What three words could possibly help to make sure your children are never cyber-bullied? You may be surprised at the answer. These days, more and more of us are feeling challenged with the economy and therefore are picking up extra jobs and packing our schedule full of career-based activities. I totally understand. In my opinion, it is our children who are sometimes losing out. The connection between parents and children is being eroded.
We are all doing our best to make ends meet, earn a living and provide for our families. Every day we operate from a list of priorities, whether we know it or not. I think our children need to be as high as possible on that list of priorities.
The three word phrase I am talking about is simply ‘know your children’. In my own family I sometimes feel I’m not connecting with my child as much as I should be. Although it’s not easy, I believe it can make a big difference in how bullying situations are perceived and handled by children.
Here are some thoughts on how to connect more fully with your kids and truly ‘know your children’:
Time Prioritization: How do you create and maintain a strong child-parent connection? First of all, you need to spend enough time with your children that they will really feel comfortable being with you. Aim to be peaceful and controlled as much as possible. Yes, you do need to set parameters and insist that your children are doing the right things. However, make up your mind to accomplish this without raising your voice or becoming angry. Anger seldom solves problems with children. Make your children a top priority when setting up your daily schedule.
Establish Patterns: In order to keep children on track, use to-do lists and schedules. Making good use of to-do lists and schedules will help set patterns in your household to make sure things get done as part of your regular day-to-day routines.
Incentives Empower: Incentives can also play a big role in helping to make sure things get accomplished. Children and adults can both benefit from incentives. Give yourself a reward if you accomplish everything on your to-do list for the day. This may include permission to watch a television show, read another chapter of your favorite book, or spending an extra 10 minutes on Facebook. Valuable incentives vary from family to family.
Think Backwards: Write the end result you would like to achieve with your children. Here are some examples:
- having homework completed
- extracurricular tasks achieved with no rush and no pressure
- time for your kids to be with their friends
- routines in place for lunches, getting dressed and leaving for school
- how much time will be set aside for screens? (computer, tv, handheld games etc)
- what types of screen activities will be allowed?
Learning how to have a close, comfortable relationship with your children is a topic that could be devoted to an entire book. That’s why you should read books, watch videos, read blogs, and be constantly on the lookout for other places where you can learn more about how to ‘know your children’. Yes, it can be learned, but only if you are willing to make a conscious effort to change in order to accomplish your end result.
I’m sure keeping your kids safe is a top priority. Therefore keeping a close, healthy and strong relationship with your children should be a priority too. Even though you may feel you already have a strong connection with your kids, it probably could be even stronger. I am going to make up my mind that the three words ‘know your children’ is on the top of my mind.
Please leave a comment below to share ways you have discovered to keep a close connection to your children.
Bruce Langford presents to parents and children on the topic of respect, bullying and cyberbullying.