eventually they can give rise to tiredness, depression, headaches and declining grades.

Bad parenting gives children everything they want and finishes with miserable kids, but good parenting will choose selected activities and fashions and grant only these requests. Once again, parenting in the right way is a balancing act and wisdom and experience are your our allies.

As long as mankind has existed bad parenting has also existed. It is not an easy business trying to raise children and help them develop into successful adults, but it is among the most satisfying things you will ever do in life.

If you apply these principles and avoid these bad parenting habits, you can not only see your children mature as wonderful as successful adults, but you can also enjoy the journey with them year by year.

Parenting for Dummies: A Not-So-Dumb Top Ten

A Not so dumb guide to parentingParenting for dummies is probably a bit condescending as a title, but the purpose of this article is to strip away the mystique of being a parent.  In its purest form, parenting should be pretty straight forward, but the truth is that, in the heat of the battle with our kids, it becomes almost overwhelming!

Hence the term, “for dummies”.  I want to strip away the smoke and mirrors and get back to the basics of how you can be a great parent, in a way that anyone, including a first time novice, should be able to apply.

So here is our not-so-dumb Top Ten of Parenting for Dummies (and also smart people like you!)

1. Set Limits

Parenting starts with setting sensible limits, and attaching sensible consequences to them.  Boundaries should be put in place and this will be dependent on the age of the children.  Pick your battles, and don’t put rules in place for things that are trivial, save it for the important ones.  So have a rule in place for staying out beyond curfew, but avoid making a Federal Case of the child not brushing their teeth.

2. Set Consequences

Consequences need to make sense and be proportional.  For example a perfect consequence for staying out late would be grounding the child. Don’t set a consequence that just frustrates the child, or that is perceived as unfair or inappropriate, such as spanking a child for hitting another child.  Do not threaten consequences you will not or cannot keep to, so avoid saying things like, “If you do that again I will kill you!”

3. Follow Through

If you set a consequence, follow through every single time, or you will consider yourself a real dummy in the long run!  Even if you don’t want to, even if it inconveniences you, follow through anyway because this teaches kids that the consequences to certain actions are a sure thing and they don’t change depending on the parent’s mood.

4. Provide Structure and Routine

Children love and need structure, so parenting for dummies insists on providing routine and structure, especially when the kids are young.  Get into the habit of doing the same thing routinely, because there is great security in this for your children.  Being chaotic in your household will see you struggle, so remember that one of the great premises of parenting for dummies is that routine and structure are your friend, not your enemy!

5. Teach Them Respect

Respect is important.  Your children need to respect you and your authority as a parent, other adults especially those closest to them, and social authorities like teachers, pastors, the Police and Armed Forces.  They must also be taught to respect those with disabilities, and to always be kind and honorable towards them.

6. Teach Them Self-Discipline

As they grow, children need to take responsibility for their actions, as do the parents.  You should not be b laming others all the time for your misfortune, because this teaches the same to your kids.  If you mess up, take responsibility, say you are sorry and move on.  Also, teach your children that there are no valid excuses to not doing certain things like homework and the dishes, there are only certain consequences, most of which are unpleasant!

7. Always Speak Positive Words

Always say positive things to your child, no matter how frustrating they get.  Never speak in anger and never lose your temper.  If you are getting close, walk away and calm down before you talk to them.  Make sure you never label them with their action, so your son would not be a naughty boy but a good boy who did something naughty.

8. Invest Time

Nothing says “I love you” more to your children than spending time with them.  Play games, take them out somewhere they like, sit and read with them, and I would also advise that during dinner the TV is turned off and conversation replaces it!

9. Keep the Dreams Alive

Every child has dreams, and your job as a parent is to encourage and promote those dreams.  However, make the child choose one or at most two dreams to pursue, because each one requires an investment in time and also money.  So, they might want to play football, or surf, or dance, or do karate, or design computer games, but they cannot do all of them at once.  Let them choose, then let them pursue their dreams.

10. Love Unconditionally

Kids need to know that they are loved, no matter what they might do.  Unconditional love does not depend on your mood, or on how tired you are, or on what their actions have been.  Tell them you love them whether they get an A or a F in Maths, and whether you have had a tough day or a great day.

Apply these Top Ten Tips and watch your family dynamic change and improve.  If you have this list and do what it says, you won’t need to think about parenting for dummies, you’ll be teaching others the secret to your family success!

Top Ten Parenting Solutions for Working Moms and Dads

parenting solutionsIf you are single and working, you need to think about parenting solutions, especially if you are a full time worker.  Modern society can be very insular, but what is still true in the 21st Century is that a child is raised by a village, not an individual, and this is especially true for the single mom or dad who is working.

 

Our Top Ten Parenting Solutions can give you Insight and Ideas!

 

Here is our Top Ten of Parenting Solutions for working moms and dads, and hopefully this will help you to take control of the parenting situation.  This also colors how you see your work environment, and while all of these are not applicable to all workplaces, you may have to change your job situation for the benefit of your family.

