8 Virtues all Parents Must Pursue – Part 2
Posted on: October 19, 2019.

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5. Admitting your mistakes

One cannot be right all the time. With regard to justice and fair play, many children have a strong sense.

When you’ve got it wrong, how do handle situations?

Do you believe that, as a parent, it’s important not to show weakness and admit that you’re wrong?

From the expression of a belief like this, what might your children be learning?

6. Reflecting values you want to nurture in your child

“Does this mean ‘Are you a good role model?’”, asked my son, when I read this out to him. I think he’s nailed it once again.

Is co-operation something you value?

On things where they would like you to cooperate, how often do you cooperate with your child?

Is honesty a virtue that you value?

If so, are you honest with your children?

Rather than from what we directly set out to teach them, the sort of person we are is what makes children seem to learn far better.

How do your children see you respond, when plans go awry?

7. Know Your Child (“KYC!”)

Do you know what your children like and don’t like?

Do they have goals that are important to them?

How do you and your children spend your time together?

Do you seek their ideas and opinions while discussing matters with them?

People have preferences about the way they like things to be, from the very beginning. These preferences can expand and become more sophisticated as we grow and learn. New experiences can also influence preferences.

“But you always used to like X”. Is this something you find yourself saying to your child?

When your child’s priorities and values are changing, how well are you keeping up with those?

8. Refraining from commanding and instructing, and rather, enquiring

In the course of routine parent-child communication, there is certainly room for both questions and instructions. Invariably, however, the proportion of instructions you issue far outweigh the amount of questions you ask—it’s likely to be the case, if you don’t pay enough attention. Ask rather than tell and you will find that there are countless opportunities scoring good relationships with both children and young people.

Try asking “Are you wearing everything you need before we go out?”, instead of commanding, “Get your coat before we leave the house!”. You could also ask, “When you look at the weather outside, what clothes do you think you’ll need?”

Giving instructions doesn’t encourages children to think about things in a way that asking questions does. However, avoid asking questions rhetorically—that are no different to instructions. Consider whether you would ask questions of another adult, your partner perhaps or a friend, in the same way you ask them of your child. This would be a useful thumb-rule with which to reflect on your questioning style.

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