Tuesday, February 14, 2012
12 Ways to Show Your Kids You Care and Build a Capacity to Prevent Abuse and Bullying at the Same Time
The month of February is mainly about the feelings of care and love for your friends and family. When we think of February, we mainly think of celebrating Valentine’s day one of two ways: 1) when we were in elementary school and gave cheesy cards to our classmates and 2) celebrating a romantic night with your loved one. However, spending Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be solely dedicated to your spouse. It can also be a good time to really show your kids how much you love them and care for them. Ladies’ Home Journal has some great tips on how to connect with your kids that I’d like to share and some of our tips (http://www.lhj.com/relationships/family/raising-kids/25-ways-to-show-your-kids-you-love-them/):
· Spend time alone with each of your children. Go out to lunch, take a leisurely walk, read “just one more book”, view photo albums and baby books, get messy with your kids or just hang out together letting them know you value them as individuals.
· Nurture self-esteem and self-confidence by praising good effort and a job well done, not just results- allow them to choose their own clothes, wear the “jewels” your children made for you or the picture they drew for you.
· Celebrate everyday accomplishments. Make a special dinner with your child as the guest of honor to toast losing a tooth, making the soccer team, getting an A on a science paper, and more.
· Teach children to think positive by being positive. Instead of noting how dirty they are when they come in for dinner, say, "Looks like you had a great time!" or Instead of saying, "You're doing it wrong," when your child makes a mistake, try saying "Why don't you try it this way."
· Tell them how wonderful it is being their parent and how much you like the way they're growing up.
· Bend the rules. Let your children put on their boots and jump in the puddles you usually tell them to avoid.
· Eat dinner together even if it's just once a week. Take turns sharing your week's accomplishments.
· Let your children overhear you complimenting them to someone else.
· Try not to do all the things your parents did that you vowed never to do to your children.
· Get to know their schedules, friends, and teachers so you can ask, "Did you and Sam sit together at lunch today?" or "What did Mr. Rogers sing in music class?" instead of simply, "What did you do today?" and know what is going on around them or what they learned at school.
· Teach them about bullying and child abuse and how to recognize when something is not right.
· Hug them, kiss them, and say, "I love you" every day, no matter what. Kids thrive on it and it's a daily fix we all need no matter what our age. Creating a secret word, sign, or gesture of affection that only you and your child share.
Speak Up Be Safe™ (SUBS), the bullying and child abuse prevention curriculum being distributed throughout Florida in public elementary schools by the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, is helping students, parents/ caregivers, and school personnel get the information they need to understand what abuse and bullying is and how to prevent it. By educating your child on bullying, they will feel cared about and gain trust in you. They will not be afraid to speak up. Nothing is more precious than the lives of your children. Show your love by educating your child rather than thinking it won’t happen to them. Learn more about SUBS and how you can help us get this message out and show your love for your children at www.MoniqueBurrFoundation.org. Join us and help us protect Florida’s children today! - watch for our follow up article on this topic and how it relates to preventing child abuse!
Senior UNF Intern