 

1. Seek Help from Your Family or Friends

A single parent must not be an island, so look at your immediate family and friends and see if there is anyone you can trust who can share the load of caring for the children. Can you coordinate times with your mom, or with a close friend who knows and loves your children?

2. Share the Load

Pooling resources is a common and one of the most very effective parenting solutions.  If you know other single parents who are working, then you can pool your resources and coordinate times and jobs so that sometimes you mind their kids, and other times they mind yours.  It is a mutual exchange of child minding services, but again you need to be able to trust them.

3. Try to Obtain Flexible Hours at Work

Many jobs can be made flexible, and if you are a good worker your employers will be inclined to do all they can to help you, rather than lose your services.  Talk to them and see if you can coordinate around school, preschool or other time constraints.

4. Can You Work from Home?

Many jobs can be worked from home, especially in IT.  Perhaps you can make a job for yourself, but be wary of some of the “stay at home and get rich quick” internet schemes.  If you are to work from home, you need to make sure you have an area away from the kids so you can do a proper job, but as long as you have activities for the children, this can work really well.

5. Get Organized

If you are to continue to work as a single parent, you definitely need to get organized!  You do not want to work all day, only to come home to a messy house and out of control kids, do you?  So, get organized and if the children are old enough, give them chores you expect done by the time you return.  Make sure that your time at home is not all about washing and housework, but try to make time to invest in your kids.

6. Talk to your Kids

That’s right, talk to your kids!  Explain the difficulties and how you need to keep on working, and ask them for their help and support as you do it.  Even young children want to help mom or dad in their hour of need.  As you gradually give more responsibility, they will rise to the tasks knowing they are doing their bit for the family.

7. Pay for Help you Need

Child care or after school care may require payment, but it is worth it to know that your children are safe and being stimulated, not sitting like logs in front of the TV!  If you have to pay, factor the cost of this into your wages, because expensive child care might negate your work all together.

8. Make the Time Up

When you work it is time you are not spending with your children, so make the time up to them.  Nothing says you love them more than spending time with them.  You might take them out for an ice-cream, make a cake with them or even play a computer game.  Anything is OK, as long as you are spending time and interacting with your child (not just watching TV).

9. Find Time for Each Child

If you have several children, you need to spend time with them collectively and especially alone.  You might read to them in bed, or drop one to soccer while you take the other to have a treat somewhere.  Kids need time, and time you invest into their lives individually speaks volumes to them of your love for them.

10. Be Careful of the Lock Key Teenagers

Teenagers can be self-sustaining, meaning they don’t need after school care, but it comes at a price.  Be careful of the time between the end of school and when you arrive home.  What are they doing then?  Who are they with? Ask questions and make sure they are not doing things you don’t want them to do.  A recent study showed most teenager’s first sexual experience did not happen late at night, but after school, before mom or dad got home!

 

So if you are a single parent who works either part time or full-time, have a look at our Top Ten and see if you can apply these principles.  In your situation, with your family and your job, there will be parenting solutions that work!

Parenting for Teenagers in the 21st Century: Top Ten Tips

parenting for teenagersWhen thinking about parenting for teenagers the thoughts can become terrifying.  Teenagers often seem so difficult to parent, and many of the things you might have learned with younger kids seem to lose their power when it comes to parenting for teenagers.

 

So for all you worried moms and dads, here’s our Top Ten Tips about Parenting for Teenagers in the 21st Century.

 

1. Develop Trust both Ways

Trust is a 2 way street, and if you expect your teen to be true to your trust, you need to make sure you are trustworthy also.   Don’t promise them things you do not deliver, like a weekend away or a new game.

2. Teach them about Money

Managing money is something teenagers need to learn (as do we all!). Teach them early about the value of money, and delayed gratification, and teach them to save.  Also, teach them to budget, even on a small allowance.  These principles will never leave them if you do it correctly.  As well, let them experience the cost of the latest fashions and technologies, don’t just buy things for them.  They will soon learn that chasing fashion is expensive!

3. Accept that Communication is Technology

Parenting for teenagers involves coming to grips with the way they communicate, and these days this means learning some technology.  Many teens won’t talk to you directly, or will do so very reluctantly, but what they will do is text or Facebook, so start texting them to have them share openly with you.

4. Monitor Technology

Kids love technology, and hand held devices are so common now, as is social media.  However, you need to make sure that you keep an eye on their social media involvement.  Who are they meeting online, and for what purpose?  Might take a little snooping, but often teenagers are unaware of the dangers that lurk in cyberspace, so monitor it and encourage them to be open about it with you.

5. Let them follow their Interests

Teenagers have interests, and while you cannot let these overtake learning for example, encourage them to explore what interests them and to express it.  Many will choose things like dancing, music, art or computer games, and set strict limits as to the time they can do things, but encourage them in it.

