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Positive Parenting Tips for Summer (page 3)

By — American School Counselor Association
Updated on Jul 26, 2007

Parental conflicts: Two wonderful words can be used when your child wants to engage in an unending argument with you or chooses to defy your authority. They are "nevertheless" and "regardless." For example:

Parent: John, please pick up your room and then feed the dog.
Child: But Mom, Sarah never has to do any chores.
Parent: Nevertheless, I want you to pick up your room and feed the dog.

By using these simple argument deflectors you can avoid the confrontation and negotiation and keep the child's focus on the issue. These deflectors can be used to avoid arguments in almost any situation. In resolving conflicts at home, especially those regarding how thoroughly your children have accomplished their chores, it helps to specify the task while being direct and to the point. In this way, there is no confusion. You will have the greatest success if you keep the statements short and direct, and you child will feel more successful upon completion. As always, don't forget to praise a job well done.

Family meetings: At least one night a week should be set aside for family meetings. These should be open forum in that everyone should have an opportunity to tell how they feel. A family meeting isn't the time to punish or discipline but rather to listen to your children's feelings and concerns and to ask them to listen to yours. Only through open, honest communication can a family increase its positive relationships and grow together.

Parenting is hard work. There is no instruction manual for children when they are born. Therefore, we must try new things, hone our skills, learn from and support each other and give ourselves a break when we have rough days. It helps to have a positive attitude.

Remember these two phrases from Janet Lane and Henry Chester. Lane says, "Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important."Chester says, "Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money, power and influence."

Trish Hatch, Ph.D., is assistant principal, Moreno Valley High School in Moreno Valley, Calif. She can be reached at thatch@mvusd.k21.ca

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