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Use This Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

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This Parenting Skills Blog offers practical parenting tools that develop character, respect, and caring in your children and transforms your home into a center of love.

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Parenting Tips: How Listening Helps Parents Find Out What Teens Are Doing

Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

Parents, what do you do when your teen won't talk with you? Today, my friend, Kim will share her parenting tip.

Kim's Parenting Advice: Welcome Friends!

Kim is a single mom. She's raising a teenage son and daughter all by herself. I admire both her strength and wisdom. Kim says,

"Welcome friends. If your kids shut down and won't talk with you, make sure their friends are welcome. You'll find out what they're into if you listen to their conversations from the next room."

Kim is a non-intrusive gentle mother. She's no dummy either. I think her tip has merit, especially with all the dangers facing teens today. If you don't have an idea of what your kids are into, how can you guide them? Why not learn what you can when friends are around?

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What Do You Think?

Is it OK to listen in on your teens conversations? What do you advise? Please comment in the comment link below.

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Parenting Tips: One Big Miskake Parents Make with Their Kids at Little League Games

Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

Have you ever been at your kids' Little League Games and felt embarrassed for one of the kids? Did her parents yell insults?

Beau and Rosalie's Advice: Remember the Goal of Sports!

This parenting tip come from my friends, Beau and Rosalie. They raised two excellent sons because their followed their own advice.

Like most kids the boys played sports. Beau and Rosalie witnessed many parents losing their tempers at Little League games. This is their advice:

"Remember the goals of sports. Rather than yell and criticize your kids at Little League games, remember the goals of team sports. Instead of yelling insults, use phrases like, 'Good job! You played well, especially when you...'(Fill it in), and 'Way to go!'"

Beau and Rosalie's parenting tip reminds me of a client I counseled who pressured his kids, yelled at them during their games, and criticized them afterward. One child dropped out of sports even though she had lots of natural talent. The other child seethed with anger even though he achieved great success. Both kids are now adults. Neither child comes home to visit. Their dad feels regret but it's too late.

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What Do You Think?

Is it OK to belittle your kids at sports events? What do you advise? Please comment in the comment link below.

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Parenting Tips: How to Teach Kids Responsibility, Respect, and Self Discipline with Money

Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

Are your kids responsible with money or do their pockets have a hole? Kids respect money after they've spent it and have no more. Read what my friend, Betty, did to help her kids achieve self-discipline with money.

Betty's Story about Teaching Her Children about Money

Betty says, "Teach your kids about money. When my kids wanted to borrow money, we set up a contract. The kids had to put in their money first. They borrowed the rest from us. We set up a payment chart for paying us back by completing chores. Today, as adults, they handle money well."

I appreciate Betty's tip. She's right. Her children handle money well. So do her grandchildren. Betty's method emphasized self-discipline, responsibility, and a respect for money.

What Do You Think?

Is a contract with kids for borrowing money a good idea? Please comment in the box below.

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Parenting Tips for Secrets, Self Esteem and Your Child

Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

Parents, does your child confide secrets in you? Do you keep them? Do you build her self esteem with honest praise? Find out how this mother kept secrets, praised, and boosted her children's self esteem.

This parenting tip comes from one of my favorite people, Aunt Bubs. She raised 4 exceptional children. Aunt Bubs and I spent many a dinner at our favorite restaurant. I picked her brains because of her success with her own children. Here is her tip:

Praise, Respect, Self-Esteem, and Secrets

"Praise children to build their self-esteem. Respect their secrets too. If they tell you something and ask you to keep it a secret, do so.

Aunt Bubs' words remind me of a parent I counseled who had a talking problem. Whenever her son shared a secret, she told it to her circle of friends. When he became a teenager, he stopped communicating with her. He found out she was telling everything to her friends. He felt he couldn't trust her. She lost out because he stopped talking. She lost her ability to guide him too.

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What Do You Think?

Is it better to share your child's secrets or to keep them? Please comment in the comment link below. 

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Teaching Kids to Disagree with Respect ~ A Man's Advice

Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

Do your kids treat you with respect or do they throw a fit when they disagree with you? If they throw a fit, look inside for parenting tips.

This tip comes from my cousin, Bob. Bob's leadership skills prompt corporations to seek him out to head their companies. His abundant social skills and ability to speak the truth as he sees it, make him a remarkable man. He's bright, upbeat, and speaks respectfully when projecting his viewpoint. Here is Bob's tip:

Parenting Tip: Teach Your Kids How to Disagree

"Teach Your child how to disagree with respect. Don't accept anything less than respect."

Parenting Skill: How to Teach Your Kids to Disagree with Respect

I love weekly family meetings because you can teach your kids without lectures, yelling, or blaming.  

Consider role playing a disagreement like when to do homework. Let's say you want your child to do homework right after school. Your child disagrees. A role play might teach your child to repeat what you said, then give his or her point of view. Here's an example:

A Role Play for Disagreeing with Respect:

Parent ~ "Please do your homework right after school."

