Drug testing

15 New Years and Holiday Resolutions For Parents

Have you made your usual New Year resolutions? You know the resolutions where you turn over a new leaf to get fit, steer away from junk food and start a savings plan. While you are reflecting on past bad habits and setting new directions for your personal life consider taking stock of your parenting as well.

A word of warning -- you will probably feel a little inadequate as you look back on some of your past practices. If you are like most parents you nag your kids too much, over-react when they mess up and you probably regret not spending enough time with them. Don't be too hard on yourself. Not only is parenting the world's hardest job but children aren't born with owner's manuals so we tend to rely on trial and error a great deal.

As you ponder the next twelve months of parenthood here are 15 New Year's resolutions to consider. Avoid trying to adopt every idea. Be realistic and choose one or two to add to your list of New Year's resolutions.

1. Be consistent with your discipline. This is a big ask as dealing with kids' misbehaviour tests the patience and resolve of the even the most assured parents. Set consistent limits and boundaries, even for adolescents, and be willing to negotiate and give a little ground. When children refuse to cooperate or break the rules, act calmly and reasonably rather than resort to severe measures to 'teach them a lesson'.

2. Avoid nagging, yelling and constantly reminding children to cooperate. Sometimes it is better to keep quiet than nag or remind children to do their chores, behave or just be reasonable human beings. It is no coincidence that parents who nag frequently complain of 'deaf' children. There is usually nothing wrong with children's hearing. They simply listen to what they want to hear.

3. Focus on children's positive behaviours. If you find yourself continually pointing out your children's misbehaviour and getting nowhere then try to ignore the inappropriate as much as possible. Get into the habit of 'catching kids being good'. Like adults, children respond to favourable comments and are likely to adopt behaviours that gain them attention.

4. Encourage children persistently. It has been estimated that children hear 17 negative comments at home for every piece of praise or encouragement. Exposure to continuous criticism and negative comments can have disastrous effects on children's self esteem. If you are not an encouraging person then linking your positive comments to something you normally do such as saying good night to your children. Then you will know that you have encouraged them at least once each day. That's a good start.

5. Spend more time together as a family. In an era of working parents and busy children finding time for everyone to be home together is increasingly difficult. Be specific with this goal or it will end up on the scrap heap of broken resolutions. Aim to have at least one shared mealtime each week or spend one weekend a month devoted purely to family purposes.

6. Give yourself a regular break. Don't be a slave to your family. Taking time out to do something just for yourself is a necessity rather than a luxury. Revise your household routine, solicit the help of your partner or relatives, or employ a baby-sitter to provide you with some time-off.

7. Plan some time to be with your partner. Whether it is a romantic weekend away or just meeting for coffee together once a week make sure you have an opportunity to spend time with your partner - and don't talk about the kids.

8. Make guilt work for you. Let's face it, parents can find plenty of issues to feel guilty about. Leaving children in child-care, long hours spent at work, and even discipline measures are common sources of guilt. Avoid easing your guilt by being too lenient, spoiling or indulging children with toys or other material possessions. Guilt can be beneficial though; if it reminds you to take time off work to attend a child's school play children or prompts you to hire some domestic help to create more family time.

9. Make a plan to survive those difficult times. Only television families are free of manic times of the day. Mealtime mayhem, morning madness and bedtime battles are common in many families. Identify your difficult time of the day and get super organised and be willing to make yourself scarce if children make unnecessary demands on you at these times.

10. Stay out of children's fights. Brawling siblings disturb the peace so it is difficult for parents not to become involved. Chances are you either plead for peace and quiet, make a ruling to end the dispute, or take sides to lay blame on the child who caused the infraction. If you are tired of interfering in children's battles then leave it up to them to resolve. When your children begin to bicker beat it to another part of the house or boot them outside until they have finished.

11. Control that television set. If the television is continually on in your house then it is time to establish some tight limits for viewing. Ten hours per week is a reasonable guideline for children of most ages. Have a television-free night and let children sample other forms of entertainment.

12. Check your children's computer usage. Computers are rapidly replacing the television as the electronic baby-sitter in many families. To be fair, computers have more educational potential than the television but children predominantly use them for games, unless they receive assistance and direction from parents. Pull up a chair and join in rather than leave children to their own devices whenever they hit a computer.

13. Avoid giving into temper tantrums. Do you give in when your toddler throws himself on his back in the supermarket and thrashes about like a crab? Do you throw your hands up in despair if your teenager stomps off to her bedroom slamming the door behind her when she doesn't get her own way? Tantrums are a potent form of emotional blackmail designed to coerce parents to give in to children's demands. Next time your child throws a major wobbly remove yourself and refuse to give in to such tactics.

14. Avoid the 'good' parent syndrome. Good parents protect children from many of life's difficulties and rob them of opportunities to develop independence and responsibility. They take forgotten lunches to school, pay fines for their children's overdue library books and believe that chores are for parents rather than children. If this sounds familiar let children take more responsibility for their own actions in the coming year.

