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Category: Parent’s Tips

Encourage imagination! 

Encourage your children to use their imagination. Allow their little minds to dream big dreams. When you hear about an imaginary friend engage your child by asking questions about this new friend.  This is all a part of growing up.  Find ways to teach life lessons by relating to these friends that you cannot see.  Don’t discourage your child.  Knowing you are interested in her thoughts gives her confidence that you care.  The Andy Ant stories are based on a child’s relationship with his best friend—in this case a little ant that lives under the front steps of his house.  Where does your child’s imaginary friend live?  How much do you know about this special friend?

 

Go eye to eye with your child.

When talking to your child about something important, get down to his or her level.  You can kneel down or sit down next to them so you are equal to your child’s size.   By taking the initiative to get down to your child’s level, you demonstrate that you really care.  Think for a moment of how powerful you must be in his or her eyes.  If you stand and direct your child to do something, he or she will feel very small and insignificant.  You need to find ways to become like a child to effectively communicate to a child.

Raising your voice usually accomplishes nothing but noise. 

Raising your voice and demanding obedience seldom accomplishes your intended objective.  Find ways to personally connect.  For example, take their face in your hands and say. “Look at my eyes and listen to me.”  Then firmly give the instruction you need to give.  A firm voice is not a yelling voice.  You need to connect to get through to the young mind.

 

Make a connection by being a kid and thinking as a kid.

Find moments every day to have a meaningful connection with your child at his or her level. The more moments, the better! This means leaving adult distractions like the cell phone on the table, ignoring the ring or the text alert, and getting down to their level—doing something with them that they deem to be important. You want to communicate in non-verbal terms that your child is the most important person in the world to you. Distractions like television or cell phones communicate that they are not that important. Five to ten minutes of focused time doing something they feel is important assures your child that you really do care. A few minutes go along way!

Be positive when giving correction. 

If you need to correct your child, never do so in anger.  Never put them down.  Don’t stomp on their little self-esteem.   Remember, they are learning behavior just like you are!   An excellent way to discipline or make corrections is to sit right next to your child and put your arm around him or her as you are speaking.   Your child needs to feel your love even while you are correcting them.  You want to demonstrate that regardless of the issue at hand, you truly care and love them.  Your hand on your child’s shoulder helps your child listen more carefully.