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Parenting | Parent Self-Care

parent self careThis week’s ’10 Ways’ offers tips about you looking after you. Especially at Christmas time, parents can become frazzled with all the organising and preparations. It is important to try and carve out even a small bit of time for yourself to recharge the batteries and ensure you enjoy Christmas time too. Read on for our ‘10 Ways to Parent Self-Care’.

  1. “I’m not perfect, I’m good enough” (Winnicot): Recognise that you are one person and you are doing the best you can. Give yourself a pat on the back – don’t wait for someone else or your child to or it may never happen!
  2. Routine: Have a core routine for each day of the week and stick to it. Don’t try to get everything done every day, set days out for different chores. Make sure you have time in the routine to play and interact with your children. Parents usually feel better when they have had a quality connection with their child.
  3. Eat: Remember you must meet your own needs so you can meet those of your children. The basic need to eat is really important as when we are hungry we are less inclined to have patience and the energy to deal with everyday issues and challenges.
  4. Sleep: It is easy to say sleep but it is more important to do it. Try to get children to bed early so you can be in bed early too. Aim for at least 6 hours sleep per night. Those with infants will only achieve this in a number of sessions of sleep so it is really important to try and nap during the day if you can.
  5. Stay healthy: Do not neglect your health – value your own health and well being as much as you do your child’s.
  6. Exercise: This can release the happy hormones and allow you time to think, reflect and make plans, or just breathe in the fresh air and tell yourself it will all work out. You can also use the time to chat with your child. Simply playing in the park or back garden can be good exercise and fun with your child also.
  7. Take time out for yourself: If you struggle with this, begin with 10 minutes for yourself and as time goes on, increase it. Maybe once a week you can plan a couple of hours to yourself. Be creative in how you achieve this – it will be worth the effort.
  8. Socialise: Isolation is a key issue for those parenting alone. Challenge yourself to network with other parents, join clubs or courses. Your self-esteem and confidence and that of your child’s will be enhanced with socialising.
  9. Ask for help: Ask for help whenever you can from family or a friend. They will stop offering if you never take them up on it. Children enjoy being with other people. It is good for you both to have time apart and for children to know there are other people who can care for them.
  10. Be an adult: You are not just a parent so make time for you to be you. It’s good for children to see you as a person with many roles, not just as Mam or Dad.

Read other articles from our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Join Geraldine, our parenting expert, on Facebook on this and other parenting topics for a weekly Q&A live in our One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email us.

 

Parenting | Shared Parenting at Christmas

Santa high fiveChristmas doesn’t have to be a difficult time for parents who do not live together and share parenting of their child. There are, of course, things that will need to be worked out.  Agree your plan as soon as possible to help ensure a happy, fun-filled Christmas for all members of the family, centered around your child. Read on for this week’s parenting tips which explore how parents can achieve successful shared parenting over the Christmas season.

  1. Start thinking it through and planning now.
  2. Plan with your child. Talk with your child about Christmas and explain to them that it lasts for more than one day.
  3. Tell them that both you and their other parent love them and enjoy time with them at Christmas. Ask your child how they would like Christmas to look. Talk with them about the options available.
  4. Try to hear your child in this. Most parents prefer to have their child with them on Christmas Day, and in many separated families it is not possible. See Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day all as Christmas. You will have to agree if each year one of you has the children with them on the 25thand the other parent has them on the 24thor 26th.
  5. Talk with your child’s other parent. Ask them what they hope Christmas will look like and then start to negotiate on contact. Use assertive communication skills. Try not to jump in with a ‘no’ straight away to what they hope for. Think of your child’s needs and how best you can both meet them. Don’t have these discussions in front of your child.
  6. Children love Christmas – if they don’t have parents arguing over them. All the gifts in the world won’t help if your child is distressed or worried. Talk and plan in advance and avoid conflict. Give each other space to think about what the other parent wants, then talk again about your shared plans.
  7. Explain to your child what will happen and that you and the other parent will try your best to ensure they have the Christmas they hope for. Make sure your child has the information they need in advance.
  8. Children are not going to object to two Christmases. Santa can leave gifts in both homes. Santa knows, of course, that some children have two homes. Families come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
  9. Talk about buying the gifts early on. Both parents usually want to be involved in this. Can each of you buy your own gifts from your child’s list and agree to give them on the one day or over two days? Often children get too much on the 25th – maybe they would appreciate receiving the gifts more spread out. Children need to share the excitement with both parents.
  10. If you need help to communicate with each other, seek professional support from services such as One Family’s Mediated Parenting Plans or Parent Mentoring services so you can make plans for a Christmas that everyone can look forward to.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Join Geraldine on Facebook on this and other parenting topics for a weekly Q&A live in our One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email us.

