Changes in societal norms seemingly have todays moms and dads getting home later and later from the office or other obligations, which can make raising wholesome kids seem like an insurmountable task. Kids and teens who don’t have a strong parental influence will usually find it elsewhere. Thus, parents who hope to instill strong values in their children must find ways to do so while managing their own busy lives.
The first-place parents should start is in their own home. Kids won’t take seriously any parental advice if one or both parents don’t adhere to it themselves. Setting a good example, then, is paramount to parenting. This includes apologizing for parenting mistakes. This helps to establish a strong level of trust that will allow parents to seize upon everyday experiences (both their own and their children’s) as teaching moments.
With trust comes the type of open communication that is needed to effectively lead. Kids often hesitate to open up to their moms and dads for fear of judgment or repercussions. Yet when trust exists, both sides can speak openly about things like the types of media kids are exposed to and challenges they face from their peers. It also helps to use discipline as a pathway to learning.
Effective parenting can be especially difficult for those who are divorced or separated. Family separation often turns well-intentioned parents into “Disneyland” dads and moms who chose to spoil and indulge their kids. Maintaining the shared goal of raising kids right (even after divorce) is vital for those hoping to avoid this. A family law attorney or family therapist may be good source of assistance when help is needed.
Ultimately, there is no substitute for spending quality time with children. Face-to-face interaction keeps kids’ attention focused on the present and away from other influences. Plus, it shows them that their parents value them above their other responsibilities. Those parents who cannot offer an abundant quantity of time should focus on its quality. Valuable life lessons can be taught in just a few minutes by those committed to nurturing and caring for their precious children.