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BEST STARTS FOR KIDS

What Successful Families Do

 
1. Parents who feel really successful about the types of parents they are, have a parenting style consistent with their value systems. What these parents believe they should do and what they actually do, is as close to the same thing as they can make it.


2. No parent knows everything but successful parents build on and refine their good parenting habits over time. They notice what works well, they adapt and refine their skills further and they also use others' expertise to inform their further improvements.


3. Successful parents accept that while every parent makes mistakes, they choose to let go of guilt quickly, committing to doing better next time... And most importantly, they do better next time. They know mistakes are great teachers if as parents they're willing to see them for what they are.
What three things do really successful parents do differently
to those who struggle?

 
Family at a Beach

How?


1. Begin by Identifying Your Core Values: Successful parents take the time to work out what is most important to them linked to their own value systems. Then they prioritise what is most important. They are mindful of any busyness that attempts to take them away from what they believe they should be doing.

 
Happy Family

2. Acknowledge Your Good Habits: How often do we beat ourselves up for our mistakes. What is different about successful parents is that they learn to acknowledge and reward themselves, for sticking to what is most important in their lives. e.g. Successful parents keep a diary or a checklist to reinforce to themselves they did a lot of things right. And recording doesn't need to be onerous E.g. A daily photo can help parents reconnect to their authentic self: playing soccer, reading, cooking with kids, etc 


3. Set Up
Supportive Organization: Successful parents organize their life so doing what is important is as easy as possible; and automatic where possible. Ideally they do their thinking and planning once. Then they maintain and refine their routines over time,  making routines as automatic as possible. This results in making family life easier, more productive and enjoyable for everyone because routines are predictable.e.g. Are you more likely to do morning exercise if your clothes and shoes are out ready; or if you have to go looking for them, running the risk of waking your kids?

 Successful Parents have habits that reflect their values and principles and devote time to what is important to them. They usually:

  • Have a lifetime-commitment to building & maintaining positive family relationships

  • Lead by example

  • Value and support health and education

  • Interact honestly and respectfully

  • Are trustworthy, capable and cooperative

  • Have long-term goals for their children to attain success and independence 

  • Are understanding, tolerant and forgiving

  • Model resilience

  • Live within their means. Expect the best. Yet plan for the worst.

Why do routines assist success?
 
The biggest advantage of routines is everyone in the family knows what's expected of them, especially the children. This makes getting ready each morning predictable, safe and doable.

Homework routines can be linked to privileges e.g. screen time. This way kids learn there is something in it for them for being cooperative in following routines.

And meal preparation is so much easier if parents know what is going to be cooked ahead of time.

Check out Timesavers for Healthy Meals for ideas on how to save time, money and your health.
 
Our values are personal.

 Yet as loving parents, it's interesting how many values we share.

 
What family values commonly underpin family success?
Anchor 1

1. Successful parents have a sense of higher purpose related to their family. Family is a priority for them.

 

  • Parents maintain a strong lifelong commitment to their children's success.

  • They have a positive  ongoing relationship with their partner (regardless of whether they live together or not.) They debrief, discuss and revise plans and routines where necessary.

 

  • These parents balance the 'me' and 'we' aspects of family well, devoting time to both.

 

  • They plan and save for future goals

  • They reward themselves, both individually and as a group, for a job well done

2. Parents lead by example and:

  • Set high expectations

  • Provide guiding feedback

  • Respond to individual needs

  • Ensure clear boundaries guide child behaviour

  • Remain involved as their children grow

  • Keep their word

  • Are consistent 

 

These parents:

  • are more willing to negotiate around rules

  • factor in individual maturity levels 

  • respond flexibly when the need arises

  • are responsible and accountable. They encourage increasing personal responsibility in children as they mature

Father and daughter on beach building sa

3. Interactions are respectful.

  • Dialogue is open, honest, age appropriate and supports understanding.

  • Genuine trust and co-operation occurs between parents; and between children and parents.

Parents model kindness, respect and co-operation in their every day interactions.

 

Children are encouraged to have good social skills. These families often have regular extended family contact and involve in their community. Parents have fun with their kids and include them in socializing.

Parents express appreciation and gratitude. Every individual is valued for what they contribute to the family.

4. Successful parents value their own health and well being, evidenced by:

  • providing regular healthy meals,

  • regular exercise and

  • appropriate levels of sleep

 

Because of the parent's own healthy lifestyles they're good role models for their children.

 

They're also willing to accept, that different children may have different interests, and/or activity needs so organize for exposure to activities around these interests.

5. It's expected that kids will make mistakes as a part of learning. Successful parents use it as an opportunity to learn from and help develop resilience.

