By Leah Davies, M.Ed.
1. LOVE your child. For your child to be successful, he or she must feel valued. Your gentle touches, smiles and hugs communicate love. Giving your undivided attention, especially at the end of each day, demonstrates caring.
2. LOOK for the good in your child and make specific comments on what he or she does well. You must believe in your child's worth before he or she can believe it. If you want your child to have self-confidence and motivation, watch for positive behaviors and comment on them.
3. LISTEN, without judgment, to your child express his or her thoughts and feelings. If you do not listen, your child may attempt to gain your attention by misbehaving.
4. LAUGH with your child, not at him or her. Demonstrate a sense of humor as you cope with life's difficulties. Laugh and play together.
5. LABOR diligently and with pride so that your child will want to work hard, persevere and do his or her best.
6. LEARN new information. It is fine to say, I don't know, but then add that you both can find out together. Take the time to read and thus instill a love of learning. On car trips play word games, read or listen to books on tape.
7. LEAVE the television and other media off. Many programs and video games desensitize your child towards violence and contribute to fearfulness and aggression. Place computers in central locations to monitor internet use.
8. LIVE life to its fullest. Take pleasure in little things like an ice cream cone, a beautiful day or the enthusiasm of your child. Read, pretend, dance, sing, take walks, play games, have pleasant meals, look at photos, share dreams, and enjoy each other.