Parents

A Few Tips - For What They Are Worth.


Making Time Count

1. Set aside specific times each week when you will spend time with your children. 


2. Use car time to talk with your children. 


3. Plan to eat at least one meal together as a family each day. 


4. Look for things to do together as a family. Get everyone involved in choosing how to spend your time together. 


Reading to Your Child

5. Try relaxing your family's bedtime rules once a week on the weekends. Let your children know that they can stay up late, as long as they are reading in bed. 


6. Help your child start a home library; paperback books are fine. Encourage your child to swap books with friends. Check used book stores. Give books as gifts. 


7. Want your children to be good readers? Let them see you read. 


8. Try holding D-E-A-R times at your house. "DEAR" stands for "Drop Everything and Read." During DEAR time, everyone in the family sits down for some uninterrupted reading time. 


9. Use the "Rule of Thumb" to see if a book is on your children's reading level: Have them read a page of the book aloud. Have them hold up one finger for each word they don't know. If they hold up four fingers and a thumb before the end of the page, the book is probably too hard for them to read alone. But it might be a great book to read aloud.


Building Self-Esteem

10. Have children make a "book" about themselves, with their own illustrations and wording. "A Book About Me" is a great way to help your child see themselves as "somebody." 


11. Help your child discover their roots by talking with family members during holiday and other visits. 


12. Constantly look for ways to tell your children what you like about them, and that you love them. There is no age limit on this. 


13. Let kids overhear you praising them to others. 


14. Help kids learn from problems, not be devastated by them. Many parents don't ever use the word "failure." They may talk about a "glitch," a "problem," or a "snag." But even when something doesn't work out as they'd planned, successful people try to learn something from the experience.


Motivating Your Child

15. In addition to the three R's, children need the four A's: 

Attention, Appreciation, Affection, and Acceptance. 


16. Some researchers believe every child is gifted, if we will just look for the ways. Helping children see their giftedness is very motivating. 


17. Encourage children to read biographies about successful people. As children learn about the traits that made others successful, they are often motivated to adopt those same success patterns in their own lives. 


18. Motivate your children in math by challenging them to figure out how much change you should get back from a purchase. If they get the amount right, they get to keep the change. 


19. Encourage children and expect the best of them.


Building Responsibility

19. Try a simple cardboard box to help make your children responsible for school belongings. Have them choose a place for the box, perhaps near the door or in their room. Every afternoon, their first task should be to place all belongings in the box. When homework is finished, it goes in the box, too. In the morning, the box is the last stop before heading out the door. 


20. Help children understand, and take responsibility for, the consequences of their choices: 


21. Try giving your child the responsibility of growing a small garden, even in just a flower pot. The positive and negative results of carrying out their responsibilities are very clear. 


22. One way to keep children moving in the morning: After they wake up, begin to play their favorite CD. Give them until the CD plays through to get dressed for school.


Reinforcing Learning

23. Encourage kids to collect things. Whether they collect rocks, shells, leaves, or bugs is not important. By collecting, children are learning new ways to make sense of their world. 


24. Estimating is an important math skill. We estimate how much our groceries will cost. We estimate how much time we'll need to complete a project at work. You can help your child learn to estimate at home. Here's one idea: As you're driving, estimate the distance to your destination. Then estimate how much time it will take to get there. Use the odometer or a map to check your work. 


25. Talk about geography in terms children can understand: Go through your house and talk about where things came from. A calculator may have come from Taiwan. Talk about where the wheat for your bread came from. Where was the cotton for your blue jeans grown? Tell your children where your ancestors came from. Find the places on a map. 


26. Show your child that writing is useful. Have them help you write a letter ordering something, asking a question, etc. Then show them the results of their letter.


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