CREDOS: Parenting — III

Friendships provide an integral connection for our children as they do for us. Kids find it reassuring to turn to friends for advice and sympathy.

By “trying on” new values and testing their ideas with peers, there is less fear of being ridiculed or “shot down” using the behaviour in a larger group.

Support your child’s friendships, and make your home a place they want to bring their pals. It’s important that we don’t judge our children’s friends or criticise them in front of our kids. It makes kids defensive and pulled between parent and friend. Don’t set it up so they must choose.

Create your family’s clear rules for living. These are formed and articulated from early on so they become part of who your child is. Remind your child often of his strong inner guidance. This compass will guide him throughout his life as he faces many decisions and influences. “Come on we’re all going to ...” He can pause, check in with his gut feeling before going along. Our out-of-reach expectations can crush a child - they just give up. Don’t overwhelm your kids with unattainable goals or they’ll find acceptance among those with standards they feel they can meet.

Applaud and accept your son or daughter today — just as they are. Don’t panic if your child nudges the values. Her beautiful spirit hasn’t changed.

Try even harder to create a closer connection, be open and clear about what you think of her behaviour, set clear rules, but don’t overreact. — (Concluded)