Be a good listener.What’s important to kids may not be what’s important to you, and that’s okay. Practice listening without distractions for 30 minutes a day. You’ll be surprised what you find out about their hopes, fears, friendships and goals.
Know your role. A ten year old doesn’t need you to be the same kind of parent you were when they were a toddler. As kids grow, they need you to change with the times. Instead of babying them, coach them through this new phase of life.
Expect imperfection.Make your home a safe place to fail and try again. Don’t be surprised when things get broken, hurt or lost. Take each imperfect act as an opportunity to coach kids and help them through a challenge.
Ask if they’d like help/advice/a plan. Before you go spouting off all your wisdom, ask if a kid would like it. This makes the conversation a two-way communication, and kids who say, “yes” are more likely to apply all that goodness you are sharing.
Let them problem solve.Empowering kids to take responsibility for mistakes and challenges can be as easy as asking, “what’s your plan to make it right?” With one question they feel the weight of responsibility and know it’s time to take action (even if that action is asking for your help with a plan).