Child Needs Meaningful Role in Family

Article excerpt

This is Part 2 and the conclusion of Parenting 101, an overview of the fundamentals of effective parenting. Last week's class dealt with basics such as having a more active relationship with your spouse than you have with your children, saying "No" more than "Yes," and the much overlooked fact that the discipline of a child is accomplished through the conveyance of proper leadership, not reward-ship or punishment-ship.

Having built a strong foundation, we now will move into a set of specifics that are equally essential to raising a child who will be well-equipped to deal successfully with the realities of independence. After all, the purpose of raising a child is to get him or her out of your life and into a life of his/her own.

Put yourself at the center of your child's attention, not the other way around. It is a simple matter to discipline a child who is paying attention to you and nigh-unto impossible to discipline a child who is not. In that regard, always keep in mind that the more attention you pay a child, the less attention the child will pay to you.

Put your child into a meaningful role in your family, one that is defined in terms of responsibilities known as chores (remember them?). By the time your child is 4 years old, he should be contributing significant time and effort on a daily basis to the maintenance of the household. Your child's chores should not be assigned haphazardly, but should be established as a routine. In addition to picking up after himself and keeping his own living space clean and orderly, he should be working in "common areas" of the home, doing things such as dusting and vacuuming. You do tell people that your child is gifted, do you not? …