15. Keep misbehaviour in perspective. You probably think at times that your children or teenagers are the world's worst or that no one else acts up like them. Think again. If your child misbehaves the chances are that he or she is no trailblazer. Many others mess up too. That is little comfort, however, if you have to put up with difficult kids day in and day out. Regardless of how hard things become try to focus on their positive behaviours and work hard to maintain your relationship even if it appears that the effort is all one way. Your persistence will pay off in the long run.

For more great ideas from Michael Grose to help you raise confident kids and resilient young people subscribe to Happy Kids, his fortnightly email newsletter. Just visit www.parentingideas.com.au and subscribe. Receive a free report on Seven ways to beat sibling rivalry in your email box when you subscribe

---

Michael Grose ? www.parentingideas.com.au

Michael Grose - helping you raise confident kids and resilient teenagers

Australia's most popular parenting educator. The author of six books and presenter of over 100 presentations every year

In The News:

A so-far unseen celestial collision could be astronomers' best bet for figuring out just how quickly the universe is expanding.
Scientists have finally unlocked the secrets of a mysterious 2,000-year-old papyrus document.
Prestige Oysters, one of the nation’s leading oyster distributors, is planting 10,000 tons of limestone off the coast of Galveston County. The latest endeavor is the first new reef on a private lease in the area in about 40 years. Last year, Hurricane Harvey caused salinity levels to drop, leading to the widespread death of oysters in the area.
The ongoing eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano and continued lava flows into the sea has created a tiny new landmass off the Big Island, officials revealed Friday.
Photos of the critter stuck in the jar were posted on Facebook.
A silver face mask gilded with gold, a mummification workshop, mummies and sarcophagi have all been discovered at a tomb complex in Saqqara, Egypt, an Egyptian-German team announced this morning (July 14).
Our solar system is in constant motion, with all eight planets — and dwarf planet Pluto — orbiting the sun. Most of those planets are visible from Earth, even to the naked eye. If you track them in the sky night after night, you'll notice that their position changes slightly; as they orbit the sun, they appear to move from west to east against a fixed backdrop of distant stars.
Berlin’s ruins still smoldered as three Soviet military intelligence officers questioned a tall, lithe blonde in 1945. A Red Army lieutenant, the group’s translator, opened the burgundy satin cover of a cheap jewelry box and showed her its contents.
Stargazers were met with a glittering spectacle across the United States Sunday night.
After NASA's Mercury Surface, Space Environment and Geochemistry Ranging (MESSENGER) mission ended in 2015, the crust of the solar system's innermost planet was thought to be roughly 22 miles (35 kilometers) thick. However, one scientist now disagrees.

Children Who Talk to Angels

What do you do when your child begins talking to... Read More

?Gimme? Proof Your Kids: How To Keep Your Child?s Materialism In Check

It's the first day of the summer holiday. Five year-old... Read More

Healthy Eating Alone Is Not The Answer

Along with eating healthier we need to be more active.... Read More

How to Create an Attitude of Cooperation

Having been a parent educator and a PBS consultant for... Read More

Selecting and Hiring Childcare Employees

In today's fast-paced society, many families depend on some form... Read More

Mom, Dad and the Big Brother

Software for parental control is a useful tool, if applied... Read More

A Little Love, Please?

Article based on a friend's experienceI just wanted to share... Read More

Loving Your Step-Children

Loving your step-child can be both simple and hard. It... Read More

Summer Camp Care Packages

Every summer our daughter goes to summer camp. She looks... Read More

Hurting from the Outside - In: The Rise of Self-harming

Ask any teacher or adolescent counselor what the most disturbing... Read More

Revering the Crayon Marks

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine,... Read More

Pieces of Time and Pivotal Moments

Life is comprised of pieces of time sprinkled with pivotal... Read More

Whats Mine Is Mine

You are at the grocery store with your daughter and... Read More

Parenting Skills - Five Ways To Turbo-Boost Your Confidence

The 'phone conversation had nothing at all to do with... Read More

Vision: 20/20 Is Not Enough!

Now is an excellent time to have your child's vision... Read More

Home For The Holidays: Avoid Aging Parents Becoming A Burden

By not planning for the future we guarantee that we... Read More

Teach Your Children - Without Them Knowing They Are Learning!

The great thing about children is they absorb knowledge like... Read More

Homeschooling --- A Superior Education For Your Child

Home-schooling provides children with a superior education. Parents can quickly... Read More

Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

The biggest trick some child predators' are using these days... Read More

How to Make a Time Capsule

Looking for an unusual and memorable gift? Why not preserve... Read More

Bad Company

Here we will come to know who are the most... Read More

Parents ? The No Child Left Behind Law Wont Do Much For Your Child

Past experience with federal education programs predicts that the No... Read More

Parenting Confidence - Who Needs It?

It used to strike me as odd - but really,... Read More

Normal and Logical Consequences

Successful parents have learned to be both firm and kind... Read More

Invented Spelling --- Another Alice-in-Wonderland Public-School Theory

As part of the whole-language (or "balanced") reading-instruction philosophy, many... Read More

best street lights led street light specifications Pete's produce ..