Parenting | Ten Thoughts for Parents of Children in Care

Dad and child's handsFor a variety of reasons, challenges and difficulties, there are times for some parents when parenting can be a stressful experience which may have led to fractured parent child relationship, and we hear from, meet and support parents whose children are in care.

When children go into care, there is usually supported contact of one kind or another. Often this contact time may be as little as a couple of hours a week shared with more than one child. Sometimes for parents, this may feel almost like a performance as they are being watched. This may result in a negative experience, often in turn resulting in less contact, which may lead to further challenges for the parent-child relationship but our suggestions below are provided to support parents to engage in making supported contact time a more positive experience. Children have a great capacity to love, and especially to love parents. So even if this situation is for the remainder of their childhood, you can still have and maintain a very positive relationship with your child.

The following are our suggestions to support a parent visiting with their child in care.

  1. Prepare for the visit. Often parents’ lives are in chaos if a child goes into care. There may be a lot of personal challenges to overcome and confront. However, if you cannot prepare for contact with your child it will most likely be a difficult rather than a positive experience for anyone.
  2. Preparing means thinking about everything from planning the route, the time you need to get there, the cost of the journey, washing and having clean clothes, having eaten and rested sufficiently.
  3. Preparing is also about thinking ahead about how you will spend your time together. What age is your child, what they like to do when you are with them? Developmentally, what are they interested in? Can you bring some toys or activities with you? Can you have a special bag which you can add to over time with various activities which will support you to engage well?
  4. Engaging means talking with your child, and managing their behaviour which means you must be able to identify their needs and know how to meet them. If you are in an empty room with broken toys, you can expect that your child will get bored and may ask to leave or cry for the carer to take them out again. By planning simple activities you can engage your child which will result in positive parent child interactions and a more positive relationship.
  5. If you plan well, you can have good contact with your child; contact that will support you to feel that you can parent, that you know what your child needs and that you can work towards meeting these needs. It can help you focus on dealing with the challenges that led to this situation rather than the focus remaining on any negatives.
  6. Seek support to help you cope with the situation, such as our parent mentoring service, where we work one to one with parents to support them in many situations. The social worker you engage with is usually also your child’s. They will and have to ensure the child’s well-being; they may not always be in a position to support the parent also.
  7. Always be on time for contact and be physically fit for the session. If you feel you cannot last the planned length of time, tell the social worker this. It is much more beneficial for your child to have a shorter and positive session where you can stay engaged rather than a long session where you lose energy and possibly drift into despair when you realise what has happened for you.
  8. Stay focused on your child and when the session is over take some time to reflect on what went well and what really challenged you. Talk with the social worker about both and then try to plan ahead for the next time.
  9. Many parents see multiple children in one contact session, often because of resources. It can be really beneficial to seek one to one contact with each child also. Children need your attention and it may be more challenging for you to divide yourself between their various needs without some one to one time.
  10. Look closely at your child in these sessions and think about how they are in the care situation. Do they look well? Are they smiling? How is school going? Are they meeting developmental goals? Try to look for the positives for them; it may not be easy but the more you really look at your child and hear them and know that in the majority of cases children can really feel safe in care, the more positively you will be parenting your child.
  11. Parenting requires us to be completely non-selfish. We have to be able to put our children first no matter what. By supporting your child with positive, dependable contact while they are in care you are letting them know that, although this is extremely challenging, knowing they are safe is the most important thing that matters to you. Whether this is a permanent situation or short-term, you can still parent, and this is your opportunity to look after your needs so you can be there for your child in the best way possible.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Join Geraldine on Facebook on this and other parenting topics for a weekly Q&A live in our One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email us.

Parenting | Ten Ways to Use ‘Consequences’ in Parenting

choiceWe all experience the consequences of our behaviours everyday in both positive and negative ways.

