MORAL IQ TIP: Make sure you are positive, affirming role model and surround your child with people of high character.
Our most important role is raising our kids to become capable, well-adjusted human beings. Here are nine tips adapted from my book Parents Do Make a Difference that enhance our parenting success in reaching that critical goal.
- The formula for raising well-adjusted kids has two parts: nurture and limits. Is your parenting style evenly balanced between the two parts or are you emphasizing one element more than the other?
- Good parenting is not about making sure your child is happy. A big part of it is about helping him or her learn to deal confidently with setbacks and adversities that are an inevitable part of life. Constantly rescuing kids from their frustrations does not help them learn critical coping skills.
- Unspoiled kids have learned to not always put themselves first, but instead to consider the needs of others. Are you emphasizing the virtues of empathy and kindness with your child?
- Seriously ask yourself, “Am I raising my child to be self-reliant and fiscally capable?” One of our biggest jobs is to help our kids learn to live successfully on their own. Doing so means they will need to learn how to manage their own money and not expect handouts from us.
- Add “no” to your vocabulary and don’t feel guilty about using it with your kids. Always giving kids what they want does not help kids learn that you don’t always get what you want in life.
- Help your child recognize that it really is better to give than to receive by practicing it.
- The best gifts to give kids are intangible; your child needs your presence more than your presents.
- Parenting is not a popularity contest! Your child looks to you to be his/her parent more than his/her friend. There are many times that you will have to make choices that aren’t always the choices your child will like. Once you make them, stick by them; you are always in charge.
- Remember: you do make a difference! How your child turns out is greatly determined by what you prioritize and model while he/she is growing up.