Adolescents in middle school (Quick tips)

Build self-esteem in your children…

•Kids who feel good about themselves are much less likely than other kids to turn to illegal substances to get high and/or to engage in risky behaviors.
•As parents, we can do many things to enhance our children’s self-image. Here are some pointers:
–Offer lots of praise for any job well done.
–If you need to criticize your child, talk about the action, not the person. If your son gets a math problem wrong, it’s better to say, “I think you added wrong. Let’s try again.”
–Assign do-able chores.A 6-year-old can bring her plate over to the sink after dinner; a 12-year-old can feed and walk the dog after school. Performing such duties and being praised for them helps your child feel good about himself.
–Spend one-on-one time with your youngster.Setting aside at least 15 uninterrupted minutes per child per day to talk, play a game, ortake a walk together, lets her know you care.
–Say, “I love you.” Nothing will make your child feel better.

Other Tips:

•You are NOT your child’s best friend!

•Ask questions but LISTEN mostly!

•Turn the TV, Radio, DVD, PC’s OFF!

•Have dinner together as often as possible!

•Take short and long drives with your kids and LISTEN to what they are talking about!

•You are not a failure as a parent if your child does not attend an Ivy League school

•Say “NO”when appropriate!

•If you threaten, then follow through!

•Be involved!

•Listen to their songs…ask questions!

•Watch their TV shows!

•Read their magazines!

•Level yourself to them…not the opposite!

•Celebrate and praise ALL passing grades!

•Is it your need or your child’s to be successful at everything

•RECOGNIZE WHEN YOU ARE WRONG AND APOLOGIZE!

Commentary by ACS Executive Director, Dr. Philippe Rey

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