When parenting, consequences are used to support children to learn to make the right choices, the choices that will lead them to more positive responses. At times parents can forget this and start to use consequences in their parenting as punishment with little learning.

Consequences, if used well, will support a child’s learning and help them become responsible adults, making good choices most of the time, none of us are perfect!

These following tips may support you to implement consequences wisely:

  1. Never put a negative consequence in place for your child’s behaviour until you have ensured all the positive parenting behaviours are in place. These consist of praise and encouragement; positive language; assertive listening; clear and direct communication; positive reward focusing on what the child is doing well more so than on what the child is not achieving. If you feel you have mastered all these techniques and put them into practice every day then you can explore consequences as the next step to take.
  2. The greatest mistake parents make when using consequences is that they make them too big. They often cannot follow through on them. This tells you the consequence was not planned so therefore was not effective.
  3. All consequences must be planned. Children must be told in advance of the behaviour that is not acceptable and that when they choose to behave in such a way there will be a consequence. Talk with your child about what the fair consequence will be, Agree on it with them.
  4. Children have to choose and not be forced out of fear to make the right choice. When children do make good choices in their behaviour it is crucial to praise them for that. Never miss praise worthy action, they are small and meaningful at the time.
  5. Never shift the boundaries of what is agreed. If you decide on the spur of the moment on a new harsher consequence then you have lost the battle immediately and what your child will learn is that adults are dishonest and do not follow through. If your child feels they are being treated unfairly then they will not choose to behave, they will most likely choose to act in such a way as to let you know how unfairly they feel treated.
  6. Choose reasonably small consequences to start with. Take away an activity from your child such as their favourite toy for one hour- if you start with the biggest consequence then you have no room to move. Firstly remove one small but meaningful privilege and then if your child continues to choose to misbehave then remove another.
  7. Do not be ruled by your mood. Parents can often let go of behaviours when they are in good form and implement harsh consequences when in poor form. Really this is not teaching children anything other than adults have power and can use in whatever way they choose. This is not the message you wish to send to your child. If you over punish then you need to step back, apologise to your child and start over with them. Sit your child down and tell them what the issue is. Hear from your child what the challenge is for them. Then make and agree a plan.
  8. For children under three years of age it is much more appropriate to ensure you are parenting with positive rewards. Young children will not understand the consequences and will most likely just be left feeling hurt and scared. Children have to be old enough to reason with.
  9. Put consequences in place for you as a parent also. We are our children’s most effective role model. If you are not modelling the correct behaviours then talk with your child about this also. No double standards for parenting. You also need to choose how to behave. Often when we parent we misbehave in ways we never would in the work place. Give your children some power to help you recognise the negative choices you make and tell them what you are going to do about it.
  10. Team work is what families are about. Talk with each other, understand each other’s needs and work together to formulate new plans and new ways to live and learn from each other.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Join Geraldine on Facebook on this and other parenting topics for a weekly Q&A live in our One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email support@onefamily.ie.

 

 

 

Parenting | 10 Ways to Support Your Child On Leaving Cert Results Day

Results DayLeaving Certificate results day … It is a day that parents and teenagers have anticipated for many months, or possibly even years. So many feelings have been generated while waiting on these results, a summer spent wondering what the future holds. For many students, they will also soon be receiving their offers of college places through the CAO. Remember – no matter what the results, life will go on and everyone will find the path that suits them best. Here are our tips on how to support your young person at this time.

