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Five lessons about kids and parenting

Veronique and B
You know, sometimes you need to hear a complete stranger talk before you hear the obvious.

It was Back to School Night a couple days ago and the school’s principal had invited parent coach and educator, Susan Stone Belton to give a speech. It was a short talk, but man, did it pack a punch for me.

Five Lessons About Kids

  1. Kids act their worst when they feel the safest. This is good to know. I’m glad my kids feel extra safe at home and with our friends and family :-)
  2. Kids want and need your attention more than anything so reward the behaviors you like with attention, and ignore the ones you don’t. If you have one kid shooting peas at the dinner table, and another behaving properly, reward the one who is behaving with your full attention. “Ignore the pea-shooter!”
  3. Kids need to make their own choices and deal with the consequences. Say your kid wants to go out on a cold day without wearing a jacket. Let ’em. Next time you can count on his making a good choice.
  4. Relax and enjoy your kids more. If your child is driving you crazy, pretend he isn’t yours. Other people’s kids are funny. And don’t forget to laugh!
  5. Grades don’t matter. Celebrate effort, not scores. The whole point is to learn the love of learning. [this was a funny one for this particular audience because our school does not give grades]

Five Lessons for Parents

  1. Always sign up for pick-up duty when carpooling. You’ll get to hear the best stories.
  2. Listen more than you talk.
  3. If your kid is fussy/obnoxious, feed ’em or put them to bed. (it works!!)
  4. Don’t yell, they’re watching and learning.
  5. Act the way you want your kids to act and be the adult you’d like them to grow up to be.

What’s funny is that I actually sat through Susan’s presentation twice just to make sure it really sunk in. I still have a temper and get cranky if I’m too hot or hungry, but the past couple days I’ve been so much more conscious of when I’m speaking at my kids instead of with them. That alone made hauling my butt to an extra three hours of meetings at the end of an excruciatingly long day totally worth it.