Child ~ "You want me to do my homework right after school and I'd like to relax and play after school. I promise to do homework right after I do the dinner dishes."

Parent ~ "Let's try having you do your homework right after you do the dinner dishes for one week. If I have to remind you, then I expect you to do it right after school. Do you agree?"

Child ~ "OK."

Of course, there are many different responses possible for this role play. The point is, as the parent, you take the leadership role in teaching your child how to disagree with respect.

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What do You Think?

Do you agree that using family meetings to role play disagreements is a good idea? If you don't role play good behavior or use family meetings, what stops you?  Please comment on the comment link below.

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Raising Respectful Kids: This Father Knows How

Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

Raising respectful kids isn't a mystery.  It will take patience and self-control. It's not always easy when you're frustrated.

Parenting Skill: Treat Your Kids with Respect

This parenting tip comes from my brother-in-law, Ron. Ron knows something about kids. As you'll see, he's raised six. They've all turned into fine adults so I trust Ron's advice. Here it is:

Treat your kids with respect. "After raising six children I've learned how important it is to treat children with the respect I want from them. I believe it is good to allow children to have their say as long as they do it respectfully."

2 Parenting Tips: Solutions for Reducing Parent Frustration

Do you ever hear parents yell at their misbehaving kids in the grocery store? Do you ever wonder how they express their frustration at home? I do. I feel sad that parents get so frustrated. Yet it's easy to yell when respect is forgotten.

First Parenting Tip:

Count slowly to 10 before opening your mouth. With each number take a deep breath.

This tip is old and powerful. It gives you time to think and the breaths calm you down. When you open your mouth, speak with the voice of reason. Your children will respect you and so will you.

Second Parenting Tip:

Look at your children and count to 3 in a slow, firm, and reasonable voice. 

If your children don't control themselves by the count of 3, send them to Time Out (even if you're in the home of a friend. Bathrooms are my favorite places).

One more thing, one of the most important life skills to teach children is self-control. This is why I like time out so much. It gives kids time to calm their emotions and think about their misbehavior.

Conclusion for Raising Respectful Kids:

I believe Ron has an important tip. If we want our children to respect us and others, we must show them the respect we want from them - even when we're upset.

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What do You Think?

Do you agree that making the effort to keeping your emotions under control helps you gain respect? Or do you think parents should yell and show kids how upset they are? Please comment on the comment link below.

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3 Parenting Tips for Parents of Kids Who Need Attention

Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

This parenting tip is from an extraordinary marriage counselor and friend, Claire. She is a mother too. Here is her advice:

Give your child your full attention. "Listen without an agenda. Give your child all the time s/he needs to develop his/her thoughts."

Parents, if you're living at the speed of life, this is not easy. It's difficult to listen well. You have so many things on your mind. It's easier to discount your child's thoughts. You might even tell yourself, 'My kids' thoughts are not that important.'

3 Parenting Tips with 3 Questions~

Consider asking yourself this 10~10~10 Rule:

1. Will not listening to my child be important 10 minutes from now?

2. Will not listening to my child be important 10 months from now?

3. Will not listening to my child be important 10 years from now?

One more thing ~ If you develop the habit of not listening, why would your child ever seek your advice? Imagine the teen years, who will your child be listening to then?

Finally, when you're tempted to attend to your many tasks and not your child, consider Claire's advice. You'll be glad you did.

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What Do You Think?

Would you like more fun time listening to your child? Would the 10~10~10 rule with its 3 questions give you that time? Please comment in the comment box below.

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Parenting Advice~How Good Communication Avoids Arguments with Kids

Parenting Skills Blog for Character, Parenting, and Family Solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS

The following parenting tip is from my friend, Marilyn. In a nearby school district, Marilyn started an alternative high school for dropouts. The school district gave up on these kids. Thanks to Marilyn's hard work, many graduated from her school. Because Marilyn is an expert, I asker her for a parenting tip. Here it is:

Avoid arguing and talking too much. "Rather say, 'You may have a point.' Listen and consider what your child has to say but still remember you are the parent."

If this tip were followed from toddler to teens, I believe it would make a huge difference in mutual respect and communication.

Can you imagine how difficult it would be if your child argued with you from childhood onward? Can you imagine dealing with your arguing teenager? Finally, can you imagine your fatigue, irritation, and feelings of helplessness from all that arguing?

Marilyn gives us three helpful solutions:

1. Listen and consider what your child has to say.

2. Say, "You may have a point."

3. Remember you are the parent.

I believe it is important to give your child respect by listening and then acknowledging his or her point. Yet, when it comes to decision-making, remember you are the parent. You have the authority, the power, and the responsibility to choose what's best for your child.

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What Do You Think?

Is it better to argue with kids or not? What do you do? Please comment in the comment link below.

 

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