There are three ways to use the new PKR:
Or mix and match! Have fun as you get the information you need!
In addition to the three Parenting Vitamin A’s you provide your children (see ParenTip, RAISING RESPONSIBLE CHILDREN-PART I) you have to add THREE NEW “R’s”(besides readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic) and the four “C’s”:
1) RESPECT: Children must be treated with respect to treat others respectfully. I like to think there is an unwritten eleventh commandment–respect thy children. Even though you are in charge and have to tell your kids what to do and what not to do a zillion times a day do it with respect. Be courteous to your children and respect their feelings (even though you cannot permit them to act on some of these feelings). Teach your children the skills of respect like empathy (how would you feel?), fairness, tolerance, and how to embrace diversity. And don’t forget to teach your children respect for things (we don’t write on library books) and respect for the environment-it’s the only one we have.
2) RESPONSIBILITY. Nobody is entitled, everybody has to work for what he or she wants. Nobody can put the blame on others, we must all learn to take responsibility for our actions. Chores are key. Start chores early, increase the chore load frequently, add responsibility for doing the chores so you don’t have to prompt or cajole. Also be sure your children are responsible for their homework and, at an appropriate age, for keeping appointments, writing thank you’s, etc.,
3) REASONING ability. We parents must teach our children critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making. We start when the children are very young with choices of those things children can choose like which shirt to wear. As the children get older, we talk about cause and effect, what makes a good choice, consequences, What If’s? (What would happen if nobody used the trash cans?), and What Can You Think Of’s? (What can you think of to help the homeless?)
Finally you must help your children acquire the four “C’s”:
1) COMPETENCIES. Children feel good about themselves when they know they are loved/ valued and competent (“I am OK because I am loved!” and “I am OK because I can do it myself!”)
2) CONFIDENCE in their own abilities/competencies which you build with encouragement and high expectations.
3) COMMUNICATION skills which parents aid by talking to their babies, encouraging and answering questions, reading to their children and making sure the children see them read.
4) CURIOSITY which you encourage, foster, and value every day.
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