In Part 1, we looked at three wars parents should win with their children. We mentioned doing chores, having reduced screen time, and more reading time. The journey towards raising well-adjusted individuals who will better impact society is long. Just hang on in there. Today, we are going to look at three more areas parents need to win in a war with kids. They are:
Gosh, this is a struggle for almost every parent. Kids have preferences. Some would literally puke if you make them eat stuff they don’t like. But don’t give up. Keep teaching them the value of each class of food and encouraging them to try it. One day, they will embrace it. Also, try to eat as a family. Everyone eating at the same time should be a family tradition. For some people, mealtimes are best for wholesome family discussions. For others, the regularity of it can be therapeutic. It reinforces the truth that nothing is more important than family.
Teaching kids about contentment and breaking the ‘Me First’ attitude can be tough. Some call this a lesson in gratitude and delayed gratification. Kids need to learn that the world does not revolve around them and they should be grateful for their lot or whatever they receive in life. Learning this will kill the entitlement mindset most children these days are growing up with. Teach them to always say thank you, even if they get something they did not want. Periodically make them do other people’s chores, make them go last on a line, give up the remote control or screen time occasionally, etc. Teach them to live within their limits. Once they can identify their privileges in life, they will learn contentment in any circumstance.
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As kids grow, there are certain topics that come across as awkward conversation topics. E.g. sex education, personal hygiene, body image, values, etc. Sometimes, it is parents are the ones who feel most uncomfortable discussing these issues. The key is to establish an excellent communication system with your children such that it becomes easier to wade into tough issues with them. See through their reactions or blank look and make sure you share your perspective, experience, and lesson learned. Let wisdom flow from you in such conversations.
Note, we are not saying use coercion to fight these battles. Rather, attempt to get them to desire to do things that have long-term benefits. Are there battles parents need to fight with their kids to help them become better persons? Tell us about them and tell us why they are important.
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