6. Fashion Speaks

Teenagers speak via fashion, so while you don’t want to be the fashion police, you still need to take control in this area.  For teenagers, fashion is a way to express the group they belong to, so while you want them to belong to a group that accepts them, you don’t want them in the wrong group (like Goths or death metal)!  So, if you can, exert some control especially when they are younger over what they wear.

7. The Dating Game

Sex and dating are part of growing up, and your view on the subject is likely to be reflected in your teen.  It is not enough to say, “Don’t do what I do,” you need to model the right behavior in dating. Be very careful of times they spend alone with their peers and while you might encourage dating, don’t place temptation in front of them too often.  Talk openly about sex, and especially about honoring members of the opposite sex.  Tell them you love them regardless of any stupid decisions they might make.

8. Set Limits and Grow Confidence

Setting limits is responsible parenting for teenagers. Curfews are an important part of parenting them, and believe it or not they actually breed confidence and contentment.  Within the boundaries you set the teen can have complete confidence and freedom, so set boundaries and set consequences before they are crossed.

9. Driving you Mad!

Teenagers gaining a license and starting to drive is a scary time for most parents.  It takes a degree of trust to throw them the keys, but make sure that they also are driving responsibly especially the boys.  You could attach a GPS to their car, or perhaps get them to call in to you at scheduled times.  They need to take responsibility for their actions and any damage done, so help them to accept all sides of driving, the joy and the responsibility,

10. Take the Emotion out of Conflict

Your teen is going to let you down at some point.  Be ready for it.  Most importantly, take the emotion out of the situation and show them unconditional love, and you can save the lecture.  Giving them the big lecture achieves exactly zero with most teens, other than the rolling of eyes, so when you dish out the consequences for their actions, do so without emotion.  Avoid the screaming match at all times, because when you scream at each other, you lose.

 

So it is possible to bring your teenagers up with values and respect in the 21st century.  Apply this Top Ten and improve your parenting for teenagers today.

Top Ten Tips on How to Parent after a Breakup

how to parentIf you have children and have experienced a break up you may be wondering how to parent after the event.  Breakups are frequently messy and emotional affairs, and it is often hard to be there for your kids in their hour of need, especially when you are hurting so badly yourself.

Learning how to parent through a breakup can soften the blow of the separation for your children, and surprisingly even for yourself.

So here’s out Top Ten of coping with your breakup, and how to parent your children through it!

1. Speak to Each Child Individually

While you can talk to all of them together, put some special time aside for each one individually.

2. Take into Account their Ages

Obviously younger children will have less of an understanding of what a breakup is about compared to teenagers.  Try to convey the truth of what has happening in the simplest way possible, and ensure they understand.

3. Let the Know the Breakup is Not Their Fault

Kids naturally blame themselves for a breakdown in the family and wonder what they could have done to prevent it.  Make sure they understand that this is between you and your ex, and they may have had a bearing on your decision, but certainly were not the root cause of the breakup.

4. Tell Them they are Unconditionally Loved by Both Parents

Children need to know that they are unconditionally loved, no matter what they do, what they say and no matter what the state of the relationship between the parents.  Convey that your love for them and your partner’s love for them is not dependent on the parental relationship, and although clearly this will affect the way the parent child relationship works, it does not change how much they are loved.

5. Tell Them that They will be Informed of All Important Decisions

Kids need to know that they are in the loop, so don’t try and hide things thinking that you are protecting them.  Keep them informed, even of the tough things, but do it gently and respectfully.

6. Remind Them that they are Your Joy, and You are Listening

Tell them how much you delight in them, and that you are willing to listen to them.  Learning how to parent through a breakup is going to be something that develops, so listen and care for them, and even if their opinions cannot change anything, at least they feel heard.

7. Never Bad-mouth the Ex to the Kids

It is so tempting in the heat of the moment to say bad things about your ex-partner in an effort to blame them for the relationship breakdown.  Avoid this at all costs, because mud thrown is ground lost.  If you think they are a jerk, tell your closest friend maybe, but speaking badly of the ex places the child in a horrible position, a pawn between two fighting parents.

8. Let them Know they Can’t Change your Decision and Bring the Relationship Back

As much as you love your children, you are still responsible for making decisions about your life and your relationships. Kids may think that if they change the relationship could be restored, so make it clear that your decision is independent to anything a child might say or do.

9. Try to Keep Parenting with the Ex-partner

Breakups are never pretty, but try to keep civility and an open channel in the relationship for the children.  Share your concerns and the needs of the children, and encourage your ex to learn how to parent with you, not undermine everything you do.  Explain to them that the kids come first, and they should not be used as a pawn in an adult relationship game.

10. Tell Them you Need their Courage and Help

Let your children know that in this difficult time you need their help and support as much as they need yours, and that together you can work to create a new life.  Encourage your children’s courage to help and face the future.

Learning how to parent during and after a breakup is a process, and every situation is individual.  Despite your pain or anger at the breakup, you can still learn how to parent effectively and create a new life for yourself and your children without your former partner.