  1. Take your child’s lead. If they are feeling sad, feel sad with them. If they are delighted, feel it with them. As parents, we usually want to try to ‘fix’ things for our children, but it is important not to do that and to realise that the feelings our children have, even negative ones, are the most important thing to acknowledge.
  2. Plan a special day with them no matter what the results are. Your child needs to know that you love them as much today as you did yesterday. The result is just a result and life will go on. A special day will help to celebrate all they have achieved in their school years, and show them that either way, they worked hard and deserve to feel proud.
  3. Feelings are the key area of focus this week. Your feelings and your child’s. Make no comparisons. Try not to mention what they should have done – they know. Tell them you are proud of them, talk about all the things they have been so successful at in the last 17/18 years. Talk about their strengths, keep it positive. In a few days time you can help them explore next steps.
  4. Talk with your child in the coming days/weeks. Explore all the options they have. Seek professional support from the various help lines so you know what options are out there. Maybe something will come up that was not considered before.
  5. Unless your teen is keen to return to second level and try again, accept the results and move on. The college offers will come out, maybe your child will get what they want and maybe they won’t. Talk with career guidance experts. There are many routes to the career your child hopes for. It may just mean they have an extra couple of years study to do to get there or could explore an alternate route. “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
  6. At times we can forget that the results are not ours and that they do not reflect on our parenting abilities. If you are feeling upset for your child, talk to a friend about your concerns. It is hard when our children grow up and become young adults. Watching them prepare for college, or move out of home, or take their next step into adulthood, can be a difficult time for parents.
  7. If you need some emotional support in the coming days or weeks, why not call our askonefamily helpline on 1890 662212 or 01 6629212.
  8. Allow your child time with their friends. At this stage young people can get great support from their peer group. Set reasonable boundaries with them around celebrations.
  9. Talk with other parents and agree on where teens are going, how they get there and get home. Talk with your teen about responsible behaviours. Support them to know you expect them to make good choices around what they do in the coming days.
  10. Do something fun with your child this week, help them see and feel all the things you love about them. Whether they are happy or unhappy with these results, help them smile and see all the world has to offer to them.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email support@onefamily.ie.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. Next you might like to read ‘10 Ways to Support a Young Adult‘. You can read the full series here.

relaxation

Parenting | 10 Ways to Parent ‘On The Run’

realxationFor many parents it can feel like you are on a treadmill that is never switched off. On Monday you might be asked, how was your weekend? You look in amazement at the person and try to think, the weekend, when was that? Whether sharing parenting, parenting alone, when your children are very young or teenagers, it never stops. Keeping on top of it all is very challenging and we often forget to be mindful of our own well being. We laugh at the though of it. Obviously the person who coined the term ‘self care’ has no children!

But here it is again – self care. If you can’t find the time to look after yourself and your needs, what type of parent will you be? You may be coping alright now, but how long until the batteries run dry? We all have areas in our lives that are not going too well, sometimes it is because we don’t have the energy or time to put into them.

This summer, could you take on the challenge of trying to do one thing for yourself each day? It is just for you now, but really it is an investment in your ability to parent and thus in your children. They need parents who can stay on the treadmill for a very long time.

Here are some ideas to help get you started:

  1. Take a 30 minutes walk, once a week: on your own ideally or bring the buggie if you must. It helps clear the mind and keep you feeling energised. This will also give you time to see the world and possibly bump into the neighbours for a chat.
  2. Read a book that is not about fairies and princesses and superheroes. Can you find an hour a week to read a chapter? Connect to the adult world around you. It is amazing how we forget it exists. This will also give you something to talk about. We often think if we did meet someone, what would we talk about? Our lives are so focused on our children, it’s easy to forget how to have adult conversations.
  3. Join a parent and toddler group. Even though children are with you, it allows great opportunities to talk with other parents and possibly widen your social circle. Some groups are great at organising trips and events. Check in with your local community center, community bulletin/newsletter and even the local shop notice boards to find groups near you.
  4. Use a drop in crèche for one hour a week. Can you budget to allow yourself one hour off a week? You can just sit and think, plan, read or drink coffee. Basically, this is one hour for you to stay still.
  5. Can you arrange for a relative to take your children once a month? One day off or if you are really lucky one night off is a great opportunity to recharge the batteries. A night of undisturbed sleep does wonders for the body and mind. Then you will feel ready for the children again when they return.
  6. If your children go to their other parent, can you do things in this time for yourself? Many parents use this time to cook, freeze dinners, clean and get ready for another week. Even though this will make the next week run smoother it does not really count as time spent for you. Think about what hobbies you had as a child, or something you wished you had done. Can you join a club – a walking club, book club, hobby or maybe even a study group? Have you had time to think about what you want for you?
  7. We take a lot of time to plan what our children will eat. Have they eaten their 5 a day? We challenge the other parent to reduce the intake of junk food. But how often do you look at your diet. Can you take some time to plan your 5 a day? You are your child’s best role model after all.
  8. Can you arrange a babysitter club? It does not have to be at night time as it depends on what you enjoy doing. Can your friend take your child for a few hours to allow you some time and then you do the same for them?
  9. Many parents buy too many clothes for their children. Do they really need all these clothes? Do they notice what they wear? Why not put some time in to your own wardrobe? What could you do with getting? At times we avoid going out and about as we feel we have nothing to wear. It would be a great resource for your child to have a parent who is confident in how they look.
  10. Ask for help. Parenting is very challenging no matter what form your family takes. Seek out supports. Access professional parenting supports like parenting courses or one to one mentoring – One Family have parenting supports available in many locations both in Dublin and in other. Don’t go it alone when others would love to be invited to join you. (See below for more information on One Family parenting supports.)

