Harvard University psychologists studied what parents did who raised good kids. The conclusions they came to are mostly common sense, but often we need reminding. I will be using this study as the basis for Parent Tips from time to time.
Raising Good Kids Tip #1- Spend Quality Time with Your Children
When both parents work outside the home and children spend many of their waking hours with other adults, parents must make a conscious effort to spend quality time, regularly with their children. Just being with them, but not giving them your full attention does NOT count as quality time.
- Quality time involves meaningful conversations. Take turns asking and answering each other’s questions. Listen carefully to what they say.
- Do things together that they enjoy. Have fun together.
- Read to them every day or tell stories to them from your childhood.
It takes work to develop caring, loving relationships with your kids. When they feel loved, they become attached to you. That attachment makes them more receptive to learning the values that are important to you.
Exercise: Try using the following questions as conversation starters.
- “What was the best part of your day? The hardest part?”
- “What did you accomplish today that you feel good about?”
- “What’s something nice someone did for you today? What’s something nice you did?”
- “What’s something you learned today—in school or outside of school?”