1) Children should not be torn down before they have a chance to fly. Be kind to them. Compliment them. Let them know when you are proud and when they are doing well! Refrain from insulting, sarcastic, condescending, or passive aggressive remarks.
2) Children deserve to be heard (they have concerns which feel very real to them just like we do).
3) A child should be able to tell an adult when they disagree with something. This helps build assertion and communication.
It is not talking back or disrespect if it is done in a respectful way.
4) Children should be able to explore their own interests and have a voice in their own learning, even from a young age.
5) Children can’t drive, bring themselves places, or leave when they want to yet there are places they want to go just like you.
For instance, they may want to do to a friend’s house, the beach, the park, the store for a toy or favorite drink, a concert, out for a walk, etc.
These things bring your children joy and also teach them life skills. When possible, help them get to where they want to go as long as they are meeting their expectations such as taking care of their hygeine, completing their chores at home, doing their school work to the best of their abiltiy, treating others with kindness and respect, etc.
6) Give children more breaks to play, get up and move, learn through movement, learn through play, and have hands-on experiences, etc.
Some ideas may include:
-Dress up like a president and act out a moment from his presidency
-Create projects (e.g., make a diarrama of the solar sytem)
-Jumping jacks/jump rope while learning to count
-Field trip to a farm to feed animals, milk cows
-Draw a picture or make a video to show what you learned
7) Use empathy: Even when we don’t agree with a child’s behavior, we can help them understand their own feelings and we can be understanding of their feelings.
When we are understanding and they feel that, they are more open to us, and we can talk to them about ways to cope with their feelings that are respectful of others.
9) Listen when children speak and incorporate their thoughts and ideas into their planned activities.
10) Play sports or do exercise with your child-encourage daily exercise to help with confidence, self-esteem and focus.
Some examples include jumping rope, playing basketball, doing an online video, dancing, walking/running together, or playing soccer together.
11) Laugh and play games with your kids (cards, board games, computer games, make belive, dress up) – of course taking age into consideration
12) Be nice to the people who work with your child and be nice to the parents of your students. When we work together and put our differences aside, our children do better.
13) Teach and encourage your child to do things for themselves to build confidence and self-esteem. There is so much that can be taught at home such as how to pick out clothes, dress oneself, bathe/clean oneself, clean up belongings, organize materials, prepare food (cook with your child), save money, etc. Work with your child to build age appropriate independence in all of these areas.
14) Hug your child often and if they don’t want you to, at least offer/ask and keep trying.
15) When you tell your child you love them, say it with sincerity in your voice and meaning in your eyes.
Comment below with your own ideas!
Rachel Wise is a certified school psychologist and licensed behavior specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education. She is also the head author and CEO at educationandbehavior.com, a site for parents, educators, and counselors to find effective, research-based strategies that work for children. Rachel has been working with individuals with academic and behavioral needs for over 20 years and has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of children and the adults who support them.