We have learned a simple universal truth from our amateur experience with horse training that carries over very well to raising children. It is to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. Okay, but how does that relate to my child and me?
Regular attendance at church is an excellent opportunity to make doing the right thing easy. Immerse your family in wholesome activities such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Four-H to name a few. Don’t just send your child to the venues of the activities. You should go with him or her. If your area doesn’t have these activities, volunteer to start a local chapter. If your child can’t find a productive way to spend his or her time, there are probably other children feeling the same way in your area.
Peer pressure can be overwhelming to children. Giving children opportunities to be involved with peers who come from families with principles and values that are consistent with those of your family lessen the chance that they will be exposed to negative influences. You are a role model for your children. Volunteering to lead those groups shows your children the importance that you place on these types of activities and allows them to see you in different roles. It also shows your children that you care enough about them to become involved in their lives.
Eating meals together can lead to conversation
Sit down and eat meals together, preferably at a table, without any MP3, cell phone, laptop or TV. Your child will have to talk with you even if it only starts with “pass the potatoes.” Children might even decide it feels pretty good to talk with their parents. Mealtimes are excellent opportunities to engage teens to talk and encourage them to ask questions.
Not turning on the television during times set aside for homework makes it easier for the children to finish their homework. It is hard for some kids to do their homework when other family members are watching TV. Showing them the importance of finishing assignments by providing a homework-friendly environment teaches your child that the schoolwork is important to you, too.
Parenting means being a part of your child’s life
Parenting from the heart means being a part of your child’s life. Children live what they see. Making the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult by doing the right thing shows your child that you love him. Nothing can take the place of a loving parent who gives his time and attention to meet the needs of his children.