January 31, 2008

Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting

I am often asked what parenting books I recommend. This book, by Laurence Steinberg, is one of my favorites. It's a straight forward book that offers parenting strategies that can be easily implemented. Dr. Steinberg has extensively studied parent-child relationships and he's also a parent himself which allows him to both emphasize and be encouraging.

Get a copy and let me know how you feel about his parenting principles.

January 30, 2008

Are You A Helicopter Parent?

Parents want the best for their children. They want their children to be happy and not feel disappointment or be in pain. This is a commendable goal but some parents become overly-involved in their children's lives and hover close by whether their children need them or not.

Overly-involved parents don't allow their children to develop their own capabilities. By being in control of every aspect of their lives; helicopter parents send the message to their children that they're not capable of making decisions and solving their own problems.

The result? Children become overly dependent or angry and resentful. Take a step back and examine your parenting style. Are you hovering or are you standing in the wings offering support and encouragement?

January 15, 2008

Make The Monsters Go Away!

Almost every child has gone through a phase of being afraid of monsters. They see them in the shadows of their room while lying in bed, they think they're in the closet and under the bed. It can be very exhausting for a parent to constantly reassure their child that there are no monsters in their room.

I have an easy, inexpensive suggestion. Buy a can of air freshener, preferably lavender scented as it can have a calming effect. Make a label that reads, MONSTER SPRAY; wrap it around the can and secure it with glue or tape.

During your child's bedtime routine (your child DOES have one I hope) spray the room while your child repeats the phrase, "I'M NOT AFRAID!." It should help ward off his fear and make bedtime much easier.

January 7, 2008

It's A New Year!

The holidays are behind us and the kids are back in school. Did you make any resolutions for the new year and if so do they involve parenting?

The beginning of a new year is a good time to evaluate your parenting skills. Ask yourself what presented the most challenges to you during the past year when it came to being a parent? Select one of those challenges, I suggest the one that occurs most frequently, and make it a goal to find some new ways to deal with this challenge.

That might involve reading a topical book (I can suggest some, simply post a comment or send me an email) taking a parenting class or simply asking friends and neighbors with children how they have successfully dealt with similar challenges.

Once you have some new insights, set simple goals for achieving results. If you try to make too many changes all at once you may become frustrated and give up. Then practice, practice, practice your new skills. With a little perseverance you will be able to make 2008 a year of better parenting.