Positive Parenting Tips: How to Show Kids They Matter
Give them choices. Although you may want everything to go a certain way, kids should be a part of family decisions, too. Sometimes - maybe many times - not everyone is going to agree on things. Let the kids decide what to do whenever possible. This shows them their thoughts matter to you. When kids know they matter, they may be more inclined to respect your wishes for decisions you must make.
Respect their opinions. Even when their opinions differ from yours - and they will sometimes - respect what your kids think. Things don't always have to go their way. But let them be individuals. Sooner or later your child is going to grow up. He needs to know his voice matters to be respected in the world outside your home. Even inside the home, your child's opinions and insight should count.
Give them freedom. There are limits to this for safety reasons, of course. But give your kids some freedom. They don't need to be right next to you at every moment. Trust them to do age-appropriate tasks without your assistance. It can be a parental instinct to be a mother hen or a father lion. That's part of being a parent, but if we don't let them do some things for themselves, they will never learn.
Let them teach you about their favorite things. You may be old and wise, but kids have so much to teach us adults. Listen. Let your child know that her interests are important to you. Sometimes what kids are interested in don't line up with those of their parents. Still, you need to be supportive of your child's individuality. Don't try to force your interests on him and don't attempt to keep him from his unless they are harmful in nature.
Show affection even when they misbehave. Even when kids misbehave, they still deserve your love. Discipline must take place. But that doesn't mean a hug isn't in order. In fact, that may be exactly what the doctor has ordered. Show your child his feelings matter to you by still showing affection, even in difficult times.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network