The ChangingMinds Blog!
Blog Archive > 08-Jan-17
Bringing up your children - a few things I've
learned (sometimes the hard way)
I had a conversation recently about bringing up children. It's a remarkably
difficult thing. I've got two kids and wish I could have my time again. Here?s
some of the things I learned:
- Teach them values when they are young and, even if they go off the rails,
they will return to these.
- Look for the ?teachable moments? when they are ready to listen and learn. If
they?re not ready, you?ll only be banging your head against a brick wall.
- Listen to their teachers and collaborate with them. How they behave in school
is not necessarily how they behave at home.
- Make sure you have time for them. When they approach, stop what you are doing
and give them full attention. Plan ?quality time? with them.
- Asking them questions works better than telling them what?s what. Drawing out
the answer from them takes longer, but works so much better.
- Watch body language. It can tell you more than they say.
- Keep showing them that you love them, even if you don?t like all the things
that they do.
- Look for the positives and praise these. Say what you like about what they?ve
done, rather than just saying ?well done?.
- Praise the effort more than the result. Encourage experimentation and a
positive, inquiring approach to failure.
- Touch them (appropriately, of course). Hug them. Pat them on the back. Human
contact is much maligned and helps to bring people closer.
- Model how you want them to be. Don?t respond to anger with anger. Be honest
even when a little fib is easy. Show your humanity. Own up to failure or even
the possibility of it.
- Read books on child development but don?t force-fit the child into a
particular model. Understanding people is not simple.
- Beware of things becoming about what you want rather than what they
- Watch yourself in your interactions. Get feedback from others about the
dynamic between you and your kids.
- Do your best for them, It's all you can do. In the end, you have to let
them live their own lives, including making mistakes.
- Use what works. If something doesn?t work, change how you do it or try
- Be endlessly patient and supportive. All this can take a long, long time.
If you have children and are making new year's resolutions, one of the best
resolutions you can make is to change how you work with them to help resolve
problems of the past and to help your children.