The Effective Parent by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

A Tool for Effective Parents & Empowered Kids

A Tool for Effective Parents & Empowered Kids

By Susan A. Haid

Here are Ten Principles of the Effective Parent:

1) Offer your children committed love. Let your children know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you love them and you will always love them no matter what. Make this a clear and consistent message.

2) Become the best educator of your children’s basic life skills that you can be. This is far more valuable than what you can ever buy them.

3) Teach your children to trust themselves more than anything else. Keep your children connected to their innate inner navigational equipment. Do not underestimate the power of self-trust; this is one of the greatest gifts you will ever give your child.

4) Give your children reasonable freedom to make choices for themselves. There is only one finer teacher than you are, and that is life experience itself.

5) Give your children the gift of time to themselves without tv or technology. This opens the doorway to imaginative play that cultivates a powerful, lasting form of creativity and resourcefulness that serves a child for a lifetime.

6) Make every effort to offer compassion to your child, even when discipline or consequences are required. Children are learning and therefore require explanations, education and understanding more than anything else. Make compassion your best friend.

7) Listen to what your children have to say, even if their words are contradictory. They have a lot to figure out in a very complex world. Listen and be present.

8) Give your children reasonable, basic responsibilities. Everyone in a household should contribute to the welfare of the family.

9) Enjoy your children for who they are. As parents, we have no other responsibility other than to honor and appreciate who our children already are.

10) Stop whatever you are doing and openly accept and receive your child’s love. Revel in it! Take the time to bask in it as often as possible. There is no greater gift you will ever receive. Let it heal you.

For helpful information about joyful, effective parenting and raising empowered children, visit www.lilystruth.com for more.

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How to Teach Your Children about Responsibility: 5 Tips For Ages 5 -12/PART 2 by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

by Susan A. Haid

Every time I mandate that my three children, ages 3 to 10, help with the dishes, housecleaning, laundry, pets or some other mundane task, I prove to myself over and over again how important these experiences are for my children. Of course, their contribution makes my life easier. However, I clearly see that they are not only quite capable of accomplishing these tasks, they are learning to take responsibility for their own life in the process.

Here are five tips to teach kids how to take responsibility around the home and for their developing lives.

1. Help kids learn how to organize and manage their belongings.  We need to require that our kids clean their rooms, make their beds, put their own laundry away, keep track of their homework and school projects, sports gear, musical instruments and so on. Once in a while, we can give them a hand, but kids should know that they are the ones ultimately responsible for these duties.
2. Help kids become active contributors to life at home.  Every member of a home should contribute to the upkeep and management of the home. Age appropriate duties should be assigned to each family member, and once every week or two, the family should work together to accomplish these tasks. Duties such as dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, wiping down the countertops, raking leaves and even cooking are jobs kids of all ages can participate in. These duties give our kids the skills to become competent contributors as adults.
3. Help kids learn to set boundaries so they honor their own needs as well as respect the needs of others.  This is a fundamental lesson parents need to teach their kids. It’s OK in many circumstances to say no. We want our kids to stay in touch with what they may need and give them the skills to meet those needs. We also want our kids to be aware that everyone has the right to set boundaries when they are appropriate and necessary. This is a basic life skill.
4. Help kids learn to be accepting of differences.  Having nonjudgmental conversations about the differences we encounter in the viewpoints, lifestyle, beliefs and ideas of others is a basic tenet of building a philosophy of acceptance and compassion in our kids. These are great conversations to have because they ultimately help our kids get clear about who they are, what they think and what they believe. This also means that our kids should have a safe place to express their individual viewpoint even if it is different from our own.
5. Help kids accept the outcome of their choices and create new ones.
It is the ultimate empowerment experience when kids make their own choices and have their own resulting experiences. As parents, of course we need to be aware of what our kids are choosing so that we can intervene if it is necessary to do so. Although it is often difficult to give up control, we simply can’t make every decision for our kids. This deprives them of their experiences, the consequences of which are far less during childhood compared to adulthood. As often as it is reasonable to give our kids the authority to make choices for themselves, we should do so and understand we are respecting their individuality, honoring their learning process and building their knowledge of and confidence in themselves.

