1. Begin teaching them greatness the day they are born. As parents we can love our little ones so much that we end up over-protecting and spoiling them. We think of how small and sweet and innocent they are. But they are also amazingly brilliant and resourceful and we must never under estimate how smart they are. A great way to begin to teach children about the greatness within them is to use The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System.
2. Don't be easily manipulated. Children learn early how to manipulate! Their job is to “GET THEIR WAY”. They learn quickly to throw temper tantrums, cry, scream and nag. Giving into your child’s tantrums hurt's the child, and never helps them. In life they are not going to excel in school or get that job or promotion or anything else they want by throwing temper tantrums. As parents we need to teach our children at very young ages that a good attitude and hard work is the key to getting what you want in life.
3. Be Consistent. Do What you say you will do. Your children depend on you to tell them the truth. When you promise a consequence, follow through. Your children must learn to trust YOU, before they can learn to trust themselves. Being consistent with your child is the key to raising a well-behaved child!! IF IT'S "NO" NOW, IT'S "NO" IN 5 MINUTE'S, AND IT'S "NO" until you choose for it not to be NO, not until they can wear you out. Be consistent.
4. Give your child what they need, NOT what they want. Don't give your child everything you did or didn’t get when you were a child. I hear a lot of parent's say "I'm trying to give my child what I never had." Well, that's fine if you never had basic clothes, shoes, a roof over your head or an education. Those are the thing's that matter. We have become a society of consumers that think we HAVE to have endless material things to be happy. That's wrong! We must teach our children delayed gratification. We must teach them to work and strive for things they want in life. We give our children so much they don't appreciate anything! If you want to give your child too much, give them too much TIME. I've never seen a child who didn't long for their parent's time and affection. The true meaning of happiness comes out of what we give to others, not what we receive. Give your children endless opportunities to serve and give to others and you will find that your children end up very rich in all of the important things in life. Children need to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They need to play. Go to the park. Walk to school. Bike to the store. Teach your child to eat a rainbow everyday. Better food means better health.
5. When a child says "Leave me Alone!" - DON'T. When their sweet babies become mean, arrogant, entitled teenager's a lot of parent's disconnect. As compelling as that might feel, disconnecting from your children once they become teenagers is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If your child has an attitude and tells you to "Leave me alone" or "Get out of my life." (and most teenagers will behave disrespectfully at one time or another) Remember, they do not mean what they say, even if they think they do. They actually NEED YOU more when they are teenagers than they did when they were small!
6. Shine bright. Be a great role model. Your children depend on you to be that guiding light, and strong, stable parent they truly need. Don't give up on them, and DON'T BACK DOWN! Your rules are still your rules and your values are still your values. Hold strong and eventually your children will grow to respect you. Don't allow yourself to feel guilty about standing your ground! Your children must learn to be respectful of you, your home and their other family members in order to ever learn to respect themselves.
7. Know your child’s friends. Knowing who your child is hanging out with and where their going any tine day or night is a critical element in raising great kids. Kids that know their parents will be checking up on them and care about their choices and safety are less likely to be easily seduced into harms way. Know what's happening at school and with their friends. Be an involved parent. Even when your children don’t want you meddling in their lives, do it anyway. Get involved, stay involved and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. They will think you are old fashioned and annoying and that will prove you are doing it right.
Know your child. This probably sounds a bit strange when I say, Know your child, but each child is unique, with different talents, skills, personalities and struggles. Know your child's strengths and weaknesses and help them navigate the mine fields in life that are consistent with those strengths and weakness. What are your child's strengths, talents and interests? What are your child's greatest dreams?
Use my Primary Colors Personality Test to understand more clearly your personality, and the personality of your child(ren). It is easily and fun for the entire family. Then use The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System to help you focus on how best to strengthen, encourage, inspire and educate your child to insure their success. _______________________________________________________________________________________
In 2008 Dawn was selected by Oprah Magazine and The White House project as one of 80 emerging women leaders in the nation.
Dawn is the CEO and Founder of The Heart Link Women’s Network, with locations in US, Canada and Australia. She is also the architect of the Primary Colors Personality Test and Insight Tools, founder of OverJOYed Life and creator of the Happiness Curriculum. She also serves as executive director of the Executive Training Resort in Arizona.