I read a lot. I’m not your average book worm, though; I tend to read less to escape and more to learn. Today I have a really great round up of must read parenting posts packed with really good (read sanity saving) information for you. I hope you find them as useful as I did.
There are so many hopes and dreams that come along with being a parent; one of mine was raising confident and successful children. Here’s a post from NYTimes.come that made me stop and think about the things I’m doing right and wrong in my parenting. Like anything in life, it’s always good to keep growing and improving; parenting is no exception.
Raising Successful Children
It has become extremely important to that my kids are accountable. Over the years I’ve heard more than my share of “It wasn’t my fault” and “I didn’t do it” to avoid the consequences that might come along with owning up to a mistake. I’ve always told my kids that if they do something wrong the penalty will be far less harsh if they’re just honest and accountable. I’ve found that holding my kids accountable to an established standard makes all of our lives better. Some of those standards in my house include a morning routine that includes having breakfast, taking care of pets, getting themselves dressed and brushing their teeth before school. Even more important is the after school routine, which includes them hanging their coats in the closet, grabbing a snack and doing their homework. Getting homework out of the way immediately after school when they’re still in the learning mind set clears up the rest of the night for other things and helps avoid meltdowns later in the evening when they’re tired and not in the mood to get it done. When done with their homework it’s expected that all books, folders and papers that need to be signed get put back in their backpacks so that everything they need the next morning is ready to go. There’s nothing worse than having morning drama because someone can’t find a library book or folder; and because coats are always hung up and boots, hats and mittens are always taken off in the mudroom; there is rarely an issue of not being able to find something in the morning. It’s this accountability and expectation setting that helps not only their lives run more smoothly, but my own. I love this post by St. Pete Patch on raising accountable kids.
5 Tips for Raising Accountable Kids
My youngest daughter is smart, sweet, loving and extremely independent. I love her strength and determination, but with that fierce independence comes a trait that is difficult for me as a parent. She can be, and often is, extremely argumentative. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not an attention seeking behavior; she’s just one that questions and doubts everything and will argue her opinions without hesitation to family members. Fortunately she knows this type of behavior isn’t acceptable at school because she’s a wonderful student and her teachers consider her to be a good role model for others. If only she listened to me as respectfully as she did her teachers. Sigh. I’ve scoured the internet looking for the best ways to parent an argumentative child and the one piece of advice that is boldly consistent is to not allow them to engage you in an argument. I often have to walk away and simply say (and sometimes repeat over and over) “I will not argue with you, Abby.” Kids feel a sense of power when they are able to engage their parents in an argument. If you take that away, and don’t let them push your buttons, it’s not going to work anymore. Here’s a nice post by Parenting Simply.
3 Simple Ways to Handle Your Argumentative Child
My daughter Bella, who’s almost 11, is a wonderfully kind and compassionate child. I’ve honestly never met a child as sincerely altruistic. Every single day I am amazed by the way she loves everyone around her so unconditionally. The problem is that Bella is extremely sensitive emotionally, which makes parenting a little tricky. Here is some good information about parenting a sensitive child from About.com.
Parenting a Sensitive Child
In my house their has always been a strong focus on academics. My kids just know (because I’ve drilled it into their little heads) that academics come first; social fun and sports are a luxury and come second. Although I think balance and a well rounded childhood is extremely important, if a child has an overwhelming schedule, it can be hard for them to really excel academically. When my boys, who are now 19 and 21, were young; they were always expected to do well in school, but I allowed them to be involved in everything their little hearts desired, which lead us to having insane schedules. Year round sports kept them busy not only during the week, but on the weekends, too. As a parent, I wanted them to be able to participate in sports with their friends and find what it was that made them feel confident and successful. In hindsight, their schedules were far too busy. Family meals became almost impossible. Life was about running kids to games and practices almost constantly. It’s much easier with my daughters to focus on academics by limiting their extra curricular commitments to just one or two things they really love to do. Here’s a great post from Dr. Laura Markham on How to Raise a Motivated Student.
How to Raise a Motivated Student
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