This summer take time for you. It may seem selfish at first, but your children will be the ultimate winners when you succeed.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Next you might like to read: 10 Ways to Parent Self Care

LIVE Facebook Q&A with Geraldine on this topic Tuesday 14 July from 10am-11pm in our NEW One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email support@onefamily.ie.

 

10 Ways to Feel Pride in Your Family

Family PrideIt is important for you and your children to have a sense of pride about your family. No matter what form your family takes, what wealth you may or may not have, or what activities you may or may not do, being secure in one’s family and self – which will nurture family pride – is achieved through building strong supportive relationships. It is the quality of these relationships at home that has most importance for a child’s outcomes. When every member of the family feels cherished and valued, they experience higher self-esteem which contributes to family self-esteem. To build strong relationships, establish pride and a sense of innate family self-esteem, we must encourage positive emotional growth in our children and in ourselves. In this week’s instalment of our ’10 Ways to’ parenting tips series, we looks at some ways to nurture positive growth and your family’s sense of pride.

  1. When children feel a sense of belonging and sense of pride in their families, they can be emotionally strong. Developing family rituals and traditions can bolster this.
  2. Giving children messages of encouragement enables them to develop a positive sense of who they are.
  3. Remember that for your child you are the expert – you are the all important ‘big’ person. How you behave impacts most strongly on your child. Develop pride in yourself as a parent and show pride in your family unit.
  4. When you get it wrong say, ‘I am sorry, I made a mistake’. Saying sorry does not weaken your role as a parent and models positive behaviour for your child.
  5. Keep organised. Simple tools such as a hand-drawn weekly planner on the ‘fridge can help with organising activities, menus, homework time etc. Knowing what is happening helps children to feel secure. Don’t be stressed if you do not have an always perfectly clean and tidy home. It’s difficult to achieve with children! What is important is that your home provide a safe, secure and comfortable environment for your child. Every member of the family should treasure their home and feel pride in their space.
  6. Spend some time thinking about how you can best meet your child’s needs and if there are changes you can make.
  7. Examine your needs as a parent. How can you meet these needs? Remember that the key to positive and successful parenting is to parent yourself first. You must meet your own needs so that you can best meet the needs of your child.
  8. Show affection towards each other. Expressing that you care both strengthens and celebrates your bond as a family unit.
  9. Think about respect within your family. Do you respect your children as you do other adults in your life? Do your children respect you? If not, think about why this is and what changes could be made.
  10. Aim to be a ‘good enough’ parent; no one is perfect and we do not want our children to feel they have to be perfect.

This article is part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips, and is by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly. Coming up Next Week: 10 Ways to Understand Why Children Misbehave and the Power of Positive Parenting.

Next you might like to read: 10 ways to Parent Self Care or 10 ways to Improve your Child’s Self Esteem

LIVE Facebook Q&A on this topic with Geraldine, 26 January from 11am-12pm on One Family’s Facebook pageJoin in and post your questions.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email support@onefamily.ie.

Happy child

10 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Self Esteem

Children are a wonderful gift, but they are very delicate and it is often easy for them to feel unappreciated or ignored. As parents, it is very important to make sure our children are growing up happy and confident, and to do that we must make sure they feel special, appreciated, and loved. By recognising their accomplishments and encouraging them to be proud of themselves, we can help them to develop confidence and a sense of achievement that will last them the rest of their lives. In this week’s edition of parenting tips, we highlight 10 ways to improve your child’s self esteem.

1. Children who have lots of positive experiences and positive things said to them will have healthy levels of self esteem, as opposed to children who have many negative experiences growing up.

2. Children need to be recognised and admired. They are important to us and important in the world. Tell them this!

3. Praise children for the efforts they make. The focus should not be on the end result. Children remember praise and it has long-lasting effects.

