6. Talk explicitly about your values and why they are important to you.
The values we stress on our kids will help them navigate situations that test them. Reinforce by saying, "The (your last name here) are kind/helpful/have integrity/ honest/trustworthy".
But we should also be prepared to help our children interpret how the world takes in that value.
Sometimes, certain values are not "valued" by their peers, especially during the adolescent years. Take honesty for instance. When classmates cheat in class, honesty may only ostracize the honest kid aka "squealer". We should also be ready to guide our kid on how to navigate situations like these without making them resent that value.
If the parents have different values, it's ok. It shows diversity and how other people will not always have the same values you do. What's important is the parents shows teamwork.
7. Talk about why you make certain decisions based on that value.
This is where stories and fables like Aesop's Fables come in. It is important to talk to our kids about why a particular value was incremental in making that decision. Stories hold power, they also make lessons easier to remember.
8. Resist lecturing.
It's so hard to hold back when you have all these ideas ready to spew out from your mouth in the form of a lecture, but hold it in! The best you can do is to ask your child, "What happened?" Sometimes, that's all a child needs, a parent's genuine concern. But this doesn't mean you just let things be.
Time the teaching moment when your emotions have settled down and you have processed the entire situation in an objective manner.
Coach Pia says we should share our own views sparingly unless the child is in harm's way. So in the case of non-negotiables (drugs, danger, accidents, etc) do not back off! Assert yourself.
9. Make it relevant to their world. Take it away from being theoretical.
Let's say you want to teach your kid independence.
A school project comes up and your child says, "Teacher said I should do this myself!"
Aha! The perfect situation to teach independence, right?
So you let her do it herself. And when she proudly shows her self-made project to you, you summon all the self-control you have to resist the urge to fix that lopsided roof, that loose button, or that really awkward sentence in her school essay.
Yes, that's teaching them independence. You let them do it themselves, even if you can already see a C in the horizon. That project won't give them an A, and you accept that.
Put a premium on effort and enthusiasm. You can't teach independence via a story or by the book. You've got to let them stand on their own feet literally.
BetterMe: Attaining and Sustaining Loving Energy in the Family, was made possible by DMCI Homes and Lysol.
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