Hands on Help - Parents
group magazine: November-December, 1996
From: GROUP Magazine's November/December 1996 issue
Keywords: Parents, Essential Parenting, College
HOH-Working With Parents
Help parents get back to basics with these essential skills identified by psychologist David Miller in The Ten Commandments of Christian Parenting:
*Delight in your kids. Love them for who they are and not only for what they've accomplished.
*Respect your teenagers. Avoid ignoring, belittling, or criticizing them in public.
*Admit errors and ask forgiveness when wrong. No one is perfect, but everyone can strive to be honest and mature enough to admit mistakes.
*Involve kids in decision making. Every family member should be an active participant! The parents' role is to involve kids in appropriate issues and make the best use of suggestions.
*Build family traditions. Whether it's how you celebrate holidays and special events or how you combine household chores with fun and games, the important element is fellowship. Work to make even mundane experiences valuable times of sharing.
*Spend time with your teenagers. This is translated "give them your undivided attention as often as you can."
*Listen to them. Communication has verbal and nonverbal components. Stop what you're doing. Look at your child's body language. Listen to the message behind the words.
*Be fair. Don't assume you know all the facts about a situation. Ask questions and keep a positive focus.
*Model Christ. He taught by example.
Asking the Right Questions
A parent-involvement project that started several years ago in Somerville, Massachusetts, uncovered one important reason parents don't participate in their kids' schooling: They don't know what to ask.
The Right Question Project now offers parents training on developing strategies for asking about everything from their child's education to employment opportunities, and it guides them toward finding their own solutions. It also prepares parents to lead their own workshops.
At first, there was some resistance from teachers who felt they didn't have time to be more involved with parents, but overall the attitude has been one of teamwork and support with some teachers showing interest in attending the training. To set up a seminar in your area, call The Right Question Project at (617) 628-4070.
Life Without College
It's not the end of the world when a student cannot afford or decides not to attend college, according to Inge Cannon in Homeschool Update. Here's how you can help point parents and teenagers toward alternative training:
˙Help them discern God's purpose for the teenager's life.
˙Investigate the apprenticeship process for learning a trade.
˙Seek out professionals in an area of the teenager's interest who can help him or her get a job in that field.
˙Find information on home study or correspondence courses.
As parents, we need to accept-even celebrate-when our kids make responsible choices that aren't exactly what we would've done.
-Tom Tozer in Raising Responsible Teenagers