16 Tools for Effective Parents (part 2)


6. Practice reflective listening. When you are working together with your youth to solve a problem,stop to summarize what he or she has said so your youth knows you have really heard. Resist the temptation to criticize or lecture.

Example: When your daughter says, “I hate the way I look. Everything looks dumb on me,” you might say, “Sounds like you’re pretty frustrated over the way your clothes look on you.”

7. Keep one-on-one time. Spending oneonone time alone with your son or daughter can be a special time for both of you. That time together can let your child know you really care.

Example: Take turns with each child in the family for a special time. It could be going out for breakfast, playing a board game, or going for a hike or bike ride together.

8. Use driving time to talk.

Most parents of pre- and early teens spend time driving the child to lessons, ball games or shopping. Children may be more willing to open up in this environment than when they are at home.

Example: On the way to basketball practice, say to your son or daughter, “Tell me about school today,”or ask about a favorite hobby.

 9. Talk about values. Use other opportunities, such as discussions about what happened at school, in the news, or on a TV show, to talk about your values. Don’t assume your children know what you believe and consider important.

Example: After watching a TV program in which a character wrecked his car and the passenger with him was hurt, you might say, “This is an example of why we think it’s really important not to drink. How do you think the character could have handled the problem better?”

10. Hold family meetings. Set a specific time each week with family members to set schedules, plan fun things to do together as a family, and deal with concerns.  Start with compliments and end with a snack or game.

Example: A weekly family meeting, perhaps on Sunday evening, helps everyone get organized for the week. You might use the time to share good things that happened to family members during the past week or activities members are looking forward to. This is a good time to thank each other for specific tasks they have done for the family, as well as make plans for what needs to be done during the following week.Be sure to include something fun, too.

Continued to part 3 …

Source : Kimberly Greder (Iowa state University) from Positive Discipline A-Z: 1,001 Solutions to everyday Parenting Problems by J. Nelsen, L. Lott and H.S. Glenn