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Preparing your child for today’s world

6Teach and model healthy boundaries in relationships.

Beginning with body awareness in pre-school, children need to learn what a “respectful distance” looks and feels like. They also need to recognize if someone is ignoring their boundaries and what to do about it. The respect that you show for your children’s physical and emotional space will set the tone for how they let others treat them.

7Protect, Prepare, Practice, Praise, and Preview.

Use these 5 steps to teach your child skills such as crossing the street safely, riding the bus, walking to school, basically any skill where his safety is at stake. The emphasize is on supervised practice, which allows you to gauge your child’s progress and ensures that you don’t give him a new privilege or responsibility before he is prepared to handle it successfully.

8Monitor your child.

Protective parenting is not about hovering or being paranoid. It’s about being a good observer, supervisor, and sometimes a detective. Listen to and watch your child. Be curious, involved, and ask questions. Notice any changes in her behavior or moods. You want to catch early signs of a budding problem rather than deal with a full-blown crisis.

9Cultivate your child’s self-esteem and desirable traits.

Be strategic and enthusiastically praise glimpses of behavior that you want to see more of, such as using good judgment or acting responsibly. Your child or teen will pick up on your pleasure in watching him become trustworthy and responsible and will try harder to demonstrate those kinds of behaviors.

10Tell them you love them.

In addition to expressing your love and appreciation when you feel proud of your child, be sure to express your love for no special reason or when the going gets tough. Kids who are loved unconditionally feel more worthwhile and are less vulnerable to mistreatment by others.

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