Author: Dr. Katharine C. Kersey
With Valentine's Day this month the feeling of love is in the air. Tidewater Parent asked Dr. Katharine C. Kersey, University Professor of Early Childhood Education and founder and Director Emeritus of the Child Development/Child Study Centers at Old Dominion University, for ways parents can show children love.
Demonstrate Respect Principle Always treat your child the way you want him and others to treat you.
Modeling Principle Model the behavior you want. Show the child, by example, how to behave.
Make a Big Deal Principle Rain on the grass and not the weeds. The behavior your give your attention to - increases! Focus on the responsible, considerate, appropriate behavior.
Connect before you correct Show your child that you care - build the relationship before you try to correct his behavior.
Validation Principle Acknowledge (validate) his wants and feelings. "If I were you, I would feel that way too," (because you would have his reasons for feeling that way).
Good Head on Your Shoulders Principle Tell your child that he has a good head on his shoulders and that you trust his judgment. This will make him want to live up to your expectations.
Belonging and Significance Principle Help your child to feel like he belongs and is important to the family. Give him jobs to do that don't get done by anyone else. Have family traditions that require his attendance.
Allow Imperfection Principle Overlook the small things. Let him be human. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.
Apologize Principle Apologize easily and quickly when you goof. "I wish I could erase what I just said." Don't make your child apologize. He might be lying or think that an apology erases the deed.
Ask the Child Principle Ask your child for advice or input. Children have wonderful ideas and good perception.
Availability Principle Set aside 15 minutes a day to be with your child one-on-one. Let him choose how to spend your time together. It is the best investment you'll ever make.
Bake a Cake Principle Spend time in the kitchen together. Let your child help you. It is a great way to build happy memories.
Family Meeting Principle Let your children brainstorm together. Give them an opportunity to reflect, listen, empathize and problem-solve. Listen more than you talk.
Divide & Conquer Principle Separate children and give each a chance to be alone with one parent.
Have Fun Together Children love to see us laugh and know that they bring us joy and pleasure. Find ways to lighten up and enjoy them.
Love Principle When in doubt, hold the child, hug him and tell him how much you love him. Say "I need a hug," rather than wait for him to initiate it.
Privacy Principle Never embarrass your child in front of others. Always move to a private place to discuss unpleasant things.
Remember Who the Grown-Ups Are It is your job to make your child "marketable." Don't let your child talk you out of using your better judgment.
Stay Healthy Principle Take good care of yourself - physically and emotionally. Eat well; get enough sleep and plenty of exercise. Get your needs met from other adults and not from your children.
Positive Closure Principle At the end of the day, remind your child that he is special and loved. Focus on what was good in the day that is past and find something to look forward to in the day that is coming.
Source: Tidewater Parent Magazine