Title: Dr. Prather’s Ten Positive Parenting Pearls
- Instill “Faith” in your child.
- Families that pray together stay together.
- Families that practice their faith on a weekly basis and a daily basis raise kids who are grounded in security and a solid faith to handle the storms of life. A child with faith is ready for the hard knocks they will surely face at times in their life.
- Unconditional Love
- Children need to know beyond any doubt that there are loved. How do we do this? Simply by loving them unconditionally both when they bring us joy and when they disappoint us.
- Daily praying for them and loving them generously with lots of affection and affirmation.
- Don’t let the sun go down without hugging your child, kissing them on the cheek, and telling them you love them and that they are very precious to you.
- The tough side of love is discipline.
- Discipline leads a child to feel secure because they know the limits and expectations in their life. An undisciplined child is a very insecure child who is headed for trouble at school and in life.
- The word discipline comes from the word “disciple.” As Jesus taught his disciples to prepare them for the world without him, we must discipline our children for the world they will live in.
- Teach our children by example, in other words “Model”
- Being a good model is the best way to teach your children how to live.
- Make sure you model the most important character values which are faith, hope, love, modesty, trustworthiness, gentleness, honesty, and other positive character traits that are more important than what our society tells us is important which is power, prestige, looks, grades, and athletic skills. These fall far short in comparison to a child who is full of love for his fellow man and wants to serve and make a difference in the world. Kids learn these character traits by the model they see at home so make sure you are a good model of what you preach.
- “Reading with your child” is one of the greatest ways that you can teach them.
- Remember, you are your child’s most important teacher throughout their life. Be an example of a good reader yourself and read with your child on a daily and weekly basis.
- Instill a love for reading which is a key to their success academically and in almost every aspect of their life.
- Family rituals.
- Families that do lots of fun regular things together tend to have a sort of family glue that keeps them close.
Sharing holidays, doing special things, sharing meals together, spending a few nights a week blocking out all distractions especially television, and simply talking and sharing a meal is one of the greatest family rituals you can have.
Playing together nightly, going to church together weekly, doing special family things planned on the weekends or after church on Sundays, going to the movies together, and discussing the movies afterwards are all wonderful family rituals. In our family sports and dramatics are some of our favorite things that we share. We love to go to plays and sporting events as a family and we have had many hundreds of memories built throughout the years as our three children grew up.
- Positive start to every day.
- Every child goes to school with a positive or negative attitude which starts at home.
- A positive attitude starts at home with encouraging words from the parents and helps to prepare for their school day. I tried to always hug all three of my children and give them a kiss and encouraging word (I usually said, “Keep your mind wide open and learn a lot. I love you.”) as I hug them and get them on their way. They still say this jokingly back to me now in their twenties.
- Positive close of the day.
- The last fifteen minutes of every day are repeated in our dreams up to twelve times compared to the highs and lows of our day which are repeated three times. So that last fifteen minutes is critical and should be a time of quiet, reflective, peaceful, loving, sharing time other than watching situation comedies on TV or even worse a violent video or listening to violent music.
- Praying together is a great way to close every day, stroking your child’s head and reminding them how precious they are to you is probably the best way to close every day.
- Positive expectation (what you see is what you get).
- A child whose parents expect great things from them usually find a way to achieve them. We are like mirrors to our children so we must always mirror back a positive expectation in believing the best in them and encouraging them along their way. Be careful that you do not mirror negative things or say negative things such as “He has always been a bad child,” “She has always been a dumb one.” Avoid such negative expectations because they unfortunately also come true.
- Teach your child the secret to true happiness and meaning in life which is to “lose yourself in serving others.”
- Again this can best be done by modeling it in your daily life by your example and also by talking to your child about it so that they realize serving humanity and living for a higher purpose and finding God’s plan and mission in their life is much more important than any other achievement in their future.