LIVE BETTER WITH (GRAND) CHILDREN


7 simple ideas for more harmony in your family

1. Treat your children with respect and dignity.
Would you like to be talked to in a condescending manner or to be ordered around with undisguised annoyance? How do you feel, when someone underestimates your intelligence? Let us be honest, you are likely to end up resenting or protesting such treatment. Young persons are quite aware of their depence on the adults in their lives. They need our help to gain control over their body, learn our lifestyle and language and acquire the skills to handle the equipment for life's necessities. The endeavor requires our continued goodwill love, attention, assistance and guidance. There is no necessity whatsoever to address children with an incomprehensible baby language, haphazard commands or desperate attempts to control. They are sentient beings, responsive to love, appreciation, respect and kindness. Stable affections, care and patience go a long way. As a result they will return our love and respect, rather then incidentally spilling their milk or interrupting our coffee break.

2. Allow children to decide for themselves and give them choices, when possible.
Make your environment safe enough, so they do not get hurt exploring it. Store your breakable items and childproof your home, and you will not ave to make them anxious about getting hurt. (When my three year old son insisted on using a knife to help me cook, I used to give him a butter knife and have him "chop" cucumbers for our salad. His feeling of pride and accomplishment was priceless - and today he is a fantastic hobby chef!)Confidence is an important commodity in any area of life.

3. Designate a certain time period of the day or week, when you allow your little one to decide your actions.
Let your child invite you to a place of his/her choice (their room, the aprk, the playground) and have him/her boss you around as they please for the agreed upon time span. In early years this practise might have you discover a hidden talent of building Legos or playing Crazy bones. Later on, my teenage son used to opt for giving him company watching late-night boxing fights. Now it is my turn for pride, as he taught me to appreciate and gain some knowledge about the sport. Nevertheless, next time you need some cooperation from your child, it might be much easier to obtain.

4. Give your children the freedom to own their possessions without interference.
How would you feel about your husband / Wife constantly telling you to be carful of the ring or watch they gave you? Does it feel like an infringement on your freedom if someone else tries to tell you what to do with your things? A child has similar experiences with us. He or she might even resent possessing things, if we cause the to associate possessions with being controlled. So they destroy their doll or their toy car. Or they cut up a piece of their clothing. Don't we throw or give things away, when WE dont like them anymore - not when we are told to?

5. Determine a stable code of conduct.
Life requires understanding to feel secure. An invariable set of basic rules gives your child prediction of the consequences of his>/her actions. Do not waver, unless reason requires to make adjustments. Let them know, that in order to do your job well, you need them to respect the things which are important to you. If grown ups did not habe privileges, children would lack incentive to grow up.

6. Give them competence.
Success in life requires thousands of skills. Observe your children and see what they are trying to do or have an interest in. Embrace their eagerness to learn. Help them to acquire the skills for what they are trying to accomplish. Instruct them, have them practise until they feel confident. Give them praise and let them be in charge of their newly acquired skill and ability. It keeps them active and focuses their interest on their own activities and the world around them, rather than touch screens and virtual realities.

7. Let them contribute to you, the family and others.
A child has so much to give! Accept his/her attention for you. It may start with a funny gesture to entertain you with, affection, the carefree spirit of youth, or a breakfast cooked for you on Sunday morning. (I still count a box full of cutest carfts-objects, a portfolio of precious drawings and paintings, as well as many memories of adorable prepared coffee and srambled eggs among my most prized possession!)

Let your children assume responsibilities and praise them (even for the attempt!). Explain how the family works and operates and what is needed from them. Allow them to be in charge of some family necessities. Confidence in one's value is the only security in life.