4 Tips for Parents

Learn more about the simple things you can do to build a succesful relationship with your children at different stages in their lives.

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1. Don't Obsess About Grades

It's normal to care about your child's grades, and consult with the teacher if they're falling behind. But don't make grades your sole focus, or make your expectations overwhelming.

"That's a good way to turn kids off school," says Kugler. "We want kids to enjoy school. The focus should be on the process - learning - not just on getting ood marks."

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2. Call Before Going Over

If you have an adult child, always call before you go to his or her home, unless it is absolutely necessary. If you're the parent of a teen, knock before you enter his or her room.

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3. Back Off, But Stay Close

It's normal for teens to want to spend more time with friends than parents. But don't take this to mean your job as a parent id diminished. Find ways to remain involved in your child's life. For example, while tea parties may be a thing of the past, you can still get to know your children's friends by making them welcome after school. Staying involved may be more challenging, but it's an important way of enhancing your relationship with your child.

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4. Help with Homework

That doesn't mean doing the work with them (although some guidance is appropriate for younger children), but helping them to develop a schedule.

Why do some kids dislike homework? Not necessarily because the work is difficult, but because they put it off or try to rush through it. Have a set homework time - maybe following an after-school break, but before TV or other play - and stick to it.

"Help them get organized and into a routine," says Dr. Chesnie Cooper. Kids will feel better about their homework when they complete it with less hassle, and with time left in the day to relax and have fun.