9 Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults
Connection Comes First
- Creating a close and connected family culture that promotes positive, lifelong relationships is the most important thing we can do for our children.
- Social connections, more than athletic or academic accomplishments, predict happiness and success.
- Forming a positive, nurturing relationship with your child will help ensure your child’s future happiness and success in all areas of life.
- Feeling appreciated and accepted for who they are, and knowing that parental love is not conditional on performance, is critical to your child’s well-being.
- Our kids need to clearly get the message of belonging at home: “You are valued and needed here.”
- To foster closer connections and better relationship skills, parents and kids need to unplug and spend time connecting face-to-face.
Catch Them Doing Something Right
- Punitive, negative parenting methods don’t work to produce lasting behavioral changes.
- Kids make better choices and behave better when guided by a caring, trusted adult.
- We cannot talk logically to our kids when either of us is upset or emotions are running high. Let the calm begin with you!
- Kids need connection before correction.
- Identify and focus on strengths.
- Clearly articulate the desired behaviors you want from your child.
- Focus on privileges, not punishments.
- Say yes as often as you can.
- Catch kids doing something right.
- Remember to keep conversations about the issue (specific behavior) not the child.
- Use the 80-20 Rule in conversations: The child speaks 80 percent of the time.
- Find your child’s (and your) prime time.
Positive Practices Produce Optimistic Kids
- An optimistic outlook predicts success in the areas of health, happiness, and relationships.
- Optimism leads to more resilience in the face of inevitable setbacks.
- Optimism can be encouraged in a positive culture.
- Compliments are an optimism-producing practice.
- Practice what positive people do and say, and you’ll be more positive.
- Take fun seriously.
- Simple daily practices can create more positive thinking, words, and actions.
- Going outside is a positivity practice.
All Kids Can Be More Independent (Even Clingy Homebodies!)
- Kids need to separate from us and become independent.
- Homesickness can be challenging.
- Letting our kids go can be hard.
- The importance of communicating with strangers.
- Ask “What are you going to do?” to teach problem solving and decision-making.
Grit Is Grown Outside the Comfort Zone
- Discomfort is necessary for growth.
- Everyone has comfort, growth, and blackout zones.
- What kids say isn’t always what they feel.
- Five Ways to Grow Grit
- 1Learn self-reliance and responsibility.
- 2Experience mistakes and failures.
- 3Talk about, set, and reach goals.
- 4Face new challenges.
- 5Feel discomfort.
- Three Things to Get Kids out of Their Comfort Zone
- 1Let them do it alone.
- 2Practice “baby steps.”
- 3Remember the “blessing” of the least favorite activity.
- Embrace hard emotions and teach a growth mind-set.
- Young adults still need to grow their grit.
Kids Are More Capable Than Parents Think They Are
- Kids learn to do things only when we let them learn how.
- Mistakes and natural consequences are great teachers.
- Kids need to do chores.
- Being able to delay gratification is an important life skill.
- Teach kids to ask, “What else can I do?” so that they are finishers.
Kids Thrive with Structure
- Kids thrive with structure, routines, and clear expectations.
- Evaluate your family’s pace of life and if your activities reflect your values.
- Communicate your values to your kids.
Make It Cool to Be Kind
- We need to focus on raising kinder humans.
- Kindness makes us happier, healthier, better people.
- Kids who feel loved, valued, and appreciated don’t feel the need to put others down.
- Distinguish between behaviors that are rude, mean, or actual bullying.
- Kindness is undervalued. We need to make it “cool to be kind.”
- Make kindness part of your family life.
Coach Kids to Better Friendships
- Social skills do not come naturally to all kids. They need to be taught.
- Children’s friendships are vitally important to their well-being.
- You can be your child’s “friendship coach.”
- Skills needed to make friends:
- 1Greetings and introductions
- 2Basic conversation and invitation skills
- 3How to find friends and be a good friend
- 4Understanding friendship reciprocity
- 5Celebrating each other’s victories
- Assess your child’s social skills strengths and deficits.
- Coaching Techniques:
- 2Instruction, Discussion, Role-Playing
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