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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hints for a Happy Home by Donna Otto

Here are some practical tips for making the most of your time with your children.

1.  Eat together.  This is an excellent time for teaching table manners!  40% of all households eat dinner with the television on instead of focusing on being together.

2.  Help children not to be bored.  Brainstorm a list of boredom-beating ides for kids and keep it handy.  When you see your child sitting in front of the tv for a legnthy period of time, check your list and have some fun! You can also use exercise for an antidote for boredom!

3.  Provide "don't-forget-to-take-it-to-school" boxes.  Help your kids find everything they need for the day by putting a box, bag, crate, or basket at the door of each child's room.  Train them to put everything into the box that needs to go with him/her to school.  (By the way, decorating the boxes is a boredom-beating idea you can add to your list!)

4.  Prepare your children to make good decisions.  Good decision making starts when children are very young.  Begin with decision-making in simple, noncritical areas and then keep repeating the process over and over again.

5.  Inspect what you expect.  Habits are those behaviors we perform without thinking about them.  If you want your children to devlop good habits, you must inspect what you expect them to do.  If you've instructed your children to tidy their rooms, brush their teeth, and hang up their clothes, make sure they have done what you have instructed.  If you let them off the hook by not checking up on them, you're just making more work for them and yourself.  But if you hold them accountable for what they should do, you will help them create good habits of behavior.

What your child becomes in the future will reflect how you shape them, nurture them, and discipline them today.


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