Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tips from Parenting Network: Long-range life skills for children

Hi parents, 

These great tips came from the PRO-grant workshop with Beverly Cathcart-Ross last month. It was a very informative evening and she offered many useful tips to help us become “great parents”. Thank you to all parents who were able to join us.  For anyone interested in borrowing it, the school has a copy of her book, Raising Great Parents. 

Long-range Life Skills for Our Children
The following outlines the life skills that parents consider most important. Please take a moment to reflect on these skills. At the end, you’ll find an activity for parents to add anything else that you’d like on your wish-list for your child(ren).

Life Skill - Independence
How parents can help…
 We want our children to have the inner confidence that they can handle whatever comes their way.
 You can help your child(ren) start building this skill immediately by inviting them to make decisions for themselves. Toddlers can decide what clothes to wear and what cereal to eat in the morning.
 Let a child experience struggle and they will learn that they can cope!

Life Skill - Dual respect (for self and others)
 Respect is vital to parenting in a democracy.
 Children are not born knowing how to be respectful. It’s something they learn and modeling is still our best tool.
 You can start off on the right foot by creating a family atmosphere of respect for the child and respect for yourself.

Life Skill - Capacity for close, caring relationships
 As parents, we want our children to have fulfilling lives.
 There is nothing more valuable than experiencing loving, caring relationships.
 Help build this skill by encouraging your child(ren) to love and believe in themselves.

Life Skill - Social interest
 All human beings have the inherent capacity for social interest.
 As parents, we can encourage our children to contribute, and to be cooperative and caring towards others in our families and communities.

Life Skill - Capacity for problem-solving, conflict resolution
 As we all discover, relationships have their moments of conflict. This is normal and natural.
 Whether it’s at home, in the classroom or on the playground, the ability to resolve conflict is a crucial skill for our children to learn.
 A lot of parents are uncomfortable with conflict and confrontation in their lives. It is a skill that is never too late to learn.

Life Skill - Internal motivation
 Most parents unknowingly use a lot of external motivation in influencing their child’s behaviour.
 Threats, bribes and fear of punishment are all external motivators.
 We’ll talk about different things that we can say to foster internal motivation in our children.

Life Skill - Strong self-esteem
 Everyone wants their child to have strong self-esteem.
 Self-esteem simply means how the child estimates himself.
 We’ll be reviewing three critical elements in our children’s self-esteem: Do they feel loved unconditionally, valued and capable “as is”? If they can say yes to all three, they are in great shape!

Life Skill - Happy, healthy disposition, sense of humour
 Parents often say that, above all, they want their children to be “happy and healthy”.
 It’s easier to achieve this lifestyle when one has a sense of humour to help keep mistakes in perspective.

Life Skill - Willingness to take risks, sense of curiosity and adventure
 Many parents see the value in a child who is curious, adventurous, willing to take a risk, and make mistakes.
 Children with these skills can learn to develop resourcefulness, be adaptable, and enjoy their innate creativity.

Life Skill - Responsibility
 It’s vital that our children be responsible for their choices in life.
 We can help our children with this skill by not protecting them from life or from the results of their own choices and decisions.
 We can also give them age-appropriate responsibility and ways to contribute to the family.

A Skills Wish-list for My Child(ren)
You may wish to collaborate on a skills list with your partner, or complete this activity individually and then compare notes afterwards! Specifically, list the skill and then things I can do to help my child develop this skill. 

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