4. Compliment children on their appearance, how they are doing at school, with friends and with hobbies. Every child is special and should know this.

5. Notice your children’s strengths and tell them what they are. Help them understand how to use those strengths well.

6. Show your child you are so proud of them and the effort they make – to play, to share, to eat dinner etc.

7. Have special time with your child each day and let them know they are top of your list. The feeling of self worth will be enormous.

8. Encourage children to be proud of their own achievements.

9. Encourage children to be open about what strengths they have and also that we all can’t be good at everything. Help them accept they are human, and it is normal to have strengths and weaknesses.

10. Be respectful of children. Talk with them, not at them. Listen to them and hear what they are trying to say. Understand their behaviours and why they exist rather than trying to just fix them. Admire their qualities, even those which are challenging can be used in positive ways throughout life. Accept your child for who they are and tell them everyday how much you love and admire them.

This week’s ’10 Ways to’ is by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

Coming soon: 10 Ways to Support Your Child’s Sex Education; 10 Ways to Survive Sleepless Nights; 10 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating.

For support and advice on any of these topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email support@onefamily.ie.

Image credit: Pixabay

Group of people

10 Ways to Respect Differences

Everyone is different, and it is important to be sensitive to that fact. Children look up to their parents and will imitate their behaviour, so the way you act towards others who are different can have a profound impact on them. By making sure you are respectful to everyone, you can ensure your children will do the same. In this week of our parenting tips series, we have 10 ways to respect the differences between yourself and others.

1. Be courteous and friendly to others.  You can help your child respect others by the way you greet people, talk with them, and talk about them afterwards. Children learn from our example.

2. Make a family book about similarities and differences:  You and your child could work together to make a book about the people in your family.

3. Value difference. Arrange a small get-together with one or two families. Each could make a snack that may be different or new to the others, possibly an ethnic food or one that is special in other ways for their family.

4. Meet new friends.  You may want to tell your child about a time when you met someone who seemed different at first but as you got to know the person, you came to appreciate him or her.

5. Use empathy: Can your child remember coming into a group and feeling ignored or left out? Talking about your child’s feelings can help your child develop empathy and begin to see things from another person’s point of view.

6. We believe that we are all special people.

7. Treat others kindly even if they are different.

8. We show we are listening by what we say.

9. We are concerned about each other’s feelings.

10. Use books, the internet and society to introduce your child to difference and in particular all types of families and how they are all unique and special – just like ours.

This week’s ’10 Ways to’ is by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

Coming soon: 10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Preschool; 10 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Self Esteem; 10 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating.

For support and advice on any of these topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or emailsupport@onefamily.ie.

 

Image Credit: Pixabay

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10 Ways to Be Assertive

Assertiveness is a wonderful quality to have, and as long as you know how to use it properly it can be help you be direct and clear in your communication with others. In order to be successful with communication, there are several guidelines we can all follow to ensure our point is being made in an assertive way.  In this week’s edition of our ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips, we look at 10 keys to being assertive.

  1. Assertiveness is an approach that helps you to be direct, honest and respectful in expressing your feelings, wants, needs and opinions.
  2. You should always be respectful of others and yourself when being assertive.
  3. Being assertive should not mean being aggressive.
  4. Use clear and direct communication instead of unclear or indirect communication.
  5. Be more confident about how you say things and how you get your message across.
  6. Assertiveness will help your children learn how to be assertive and help a family to be positive and have shared values.
  7. Remember you are making requests not demands. Expect yes and no answers.
  8. Be ready to negotiate and compromise with others, including children.
  9. Be very specific with children in particular about what you need them to do. ‘I need you to tidy your room’ is too vague. Indicate certain areas of the room: ‘I need you to tidy your dolls today’ and explain what that should look like.
  10. Learn to say no and explain why it is a ‘No.’ The ‘No’ is about you safeguarding yourself as opposed to blocking another person: ‘No, you cannot walk alone to the shops, I need you to be safe and I need to hold your hand to ensure this.’

This week’s ’10 Ways to …’ is compiled by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

Coming soon: 10 Tips for Respecting Difference; 10 Tips on Preparing Your Child for Preschool; 10 Tips on Improving Your Child’s Self Esteem

For support and advice on any of these topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or emailsupport@onefamily.ie.

 

Picture credit: Pixabay