Sunday, July 26, 2009

Parenting Tips For The Busy Parent

As parents, sometimes we forget just how great an impact we make in our children’s lives. It’s rarely what you say, but rather what you do that makes a lasting impression on your offspring. The truth, though, is that no matter what we do, our children still love us. It seems as though they are pre-wired to believe that we are the smartest, most beautiful, and amazing person that exists. So it would seem fair that we make the feel the same in return!So how is that done exactly? By nurturing the whole child! Eye contact, touching, and focused attention are what builds a child's self-esteem. Effective parenting involves making sure that children feel loved and understood. These are fundamentals to a happy, well-adjusted child. In order to achieve this, we have to spend quality time with our kids. Let’s face it, in today’s economic crisis, many of us are working long hours just to make ends meet. Although the quantity of time may diminish, the quality can remain the same... and even increase. Since we constantly have to multi-task, why not incorporate our kids in our day-to-day activities? Use this time to talk to them and understand their inner thoughts. Kids are more introspective than what adults think! Here are some suggestions of some activities you can do with your children:

1. Make food shopping a learning experience. Instead of stopping by the grocery before picking up the kids, plan to occasionally get them first.

2. Involve young children in food preparation. Even toddlers can set the table and measure simple ingredients. Preschoolers can learn food terms like stir, beat, sift, and pour.

3. Make laundry and housekeeping a task that involves the whole family.

4. Don’t just sit them in front of the TV. Watch television with your children, and talk with them about the show. Ask them, "What happen first, next, and last? What was your favorite part? Did you like the way the story ended? Could we have a different ending?" Also have them relate the show to their personal experiences.

5. Have dinner together as a family. You can learn a lot about your child during meal times. Model to them proper communication skills like listening, and reflection.

Just try these suggestions for a few days! You may find that it really works, and that your day does not seem as hectic and disjointed.

Happy Parenting,
Gaétane Borders, MA, ABD

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