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6 Hot parenting strategies to pay attention to

18 January
Posted by:
Michael Grose

Six great parenting strategies that you must pay attention to in 2012.

1. Develop good sleep hygiene and sleep habits.

Make 2012 the year that you learn about good sleep hygiene and sleep habits. Recent research from the land of the long, white cloud links increased sleep levels with a decrease in kids’ anxiety and depression levels. It’s simple. Sleep more and you’ll generally feel better and learn more too.

There’s quite a science around sleep now, but much of it is common sense. Keep bedrooms screen-free & cave-like; wind down 45 minutes before bedtime; maintain relaxing bed-time rituals; get up at the same time each morning and have a slight catch-up on the weekend but not so much that it throws the sleep clock out. There’s more to it than that, but this will do for starters.

2. Develop cyber smarts & social media savvy.

We’ve moved way beyond cyber safety! We need to now raise a generation who are savvy about how they use social media. Too many kids pour their hearts out online, unaware that the genie is out of the bottle and can’t be put back. Alternatively, they communicate too much before rapport is established. The boundaries are easily blurred. To be safe they’ve got to be smart. So do parents!

3. Build practical self-help skills.

Why is it that 20somethings who currently live at home do very little to help out? Well, that would because they’ve never had to contribute in the first place. From the age of two you need to develop self-help skills (dressing, feeding themselves, cleaning away their cups, etc). Make this the year that you STOP DOING THINGS FOR KIDS THAT THEY CAN NORMALLY DO FOR THEMSELVES! Then when they are still at home a decade or two from now they’ll at least be able to make themselves a decent meal and wash their own clothes. Well, maybe! While I’m on that subject, let’s replace 21st birthdays with something more meaningful such as a 25th birthday party, when they are closer to real autonomy.

4. Make home a sanctuary for siblings.

Leave competition at the front door and don’t allow it to impact on sibling relationships. Teasing can be damaging. Continuous negative comments from siblings are more damaging than the same statements from adults. Negative statements about appearance and ability from siblings become part of a child’s self-talk. Stamp out sibling put-downs, promote social interest and sit down to sort out disputes between siblings.

5. Swap sedentary for movement.

Look for opportunities to get more movement into your children’s lives. Swap walking for driving them to school, a friend’s house or the shops. Swap playing outside for sitting inside. Swap an active game for a passive game. Swapping activity for passivity is good for kids’ mental and physical health.

6. Bring partners into your parenting.

Parents don’t raise kids well in isolation, yet there has been a significant shift in recent years to an individual style parenting. If you have a teen you need to develop joint positions around developmental issues such as introducing alcohol; going to parties; curfews, sex and other issues as they arise. Even better, before they arise. That means you should work together before they reach adolescence.

Working with your child’s school means that you develop a relationship with at least one teacher. Make this a year that you side with others – your partner (if applicable), your child’s school and follow a parenting mentor.

For more ideas to help you raise great kids in 2012 go to
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