Great kids are confident, competent young people who function
well in varying environments and situations. They are enjoyable
to be with and grow to be assets to their communities and families.
While many factors contribute to successful parenting, there
are steps parents can take to ensure the likelihood of producing
a happy, creative, secure individual -- in short a GREAT KID!
respectful at all times Discipline is communicated
and enforced without humiliation, and differences are resolved
with no use of put-downs, insults, or name-calling. When
correcting inappropriate behaviors comment on the unacceptable
action not the child. For instance, a child hits their
friend, instead of "No hitting--you're a bad girl!" say "You
many not hit--hitting hurts!" The message is: hitting
is not acceptable -- I care for you, but not what you did.
- Spend time with your children Children require
constant education and support to grow into capable young people. Kids
do not develop in a vacuum. Dads and moms who are available
to play with their infant, read books with their toddler, help
siblings to problem solve a rivalry issue, monitor homework,
or answer preteen and teen's questions about important social
issues, not only provide support and information but convey the
message, "You are my top priority."
- Set and enforce clear behavioral limits
and guidelines Great
kids need guidance and structure. They want parents who
will teach them right from wrong, then reiterate those limits
over and over. Often children will test limits just to
see if the parent will stand firm, when parents are consistent
they give their child(ren) a sense of security in knowing what
to expect. Children with no clear limits feel out of
control and insecure, they will push and push until someone
- Provide opportunities for your children
to be responsible Great
kids are encouraged to be responsible for their actions, possessions
and to be an active participant in the family. They have
age-appropriate jobs and household chores. For example,
cleaning their rooms (a 3 year old will do a different job of
this than what is expected of a 5 or 7 year old), a 4 year old
can set the table, a 6 year old might be responsible for feeding
the pets, a 10 year old can mow the lawn or wash the car, and
of course all can help prepare meals and keep the house picked
up. Be sure to fully teach the child how to perform their
jobs, then be available to supervise and offer help when needed. Lastly,
applaud and praise a genuine effort or a job well done.
- Create a secure and loving home environment Children
flourish in homes that are stable, calm and secure. They
know they are safe, that adults will be there when they need
help. They feel secure knowing that gentle voices and
hands will assist them during life's many ups and downs. Also,
they know that laughter and love will be plentiful.
- Talk openly with your children Great
kids thrive when families communicate regularly. Discuss
family issues and limits calmly and respectfully, ask for your
of view. Avoid yelling, nagging and lecturing. Do
not try to solve problems during an argument. Instead,
wait until you have calmed down, then discuss the issues in
a constructive way. Be open to listening to the child's
thoughts and concerns, often they will come up with an appropriate
mini-crisis of your child's day when shared with you may seem
minor, however, a parent's willingness to listen to the day
to day issues encourages them to come to you for advice or
when their problems get tougher.
- Tell them they're GREAT Great
kids feel loved by their parents. They feel independent,
secure and appreciated for their individual differences and
personal strengths. Encourage
and support your children to grow and experience new challenges
based upon their interests and talents. Continual hugs,
kisses and smiles help develop a strong sense of self and let
children know they are on the right track.
- Enjoy your children They can be a constant source
of energy and renewed spirit. They will only be young
for a short period of time, use it wisely -- for them and yourself!
From the book The Practical Parenting by