EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 28, 2013

A primer for good parenting

Family Matters
Dr. Larry Larsen

---- — In response to recent questions on the topic, here are some succinct observations of what appears to make an effective parent.

Effective parents are:

1. People who pay attention. They are good listeners. It is impossible to deal with any issue involving your children unless you take yourself out of transmit and go into receive. Be stupid. Ask questions that allow the child to talk and explain. Stay quiet and wait for responses. You will learn a lot.

2. Moms and Dads who resist the need to editorialize, sermonize, and pontificate. Give opinions sparingly, and, when you do, make them relevant. An editorial is an opinion such as, “You have done it again” or “When will you ever learn.” etc.

3. Positive people. Take great care to notice the behavior you would like to see increase. “You are such a caring person” or “I think you handled that so well.”

4. Folks who model and show kids as opposed to telling or preaching. The kids see their parents helping others, watch love in process, and doing things together. Time is a gift. You will never regret the periods of time spent with your children.

5. Individuals who see discipline as essential but healing. They do not dwell on “punishment,” but are versatile in providing example, logical consequences, and positive remedial experiences.

6. Persons with humor and laughter. Parenting is not a deadly enterprise. Have fun with your children.

These should get a Mom and Dad started. Add to this list with your own experiences. Learning is free!

Best of luck.