Here are some healthy supportive habits that would do your child a world of good.
- Find out about “age appropriate behavior”. This is a fancy term we psychologists use to compare a child to his peers. But even these standards of comparison are not set in stone. Normal can sometimes appear alien and strange to a parent’s eyes. Understand that comparing your child’s life to your own life as a child is the biggest mistake that some well meaning parents can make.
- Never start lecturing your child over what you assumed happened. Always ask questions. Just because you’re a parent does not mean you’re infallible.
- Don’t set your child up for failure by unconsciously giving them too much to do or too much responsibility. No child can completely self-govern themselves. There is a reason we are their parents and part of the job is walking the fine line between monitoring their activities providing just enough help when needed and encouraging their freedom and self helping behavior.
- You can’t teach your child to be trustworthy if you yourself are going to engage in behaviors that are less than honest. Always be honest about what you say, mean, and intend to do. Assuming that your child will understand in due time is not good enough.
- It is okay to be hawk-eyed. Although it’s never okay to pester and nag, making sure that your child is safe from time to time is your right and responsibility as a parent. Make sure you don’t miss the signs that your child is indulging in less than healthy habits such as addiction, premarital sex, high risk behavior and experimentation of other kinds.
- Know about appropriate punishment. Over punishing a child can have detrimental effects on your relationship with the child; it can affect her self esteem and build resentments that can last a lifetime.