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Friday, May 23, 2008

Another 20 ways to show children you care

Title: Anyway (2004)
Media: Acrylic (on 4 separate canvases)

1. Help them learn the feeling of gratitude, not just to say thank you.
2. Give them space when they need it.
3. Praise more, criticize less.
4. Know that a child experiencing love will express love. A child who does not act loving needs to experience more love and feel more loved. Until then, behavior changes you attempt may not be sustainable.
5. Help them discover what has meaning and purpose and feels good to them.
6. Keep the promises you make. If you do not keep your word, acknowledge that. Help them understand the circumstances or choices that precipitated the change in your plans. They will notice if keeping your word becomes a pattern
7. Answer their questions.
8. If you do not like their friends, teach them the qualities to look for in friends.
9. Go to their games and events; get to know their teachers and coaches.
10. Be consistent.
11. Let them tell you how they feel. Help them learn what their feelings are and how to express them.
12. Give them lots of compliments…and mean it. If you do not/cannot compliment them, examine why.
13. Suggest better behaviors when they act out. Teach first. Reward often. Be understanding. Punish last.
14. When they withdraw, offer love instead of demands or threats.
15. Nurture them with good food, prepare their favorite meals, and help them make wise nutritional choices.
16. Teach them to be responsible according to their own developmental age; avoid using them to do tasks that are your responsibility.
17. When you notice behavioral changes, be especially available so they can talk about what is going on.
18. Be understanding when they have a difficult day.
19. Teach them to be on time and to keep their word and their commitments – and model that for them.
20. Love them no matter what -- and especially affirm your love when you are feeling angry. If you are feeling love for them at the time you express anger, your anger is safe. Otherwise, they experience anger as having the power to displace love. Then they will learn to fear anger -- yours and their own -- and potentially develop the pattern of suppressing anger, which in sufficient accumulation, can turn into rage.

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