Praise your kids – often

It is easy to be critical of our kids, especially when we are busy or distracted. Be aware, though, that constant criticism can undermine children’s initiative, self-confidence and sense of purpose, and can encourage them to become defiant or resentful.

  • Criticism should be vastly outweighed by praise in communicating with your children (and that is not just vocalised criticism but also non-verbal cues such as folded arms, frowns, or leaving the room) – try a ratio of at least 5 to 1 (praise to criticism).
  • Praise all aspects of your children’s lives – e.g. how they behave, how they approach issues and decisions they make
  • The praise must be genuine – kids will see through empty comments


Be the voice in your child’s head

Peer pressure can be very hard to ignore. To help your kids avoid giving in to peer pressure, it is important to be the voice in your child’s head encouraging them to think twice before following the masses.


They’re only young once

Remember that work will always be there, but your children won't.