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15 Ways to Help Kids Like Themselves

1. Tell me something you like about yourself? Help your child to focus on her many strengths.

2. Reinforce the positives. Give praise, recognition, a special privilege or increased responsibility for a job well done.

3. Define limits and rules clearly. A family council is an excellent place to discuss, explain and get a sense of ownership to the rules. Discuss what consequences will follow if the rules are not followed. Don't have a lot of rules, maybe four or five, but be consistent at following them.

4. Give your children responsibility to make the house a home. Everyone in the family should be responsible for some household chores daily. Responsibility makes them feel valued and part of the team.

5. Don't re-do their jobs. If you expect perfection, it is too easy for them to quit trying or else hope that you will step in and "save them" when it gets difficult.

6. Laugh at their jokes and listen attentively when they are talking to you. Being fully present when you are with your child is the only quality time there is.

7. If they don't fit in, teach them basic social skills. There are a number of behaviors that can be learned to help the "left out" child to fit into the group more easily.

8. Show them that what they do is important to you. Talk to them about activities and interests. Help them to find a hobby or interest that they excel at. Go to their games, presentations and activities.

9. Help them to set goals. Teach them to break each long-range goal into manageable bites. It is important to succeed at something ever day. Acknowledge your own successes so they can be more aware of progress they are making.

10. Don't punish them for telling the truth. Discuss problems without placing blame or attacking the child's character. Worry less about "who did this?" and more about "Let's get this mess cleaned up." If a child knows he has made a bad choice but doesn't feel attacked, he will feel more secure in trying to find solutions.

11. Create opportunities to give service and to develop tolerance for others with different values and backgrounds. These experiences can help a child to see himself in reference to the rest of the world and to be more understanding of the needs of others.

12. Give them opportunities to make decisions. Help them to see that each decision has pros and cons and may have consequences for themselves and others. If they want to do something that is clearly harmful, explain why you cannot allow them to act on it.

13. Teach them to deal with money and time wisely. When children are organized and responsible for their homework and allowance, it breeds self-assurance and personal responsibility.

14. Be a good role model. Let your children know that you feel good about yourself, but also teach them by example that mistakes aren't final but learning experiences.

15. Start and end each day on a positive and loving note. Give lots of hugs, kisses and high fives. Let them know on a consistent basis that your love is unconditional and that you are proud of them as a member of the family. You may occasionally be disappointed in their actions or choices, but will always be available for support.

? Judy H. Wright, Author, Speaker and Life Educator www.ArtichokePress.com

This article was written by Judy Wright, parent educator and author. Feel free to use it in your newsletter or publication, but please give full credit to the author and mention the contact information of JudyWright@ArtichokePress.com, 406-549-9813.

You will find a full listing of books, tapes, newsletters and workshops available on finding the heart of the story in the journey of life by going to www.ArtichokePress.com

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