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Purposeful Parenting Month

Melissa Hennessey

Marketing Director

Melissa Hennessey

Marketing Director

Positive parenting tips for healthy child development.

Bookstores have entire sections full of parenting books. Social circles have their own pressures. Social media has even more to say about which parents are better or worse. All of these things add up to a lot of conflicting information, and it can be hard for parents to know which pieces to use. The truth is, each family is a little different. Instead of trying to be a champion in everyone’s eyes, work on developing simple, positive parenting practices for healthy child development, such as open communication and clear boundaries. These skills are easy to practice as a family, and they will teach your child to be healthy in their own relationships for life.

The US Department of Health and Human Services named July Purposeful Parenting Month, largely because of the convenient timing. Kids have July off from school, which means they’re spending more time with their parents. Use that extra time to practice these no-nonsense parenting tips.

Check out these 5 suggestions:

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Establish mature communication patterns

This means that when your child starts to whine, don’t engage with them. Reward your child for explaining feelings and negotiating concerns in a calm manner. This also means teaching them how to listen. Only ask once. If your child doesn’t listen, follow through with a consequence. Part of child development is learning how to effectively use one’s voice. Help them learn at home so they can succeed at school and, later, at work.

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Create a consistent environment surrounding rules and responsibilities

When you say no, don’t back off. Squishy boundaries can teach children that no really means maybe, and they will struggle to grasp realistic expectations and outcomes in the future. You can still be spontaneous and have fun, but be consistent when it comes to their responsibilities and consequences for bad behavior.

Here’s an example:
You went to the store today to pick up the newest addition to your child’s favorite book series. Your child wants to stay up past bedtime to finish it. When asked for permission ahead of time, you could choose to grant it, but don’t give in if they argue at the last minute.

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Prioritize quality time

Try to spend some time one-on-one with your child every day—even fifteen minutes will do! No cell phones. No TV. Just your undivided attention. This is a great time to work on reading a book or to discuss goals and personal strengths. Learning how to set realistic goals and keep track of progress is an important life skill, so it’s never too early to start. Start by creating a family mission statement. Show them that they’re important and you are here to listen. Making a habit of this early on will encourage your children to continue talking with you as they grow older.

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Share responsibility

Chores and other household duties are good for child development; having that responsibility teaches them a sense of self and makes them feel like an integral part of the household. However, don’t make them do everything alone. Tackle some tasks together to talk about why cleaning is important and how to work as a team. They should view these tasks as meaningful, necessary parts of a healthy home. A good way to do this is to switch up their chores list once in a while. Start with teaching them one or two tasks, and then rotate their assignments as they learn new ones.

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Exercise together

Children who learn to love exercise are more likely to stay active in adulthood. Finding activities to enjoy together will keep the whole family healthy. This purposeful family time is a good addition to your one-on-one time, especially if you’ve set fitness goals together. This could be something outdoors like hiking or something indoors like a group karate class. You could even make a playlist and dance before dinner. Just get up and move together. Getting this exercise is also good for your child’s mental and emotional health.

Enjoy your summer with the family! These positive parenting tips will help you jumpstart new, healthy habits for your child’s development. As you incorporate these purposeful parenting techniques into your everyday interactions, be sure to take time to reflect together. When children understand the effect of their behavior, they will learn from their mistakes and make better choices in the future.

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