Tips for Parents
Educating your child is a team effort! We do our best during the 7 hours they are with us each day, but ultimately, we recognize that you, as a parent, are your child's #1 Teacher! Knowing how to handle situations isn't always easy even for the most seasoned parent. This article sums up some of the important stuff!
10 Tips for Effective Daily Parenting
1. Hug your child.
Feeling loved and safe helps your child build confidence and a sense of worth
Never withhold affection. Your child needs to hear "I love you". Reassure your child that you ALWAYS love him
even when you don't like certain behaviors
2. Monitor your child
It helps ensure safety. It also shows you care. Play with your child often. As children get older, know where
they are, what they are doing and who they are with. Get to know your child's friends and their parents.
3. Notice and reward good behavior
Give your child praise and attention for good behavior. It helps encourage more of the behavior you want.
Avoid "rewarding" only bad behavior with your attention. Also, be sure you have realistic expectations for
behavior. Learn about what children are capable of at different ages.
4. Be consistent
Consistency is reassuring to your child. It's also an important part of the discipline. Set and stick to regular
routines for bedtime, meals, and homework, for example. Always follow through with consequences
you've set for unacceptable behavior. Consequences should be fair. They should, as much as possible, be
related to and in proportion to what your child did. Be sure your child understands your expectations and
rules ahead of time. Set clear, simple rules.
5. Set a good example
Teach with actions--not just words. Let your child see you: putting your values (such as being kind, honest, respectful, fair and hard-working) into practice. Handling strong emotions and disagreements or other problems in healthy ways. For example, before you react to something your child does, stop and think. Choose your words and actions with care.
NEVER hit or shake your child.
6. Challenge your child
It will help him or her develop confidence and independence. Give your child chances to try new things, solve problems
and learn from mistakes. Slowly give him or her more responsibilities, such as chores. Help your child set goals for
him or herself. Praise your child when he or she sticks with and works hard for a goal. Be sure your child knows you
love him or her no matter what.
7. Talk with your child
Stay connected. Be aware of what your child is thinking, feeling and doing. Ask about what he or she learned
at school and did with friends. (Avoid simple yes/no questions). Really listen. Try to understand what your child is
telling you. Give your full attention. Turn off the TV for example. Avoid judging. Show respect for your child's
ideas and opinions.
8. Foster good health
Each day, make sure your child gets: 3 healthy meals, plus healthy snacks - breakfast is key. Plenty of sleep -
regular bedtime routines can help. At least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, including
aerobic and muscle-and bone-strengthening activities, if he or she is age 6 or older. Younger children should
be active in age-appropriate ways. Make sure your child gets all needed vaccines and regular dental and health
9. Read together
Read to young children. Let older children read to you. Ask teachers for more tips for school success.
10. Take care of your own mind, body, and spirit
It helps keep you energized and is a good example for your child. Ask friends and family to help give you
regular breaks. Get professional advice on parenting issues if you need it.
**from infancy into adulthood, your child learns by listening to what you say - and watching what you do.
**Remember to make a positive influence on your child. By doing so, you will be shaping them into wonderful adults and setting the course for his/her life
**YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!
**No parent is. Just work on being the best you can be. Remember, good parenting doesn't happen by accident.
**Strong parenting skills - along with love, understanding, and patience and time spent together can help you guild a strong relationship with your child and guide your child toward health and happiness.
-Materials from the Channing-Bete Company
Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention
It is essential that our parents understand that they are the child's most important teacher and that the message of our parents must be unequivocal. don't use drugs. - President George W. Bush
It has been shown that the earlier drug use is initiated, the more likely a person is to develop drug problems later in
life. Youth substance abuse may lead to many other problems that affect not only the child, but also the child's
family and community.
Parents are the most important role models in their children's lives. What you say and do about drugs matters a lot.
When it comes to the choices your children make. You can:
*set a positive example and get involved in your children’s lives;
*get involved in their activities, know their friends and know where they’re going and what they’re doing;
*create clear, consistent expectations and enforce them
*talk early and often about drugs
*Discuss the consequences of drug use; and show you care enormously about what choices your children make about drugs
*Children learn by example. They adopt the values you demonstrate through your actions. The tips contained here will help you keep your child drug free, to lead by example and provide you with tips for keeping your child drug free.
TIPS FOR YOUR PRESCHOOL CHILD
*It may seem premature to talk about drugs with preschoolers, but the attitudes and habits that they form at this age
have an important bearing on the decisions they will make when they are older. At this early age, they are eager to
know and memorize rules, and they want your opinion on what's 'bad' and what's 'good.' Although they are old enough
to understand that smoking is bad for them, generally they are not ready to take in complex facts about
alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Nevertheless, this is a good time to practice the decision-making and problem-solvingskills that they will need later on.
Here are some ways to help your preschool children make good decisions about what should and should not go into
Discuss why children need healthy food. Have your child name several favorite good foods and explain how these
foods contribute to health and strength.
