7 Ways to Be a Better Parent

Tip #3: Occasionally Let the Youngster Lead.
If you have a youngster who is sometimes critical of the way you do things, let them plan the next family outing or activity. Provide a few guidelines and a budget, then let the kid have a go at it. This won’t necessarily ensure that everyone will have a great time on the activity, but it will eliminate much of the complaining. Be certain to recognize the youngster for his or her efforts.

I encourage families to have a message center, the “Important Things to Remember” Board (on or near the refrigerator, of course). Things that are important, such as appointments and activities, are on the Board, and everyone is expected to read it and be responsible daily for what is on it. “I didn’t know” is not an excuse. Let the youngster take responsibility for posting messages on the Board for a week, as you pass this responsibility around to family members who can handle it. This strategy also ensures that the youngster in charge of the Board will not “forget” what is on it. Again, recognize efforts.