10 Parenting Tips

I thought these sounded good:
  1. Have Dinner Together - studies show that families who have relaxed dinners together have kids with better grades, fewer behavioral problems, and fewer eating disorders.
  2. Be the "PO's" - That's texting shorthand for "Parent over the Shoulder". Respect privacy, but don't let that stop you from asking questions & peering into e-mail inboxes. And learn the lingo.
  3. Be Absurd & Subversive - What's more boring than a parent who plays by the rules all the time? Be the parent who breaks the rules -within reason- to expand your kids' imagination. Shock your child by putting stuffed animals on the ceiling fan and turning it on. Have a frenzied backyard food fight, climb a tree, have fun with your kids.
  4. Let them Fall Down - Studies on resiliency show that if a child has had to deal with difficult -but not tragic- life circumstances as a child, he or she will actually develop better coping styles as an adult.
  5. Catch your Child Being Good - Shaping positive behavior is efficiently done through rewarding positive behavior rather than punishing bad behavior.
  6. Lower your Voice to Lower the Boom - If you want to get a youngster's attention, drop your voice to almost a whisper to make your request. Works on grown-ups too.
  7. Make Siblings Sing their Arguments - Defuse the big fights over small things by insisting they sing instead of shouting. More often than not, the fight ends up in fits of laughter.
  8. Be Persistent with a Picky Eater - Keep putting lima beans and cooked carrots on their plates in small portions, even if they don't eat them. Eventually they'll eat it. Salad Bars are popular on college campuses.
  9. Ask about "cyberbullying" - Talk with your young internet user about stories you've read or seen about nasty emails, embarrassing photos, personal information that was shared or sent around to other kids. Make sure they know how to react when (cyberbullying happens) - don't respond, but save it, block it, and report it to a parent or other adult.
  10. Supervise their internet use - You can block websites, or pay for SafeEyes that automatically controls how much time your child spends online, lists web sites, sends alerts, and records and limits chats. See internetsafety.com. While you're at it google your kids' name to see what pops up. You may be surprised.
-Tips taken from Buzz McClain of McClatchy Newpapers, IdahoStatesman 9/22/09

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