For eight years I wrote a short parenting tips column for The El Paso Scene. The column featured one tip for each day of the week, and I tried to give parents a balance of tips that would address their own priorities & attitudes as well as their children’s physical, social, intellectual and spiritual development. The column was formatted so that parents could easily cut out the column and keep it as a handy reminder through the month. Here is a sampler for the month of October
How to Be a Better Parent in October
On Sundays… Remember to take regular walks for health, perspective and renewal.
On Mondays…Try to avoid the mistake of assuming that anything that belongs to your child is really yours, so you can borrow it without permission or do whatever you please with it. Respect is a two way street. If you want children to learn to respect your property, you must respect theirs and insist that siblings respect it, too.
On Tuesdays… Remember that children need to practice reading aloud every day. So encourage older children to read to younger siblings, and let beginning readers read to anyone in the family with the patience to encourage them.
On Wednesdays… Remember the power of action. Although it’s a temptation to sit and yell “Don’t- don’t-don’t” at children, it only makes you frustrated and hoarse. Children consistently test their parents’ words. So discipline yourself to get up (now! after the first request) and match your words with action. When you are consistently firm without losing your temper, children learn to pay attention.
On Thursdays… Make a list of recipes your family likes, take a few minutes to refer to it each week, and plan a week’s meals before you go to the grocery store. Keep alert for recipes that can easily be made in the crock pot. These few minutes of planning will help keep everyone in the family healthy.
On Fridays…Remember that puppets invite creativity. They stimulate preschoolers’ natural acting ability and encourage older children to devise plots, produce sound effects, design scenery, and create special effects. A lot of household junk can be recycled into puppets.
On Saturdays… Cultivate contentment. It will move your family into a deeper level of gratitude than mere etiquette. Contentment involves recognizing what can and cannot be changed for the better. It means accepting what cannot be changed, changing what can be improved, and concentrating on whatever is positive in a situation.
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