There are three ways to use the new PKR:

  1. Browse and click on color-coded boxes that appear as if by magic as you scroll down.
  2. Click on a category for all the ParenTips under that particular category.
  3. Go to the Site Map (link) for an:
    • a) alphabetical list of all ParenTips.
    • b) A list of all 8 categories with every ParenTip in that category listed alphabetically.

Or mix and match! Have fun as you get the information you need!

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Here’s how I define a responsible child (and teenager):

  1. Respects himself/herself and others
  2. Develops love of learning
  3. Learns self-control
  4. Becomes empathic
  5. Develops pro-social values

Becomes a responsible teenager who will:

  1. Stay in school
  2. Dream, plan, and prepare for a future
  3. Make wise choices-mostly!
  4. Not harm self or others (no drugs, violence, irresponsible sex)
  5. Build a value system for becoming a productive, involved citizen
  6. Treat others kindly-most of the time
  7. Think for himself/herself-though still needs guidance

A responsible child and teenager is likely to become an adult who can support himself/herself, enter into and maintain a life-long relationship with another adult, become a responsible parent, and serve the community in some capacity. In other words, a responsible citizen.

How can parents raise such a person? Let’s break down what sounds like a daunting task into some manageable pieces.

Parents should start with appropriate doses of the “Parenting Vitamin A’s”:

1) AFFECTION: every child needs to know that his or her parents are absolutely, positively crazy about the kid. And the child is loved not for attributes (like being cute), accomplishments (like being the first kid on the block to be toilet-trained, or acquisitions (like a soccer trophy) but for his or her unique self. And this love must be DEMONSTRATED, MODELED, CHILD-CENTERED (you go to the swings not the tennis courts on a nice day), and STRONG, strong enough to allow appropriate autonomy though it’s scary and to set limits though it’s easier to give in.

2) ACCEPTANCE: Every child is different and comes into the world with genetically-determined personality and temperament traits which parents cannot change. But parents can ACCEPT the child and work with, not against, the trait. Shyness is an example. Because shyness can be thought of as being slow to warm up to new situations, give your child time (get to a family gathering early when only one or two people are there) and role play to teach your child how to make eye contact and small talk.

3) ATTENTION: Although most of parenting is present-but-not-interacting-time give each child some FOCUSED ATTENTION EVERY DAY. What is focused attention or focused time? Simple: You are close to the child, at the child’s level both literally (on the floor) and figuratively (at the child’s developmental level), and doing what the child likes to do. Focused time is often instructive like my mother teaching me how to cut out paper dolls from cardboard but it may also be doing-nothing-together-time like being on your backs watching the clouds go by.