Nancy Beals, Prevention Project Manager, Drug Free Marion County explains how parents must first develop house rules that govern bed times, household chores, asking before leaving the house, respecting one another, etc.
Next, be prepared to address problems as they arise, have small bonus chores that have to be done if a rule is broken, identify privileges that can be removed (TV time, cell phone, computer time with friends etc.).
Provide positive feedback to encourage and recognize your child when they are doing as expected.
When a rule is broken, it is important to address the problem and assign a consequence. Be factual: identify how the situation makes you feel, why it is a problem, what you expect will be done and the consequence. “I am upset when I come home and your clothes and backpack are strewn all over the living room. It is a problem because someone could fall or something could get broken. I expect you to pick up your things and put them neatly in your room, or there will be no TV for an hour.”
If they protest, remind them of the house rules and advise that they could be assigned more jobs if they carry on. Indicate that the conversation is over and leave the room.
As they age be prepared with rules about dating, driving, staying home alone, and your expectations on alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drug use.
Support your child’s school involvement: individuals who complete high school and go on for additional education or training are more likely to get a good job.
- Make sure your child attends school every day.
- Make sure they do their homework, and get help if they are having problems in a subject.
- Attend school functions and talk to their teachers.
- Ask them about important tests, or projects.
- Encourage involvement in school groups and athletics.
Before your child leaves the house make sure you know the 4 Ws
- Who your child will be with
- What they will be doing
- Where they will be
- When they will be home – and It is okay for the parent to set the return time.