The National Mental Health Association recommends that parents set aside at least 15 minutes a day to listen and talk to their children. Research shows that outcomes are generally better for children whose parents actively engage them in daily conversations about their lives in and out of school. As a result, these kids tend to have better grades, are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, have higher self-esteem and are more likely to attend college.
The following are additional tips for more effective parenting:
Really Listen. Listening means understanding and communicating by giving undivided attention and by encouraging the expression of feelings. Have real conversations when you both listen and respond/react to each other.
Encourage Family Activities. A sense of belonging is developed by doing things together such as social activities as well as household chores.
Discipline Constructively. It is important to give clear directions and to enforce limits on behavior. Use a positive approach "Do" rather than "Don't".
Be Consistent. Discuss and post house rules. If they change, announce the change.
Be Reasonable and Understanding. Be willing to hear the child's point of view.
Be Authoritative. Trust your own common sense. If you are not sure, announce the need for some time to think. Then do not hesitate or be indecisive.
Develop Mutual Respect. Model basic trust by being honest and sincere yourself. Insist that all family members treat each other with respect. Apologize when you err.
Your EAP is here to help
If you are troubled by a particularly difficult parenting or family issue, you can contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for help.