  • Parents remain calm, look at opportunities to make amends when mistakes occur, and find ways to resolve any problems

  • The most successful parenting style is largely authoritative: setting reasonable boundaries while being responsive to children's needs

  • Successful parents model ways of overcoming difficulties or failures themselves... by adapting

  • Parents show by example, that even large difficulties can be overcome with time and a plan

6. Successful parents maintain a big picture perspective. They plan ahead, aware they're trying to raise independent, responsible, capable, empathetic adults.

  • Parents expose their children to different ideas, experiences and cultures, which encourages tolerance and acceptance

  • Parents give children their own responsibilities and expect them to fulfill these commitments

  • They consistently link privileges to age and maturity

  • Parents increase the child's opportunities for autonomy as they mature.

  • Parents model fiscal responsibility by living within their means. They set up savings plans linked to goals. And they teach their children about the difference between investing and spending.

7. Successful parents use positive expectation & routines to provide a safe framework to support children. They make time to have fun together.

  • Quality time as a family is planned for, and prioritised. e.g. playing family games together, going on holidays together, etc

  • Time is ideally spent together on a daily basis: eating together, reading at night,  etc

  • Routines provide clear expectations of daily and/or weekly responsibilities for children. This helps scaffold personal independence

  • Parent organization/routines supports: effective running of the household, increased savings, catering to interests & positive family time

  • Consequences for less desirable behaviour are usually natural ones. Go to Why Use Natural Consequences? to learn more.

How Can You Successfully Implement Organization into Your Life?
Anchor 2

The most effective way of adding organization into your family that will work is to:

1. Work out the one area you would like to improve upon the most first.

For example:

2. Start out small and build upon little successes rather than start too big and fail 

3. Ask all family members' input to discuss how this could be done. Discuss:

  • why support is important

  • why individual's will have responsibilities

  • and what the rewards will be if family members get on board with the new organization.

 

N.B. : We all usually prefer to do what feels good so can you make this new habit attractive or fun?

 

If not can you link it to something that is fun e.g. exercising while watching a favourite tv show. Or can there be an acknowledgement immediately after completing the new habit. E.g. computer time is after homework is completed.

4. Keep a record of your small improvements. A simple tick on a chart can help with accountability.

It builds commitment and confidence. And acknowledging the positive in others helps build good relationships

5. And because we all like to see improvements over time, add any newer habits to existing habits that are working well:

For example: You'd like the house to be cleaner. New habit: Shoes go off at the door

6. As each new habit is successfully incorporated into routines, over weeks, link in a small new one

Success breeds success. Building incrementally supports success. And because each success  builds upon past successes, you compound your success over time.

If you're thinking it's all a bit too hard...

Below is my own practical ideas bank that I used with my family. You can use as is, or as a springboard to help you automate your life.

You'll notice I've made sticking to my values as easy as possible:

Anchor 3

Parenting

  • Put a routine chart on the fridge so kids know what they need to do in the morning: Independence

  • Make chores into fun games. e.g. tidying up before the bomb goes off... : Positive family relationships

  • Use egg timers for turn taking. You can buy sets in three, five, ten minute internals. Great for avoiding arguments: Positive family relationships

  • Make a chart of what goes in each child's school bag & get them to pack it (You'll need to check, especially at the beginning.) Acknowledge improvement: Encouraging Independence

  • Have at least half a day a week when you do something fun together as a family. e.g. picnic, park, beach, zoo, walk, adventure, etc: Positive family relationships, Life is enjoyable

  • Put your phone in a drawer for 10% of each day between 5:30 and 8:10. That's family time.: Positive family relationships, Quality family time together

  • Add an opportunity for learning about mathematics incidentally e.g. while cooking, gardening, building: Education is important, Positive family relationships 

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Put exercise clothes out ready for morning exercise: Health is important

  • Exercise first thing, that way despite how busy you are, every day has something in it for you: Health is important, Life is enjoyable

  • Make up 2 or 3 salads at a time for lunches. That way if you need a snack, you have a salad ready: Health is important, Saving money on takeaway

  • If you want to watch the t.v. do a couple of minutes of stretching or balance as you first watch it: reward Health is important

  • Floss your teeth immediately after your evening meal (that way you don't eat after dinner.) Health is important

  • Do pelvic floor exercises while you clean your teeth, have a shower, stop at traffic lights: Health is important

  • Have a bedtime routine: Healthy sleep habits for everyone: Sleep is important for health and health is important

  • Have cut up fruit in fridge for snacks: Health is important

Home Organisation

Your habits will determine your future.

quote by Jack Canfield

​​

Child Education

Adding even one tiny positive habit can make a massive difference to your child's success. Because 'positive effects accumulate over time.'

Anchor 4
Girl Reading and Laughing

 Did you know?

