By Lauren Kolacki
Children need to be both nurtured and disciplined. Many times, in a family, one parents tend to be the nurturer while the other lays down the law. This may work in correlation to your family structure but it is not always healthy. If you constantly must be the “bad cop” your children can grow to resent you, it is important possess both traits to develop a healthy relationship.
Lead by example. Allowing your children to be present when dealing with difficult situations, grants them the opportunity to see how you make decisions and handle stress. This illustrates a picture of what they aspire to be.
Build up Positives. Applauding your children’s accomplishments helps to boost their confidence. Be sure to not only praise them about sports or grades but more so their character. When your child is compassionate, determined, considerate, etc. remind them how proud you are.
Show up. Life gets in the way sometimes; you’re busy at work, the car needs service, you’re exhausted. These are all temporary situations. Being there for your child can a ect him/her for a lifetime. Go watch their sporting events, be there at their school shows, show up to parent-teacher conferences.
Love your significant other. Loving your spouse shows your daughter how she should be treated and shows your son how to treat a woman. Your relationship is a model of how intimate relationships work – the handling of differences, showing affection and respect, managing your own emotions.
Spend Time. Stanley Greenspan, the famous child psychiatrist and pediatrician, created the concept “Floor Time,” where you dedicate somewhere between 15 minutes and an hour strictly to your children, no distractions. This time could be spent doing anything of their choice; watching TV, playing a video game, going for a bike ride, etc., allowing them the chance to be in control.
Apologize. Do not be afraid to apologize when you overreact or are wrong. This displays compassion, sensitivity, humility; all favorable characteristics to pass on to your children.
Make memories. Be sure to make a big deal out of the big milestones and the same big deal out of the little things. Sunday breakfast, birthday dinners, etc. These are things your children will remember forever, these memories that made them feel special, that taught them their self-worth.