Set aside regular times when you can give your son or daughter your full attention. Get on the floor and play with
your child; learn about his or her likes and dislikes; let your child know that you love him; say that he or she is too
wonderful and unique to take drugs. You'll build strong bonds of trust and affection that will make turning away from
drugs easier in the years to come.
Provide guidelines like playing fair, sharing toys and telling the truth so children know what kind of behavior you
expect from them.
Encourage your child to follow instructions and to ask questions if he does not understand the instructions.
When your child becomes frustrated at play, use the opportunity to strengthen problem-solving skills. For example, if
a tower of blocks keeps collapsing, work together to find possible solutions. Turning a bad situation into a success
reinforces a child's self-confidence.
Whenever possible, let your child choose what to wear. Even if the clothes don’t quite match, you are reinforcing your
child's ability to make decisions
Point out poisonous and harmful substances commonly found in homes, such as bleach, kitchen cleanser and
furniture polish, and read the products warning labels out loud. Explain to your children that not all "bad" drugs
have warnings on them, so they should only eat or smell food or a prescribed medicine that you, a grandparent or a
caregiver provides them.
Explain that prescription medications are drugs that can help the person for whom they are meant but that can harm
anyone else, especially children, who must stay away from them unless they are prescribed properly for them.
TIPS FOR YOUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILD
A child this age usually shows increasing interest in the world outside the family and home. Discuss how anything you
put in your body that is not food, water or juice can be extremely harmful, and how drugs interfere with the way our
bodies work and can make a person very sick or even cause them to die. (Most children this age have had real-life
experiences with the death of a relative or a friend's relative.)
Explain the idea of addiction—that drug use can become a very bad habit that is hard to stop. Praise your children for
taking good care of their bodies and avoiding things that might harm them. By the time your children are in third grade,
they should understand that:
foods, poisons, medicines and illegal drugs differ;
medicines prescribed by a doctor and administered by a responsible adult may help during
illness but can be harmful if misused, and therefore children need to stay away from any
unknown substance or container; and
adults may drink in moderation but children may not, even in small amounts because it’s
harmful to children's developing brains and bodies.
Before leaving elementary school, your children should know:
the long-term consequences of drug use, including addiction and loss of control of one’s life|
the reasons why drugs are especially dangerous for growing bodies; and
the problems that alcohol and other illegal drugs cause not only to the user but to the user's family and the world.
Questions elementary school children frequently ask about drugs:
Why would people want to put bad things in their bodies?
One answer might be that they might not realize how dangerous the bad things are; another is that they are not taking care of themselves. Sometimes people start using a drug just to see what it feels like, but it can turn into an addiction (like cigarettes) and it's very hard to stop using it.
Why can’t I taste that “grown-up” drink?
A small amount of alcohol has a much greater negative effect on a child’s body than on an adult's, even a small amount can sicken a child.
TIPS FOR YOUR MIDDLE SCHOOL OR JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL CHILD
The year your child enters middle school or junior high school is both an exciting and challenging time. They are little
fish in a big pond and often want desperately to fit in. Because your children may now see older students using alcohol,
tobacco, and other drugs and may think they are cool and self-assured, your children may be tempted to try drugs too.
Drug use goes up dramatically in the first year of middle school or junior high.
To help your children make good choices during this critical phase, you should:
Make sure they are well-versed in the reasons to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
Get to know their friends by taking them to and from after-school activities, games, the library and movies (while being sensitive to their need to feel independent)
Volunteer for activities where you can observe your child at school
Get acquainted with the parents of your children’s friends and learn about their children’s interests and habits. If it seems that your child is attracted to those with bad habits, reiterate why drug use is unacceptable.
To make sure that your child's life is structured in such a way that drugs have no place in it, you should:
If possible, arrange to have your children looked after and engaged in the after-school hours if you cannot be
with them. Encourage them to get involved with reputable youth groups, arts, music, sports, community service, and
Make sure children who are unattended for periods during the day feel your presence.
Give them a schedule and set limits on their behavior.
Give them household chores to accomplish.
Enforce a strict phone-in-to-you policy.
Leave notes for them around the house.
Provide easy-to-find snacks.
Get to know the parents of your child’s friends. Exchange phone numbers and addresses. Agree to forbid each others' children from consuming alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in their homes, and pledge that you will inform each other if one of you becomes aware of a child who violates this pact.
Call parents whose home is to be used for a party. Make sure they can assure you that no alcoholic beverages or illegal substances will be dispensed. Don't be afraid to check out the party yourself to see that adult supervision is in place.
Make it easy for your child to leave a place where substances are being used. Discuss with your child in advance how to contact you or another designated adult in order to get a ride home. If another adult provides transportation, be available to talk to your child about the situation when he or she arrives home.
Set curfews and enforce them. Weekend curfews might range from 9 p.m. for a fifth-grader to 12:30 a.m. for a senior in high school.
Encourage an open dialogue with your children about their experiences. Tell your child, “I love you and trust you, but I don's trust the world around you, and I need to know what's going on in your life so I can be a good parent to you."