July is Purposeful Parenting Month, a time for parents to emphasize open communication and support children’s growing independence. There are eight elements to Purposeful Parenting, they are:
- Structure and order
- Responsibility and accountability
- Firmness and fairness
- Limits and boundaries
- Unconditional love
This summer, look for opportunities to give your child age-appropriate independence. It’s important to give your child as much responsibility as they can manage. Expectations should be clearly communicated. Make consequences of breaking the rules clear, but be firm and fair. Mistakes will be made but it’s important to remain consistent and issue appropriate consequences.
Five tips to be a Purposeful Parent:
- Connect and interact. For families, relaxed summer days offer opportunities for parents to initiate meaningful conversations. Find opportunities to engage in common interests. Join your child in activities that they are interested in. Parents who strive to have close, positive relationships are more likely to have children who make healthy and safe choices.
- Be aware of where children are and what they watch. When children are not in your care, you should know where they are at all times. Use parental controls on phones, computers and tablets, and televisions. Trust them to a certain point but if they break the rules, implement consequences.
- Take concrete steps to help children and adolescents avoid harmful situations. Be at home during key times of the day (in the morning, after school, dinnertime and bedtime). Watch their social media usage as well. Today parents face unique challenges in protecting kids in the digital world. Be familiar with social media: kik, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more.
- Make family time a priority. Eat together as family everyday. Eliminate cell phones and other interruptions. Try to squeeze in time on the weekends, when there are fewer commitments. If schedules make it possible, implement a family game night or movie night.
- Pay attention to your OWN well being. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be in the position to take care of your children. Include physical activity, a healthy diet and plenty of sleep into your daily routine. Parenting is difficult. None of us are perfect. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. There are lessons to be demonstrated by apologizing to your kids for parental mistakes.
With the right approach and positive attitude, parenting can be fun for everyone involved. Here at the Freeport Pregnancy Center, we want to help you in any way that we can. If you would like more information about parenting classes, feel free to call our offices or make an appointment right here on our website.