As promised, here are the details of the talk which I recently attended. The speaker is a mother of four teenagers.
It became clearer to me after the talk that most teenage-related issues like dependence in technology, not helping in the house, premature dating, etc can be minimized, if not avoided, if proper diligence was done during early childhood. What I meant by proper diligence is that children, as young as possible, should have been taught virtues.
So what’s a virtue? A virtue is a good habit done repeatedly whether the child likes it or not. An example of a virtue is order. You teach them order by asking them to tidy their beds/rooms in the morning, clean up as they go, put back toys.
Instilling virtues become harder the older the child is.
Quite logical. The same way that it is easier for my 6-year old to pick up a new language like Mandarin than for me to learn it for the rest of my life time.
Here are some of her wise advices. Best to hear it from her.
- Parenting is a serious undertaking. Prayer life is very important. Talk to God about your children.
- Teach your children virtues. Read James Stenson parenting books.
- Think and plan ahead.
- No is a loving word. No to immediate gratification.
- Always speak positively to them.
- Give them choices.
- Only give consequences that you are ready to carry out.
- Teach them please, thank you, sorry.
- It’s ok ro be upset. Don’t shield them from disappointment.
- Consistency is very important.
- You can never hug them enough.
- Never lie to your children.
- What children want is that they’re understood.
- They have to be happy for other people.
- Give them opportunity to problem solve.
- Keep computers in the main area, never in their bedrooms.
- We don’t have to like everybody but you treat them well.
- Go and take your mood somewhere else. Come back when you are not mad.
- Let them experience the consequences.
- Teach them to be independent. Prepare the night before.
- Teach them how to cook.
- They should have jobs. In this house we have to contribute.
- Ultimately, I as a parent decide, not you.