These are basic requirements that have worked well in my home so far. I respect the rights of my children to live freely and happily. As their mother, I want my kids to have the skills to manage their lives very well without me or without the help of anyone else if they choose. I want to help my children become empowered and sovereign. By giving them reasonable responsibilities and expectations, I hope to provide them with the simple knowledge about how to successfully manage their own lives after they leave home. And ultimately, I want them to soar!

For more helpful information about empowering children, or for more information about Susan A. Haid and Lily’s Truth, visit www.lilystruth.com.

How to Teach Your Children about Responsibility: 5 Tips for Kids Ages 5-12/ PART 1 by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

by Susan A. Haid

How long of a tether do you keep on your kids? The struggle for authority is an age-old dilemma. Who chooses? How much authority should we give our kids? Freedom is something we all need, yet how do we structure our lives so that we get what we need and our children have the appropriate setting in which to make their own choices, learn and grow?
As long as our kids are at home with us, there is a safety net beneath them. Certainly we want the most for our children. We want them to surpass our goals and achieve ones of their own. So we want them to grow. We want them to face challenges. As parents, where do we begin? How do we know what is appropriate, and how do we know exactly what our kids need to do to learn responsibility? This is a nagging question, and although there is no easy way through the parenting process, there are certain basic things we can do to help our kids become responsible adults.
Here are 5 basic strategies to help kids learn the basics:

1. Help kids develop knowledge of themselves and appreciation of their individuality.  We must give our kids the freedom to choose which activities and interests they wish to explore. It is our job to facilitate their discovery of their individual and very personal interests by listening to who they are and what they tell us. This means we do not impose our interests and ideas upon them. After offering to them various different opportunities, we accept and support their choices without judgment.
2. Help kids take ownership of their choices. We need to look at every experience our kids have as an opportunity to cultivate self-understanding. This means that when our kids make choices for themselves, they learn to evaluate the consequences without judgment from us. This gives them time to figure out certain life lessons for themselves within the parameter of a safe setting. This is far more impactful that mere rhetoric from us. We are here to listen and offer support during this process. It is a tremendously valuable experience to let our kids make reasonable choices cradled within the opportunity to start over when things don’t turn out as anticipated.
3. Help kids learn how to manage their time. As parents, we help our kids to do this by setting forth our expectations of their responsibilities for the day (homework, athletic or music practice, chores etc.) and then allowing them to accomplish their duties independently, of course with a gentle reminder or two along the way. There should be reasonable consequences in place for failure to accomplish general expectations.
4. Help kids to accept their feelings without judgment. This starts with our ability to accept our own feelings without judgment. Our kids observe how we accept, experience and appropriately express our feelings. This gives them the standard for accepting and expressing their own feelings. Then, we must give our kids the space to appropriately feel their feelings without judgment. This gives our kids the beautiful knowledge about how to take responsibility for their own feelings when they are in a safe space to do so.
5. Help our kids to set their goals for the day, weeks or months ahead. We must set aside some time to listen to what our kids are hoping to experience in the days, week and months ahead. This gives us the opportunity to discuss what might be possible for our child to accomplish and experience with our help and support. This helps our kids learn how to take charge of their life by actively pursuing their developing interests by making them become a reality.

Setting forth strict and uncompassionate guidelines deprives our kids of their ultimate authority in the long run. Conversely, setting forth no guidelines whatsoever undermines the development of a child’s sense of authority and mastery over their life.
Let kids see the results of their own choices. Let them hear the impact of their own words. They must be able to experiment with the world before them.
Part 2 of this article coming soon! In the meantime, for more information about conscious parenting, or for more information about Susan A. Haid and Lily’s Truth, visit www.lilystruth.com.

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