Monday, January 21, 2013

The Five Keys to Raising Great Kids

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The Five Keys to Raising Great Kids

I have been asked a few times to share what I think is the key to raising well-adjusted, and well-behaved kids. I have received many compliments from people regarding my children and I feel I am blessed with having such great kids. I would like to give my opinion about what I think it takes. I have a son who is 17 and a daughter who is on the verge of 15. 

1. Nature versus nurture. That's the big debate. First, you have to believe that your child is inherently good.  She has been loaned to you for a short time. She is her own person and you are there to provide her with guidance, love and discipline. Each person comes into this world with their own personality, strengths and weaknesses. It is a parent's job to help bring out the best and ignore the rest. What you focus on expands, so it is best to focus on the positive. 

2. Parents need to be united in the way they raise their children. Kids will pick up on any conflict between their parents and learn quickly how to play one against the other. If Mom and Dad don't agree on how to discipline little Johnny, he'll learn quickly how to conquer and divide, meanwhile getting his way while Mom and Dad fight it out. Communication between the parents is key, and NEVER argue in front of the kids about this. 

3. If you want well-behaved teenagers, you have to have to start with well-behaved children. Setting limits, following through with consequences and knowing who their friends are, are very important aspects of guiding them on the right path. Know where your kids are. Start with these key concepts, and you can't go wrong. 

4. Learn from your mistakes. Your child and your partner will tell you when you have done something wrong in the parenting department. For example, if your child tells you that another child mistreated them at school, don't overreact. They may not feel like sharing with you again if you threaten to call the other child's parents and the school principal. Instead, let him tell you what he'd like done about it. Get advice from good books and from people you respect.

5. Help build your child's self-esteem and confidence by offering praise only when it is genuinely deserved. Too much praise can give a child a false sense of mastery. Encourage them to do better, no matter what level they are at. Teach them it's okay to receive criticism. Help them grow by giving them new challenges and greater responsibilities. Give them privacy. Trust them. Listen. Tell them you love them. Tell them when you feel proud. Give them hugs and kisses.

I could go on and on, but I'll stop here. 

What do you think it takes to have great kids?

Have an awesome day,

Angela G. Gentile

1 comment:

Tony said...

Agreed on all points. All five points here speak to humility, self awareness and hard work in the parents. Lo and behold, embracing our integrity translates to good parenting. Who knew?