That by spending just five minutes a day, reading one book to your child, (from 6 months to 6 years) your child will have been exposed to around a million more words than if you didn't.

There is an amazing article called 'The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap' which compares the amount and quality of language used within households and the cumulative impact upon children. 

Because words in stories are in context, your child will increase their vocabulary, improve their comprehension, their grammar, plus their ability to predict text because they already know what makes sense.

They'll learn reading and writing conventions which will help later with their own reading and writing.

 

For example:

  • reading from left to right,

  • return sweeping to the next line,

  • reading from the top to the bottom of a page,

  • what a full stop is and means,

  • what a question mark is and means,

  • what an author is,

  • what a title is

The best thing you can spend on your kids, is time.  

quote by Arnold Glasgow

You may be looking for a few ideas on how to tweak what's already working.

For example:

 

Adding 'little' habits to what you're already doing well, usually increases your success over time.

 

If you immediately acknowledge when you stick to your goals, it helps increase your success... Because living an authentic life feels great.

 

When our actions reinforce who we believe our best selves to be, we usually feel fantastic. 

 

And if you take the extra step of recording when you stick to your goals, you'll realize just how great a parent you really are... Seriously. 

A new positive parenting habit can be something simple like:

  • Praising specific aspects of children's learning, or behaviour, so your child learns exactly what 'being good' is. (e.g. aiming for a person's chest when passing a footy, your child holding your hand in a car park, identifying letters with straight lines or uniform ellipses)

  • Looking at your children when they speak to you; so you know when they're listening, they see how sounds are produced plus they know they're important enough to have your undivided attention

  • Putting your phone in a drawer for 10% of the time each day. This supports uninterrupted family time. Say between 5:30 and 8:10

Any of us who have joined the parenting club know how hard it can be. Some days can be really tough.

 

Automating positive parenting habits can keep things running, on those days, that could easily bring us unstuck.

 

Cooking Lesson
Flower

 I've been asked for this information by family, friends & parents, over years, because they saw the difference it made to our life. It made a difference to those who embraced it in their lives. My hope is you can find something that can help you and your family.

For more ideas to support child, & family success, check out the following articles :

Organization for Success

Linking just one new positive habit to an existing habit  will stick, if you instantly acknowledge it,   especially at the beginning. Give yourself that mental pat on the back you deserve... 'Yes. I did it. That's more like me... ' And it works because it teaches you that you can trust yourself to stick to your word.

What is the biggest issue in your family at the moment? Can you do something to improve it?

 

Problem Example: Kids dump their school bags at the back door and rush in to play video games before homework or chores are done. Could you...

  • Make a rule: Kids are to unpack their school bags as soon as they walk through the door, put their lunchboxes in the dishwasher and get out their homework; before screens are allowed on.

 

  • Acknowledge when they remember. Appreciate their cooperation. And then spend positive time with them because you now have extra time. Make them a healthy snack, chat about their day, find out what's happening in their lives.

 

 

Then acknowledge yourself for sticking to your values of:

  • supplying healthy food for your family

  • helping develop your child's independence and organizational skills

  • having a routine that supports family cooperation 

  • noticing the good things your kids are doing

 

​If you train yourself to notice the many positive things you're doing well, rather than the things you didn't get to. You'll feel so much better about your parenting, relationship and life in general.

 

  • Record and review your progress

  • Discuss your achievements with people who care about you and celebrate your success.

 

  • Realise you can keep your word to yourself and feel how good that feels

What simple habit can you introduce to stop snacking after dinner?

Try cleaning and flossing your  teeth immediately after finishing your evening meal.

Over months, doing this reduced my weight. (I've now taken my belt in four holes.)

 

A one-minute habit, transformed what was a problem time of day for me.

What simple quick habit can you introduce that might help you overcome a problem?

If someone said to me, by following the free strategies on the Organization For Success link below, I'd be able to:

  • save three years worth of free time over my working life all the while improving my quality of life

  • eat healthier and more cheaply

  • plus pay off my mortgage in just over half the time, allowing me to retire in my fifties... I wouldn't have believed them. But this is exactly what happened when I followed them.

 

Click on the link below to learn more

 

 

Best Parenting Advice.com is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. It highlights what successful parents do differently to those who struggle. Best Parenting advice.com provides free online resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice on: how to give kids a best start in life, better tips for parenting toddlers, effective child rearing strategies, behaviour management tips, successful goal setting and organizational strategies for successful families, easy family dinner recipes, self-care tips for time-poor parents and free kids learning games. The aim of Best Parenting Advice.com is to provide quality practical parenting tips and advice to best help children and families succeed, using the convenience of a website.

This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting Advice.com does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting Advice.com is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.

 

Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

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