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Programs & Services: Parenting
The Family Help Line
Your Secret to more confident parenting!
for Washington Children
You Can Be a Successful Single Parent
Organize Your Daily Family Life
- Establish a daily routine and stick to it. Structure helps establish order in your family and lets children know what to expect.
- Involve your children in running the household.
- Set aside quality time each day to spend with your child.
Ask for Help When You Need it
- Become involved in community organizations such as clubs or churches where you can meet other parents.
- Offer to share common tasks with other parents such as taking kids to school or activities, or waiting at the bus stop or babysittng.
- Enlist the help of relatives who live near you --- extended family involvement is important to your child's sense of family and heritage.
- If the child's other parent is available and capable, find ways to share certain responsibilities with him or her cooperatively.
Build on Your Parenting Skills
- Look for parenting support or education groups in your community.
- Share ideas with other parents.
Look Toward and Plan for the Future
- Set goals for your family and your children.
- Think of actions you can take to reach those goals...and work toward them!
- Talk to your children about their hopes and dreams for the future. Have fun planning how you'll get there.
Build On Family Bonds
- Tell your children each day that you love them. Let them know that you are there for them.
- Recognize their strengths, and encourage them toward reaching their goals.
Practicing Postive Parenting Techniques
Learn more about your child. Watching your child and understanding her actions and moods is a key to successful parenting. You will continually learn new things about your child as you do activities together.
Plan ahead. Pick out your activities and equipment and have an area ready for your child; this lets your child know that this time together is important.
Listen to your child. Does your child like this activity? Does your child want to do it again or is your child ready for a quiet activity now? What is your child saying to you?
Model. Demonstrate for your child how to use a new toy or play a new game. You can interest your child in new things by showing him or her what you would do with it.
Allow for differences. Your child is a very special person and different from you and everyone else. It is important to be sensitive to these differences; for example, your child may like to do the same activity over and over, while someone else's child will only do it a few moments before moving to something new. Allow you child to explore toys and be different from you.
Share positive emotions. Smiling an giggling with your toddler or sharing in a quiet cuddle time are the things that make your relationship strong. It tells your child. "I'm glad I'm your Mom/Dad."
Regulate and provide structure. When it is time for you and your child to play, tell him or her what you are going to be doing. This enhances your child's awareness. Soon you child will know the routine and be looking forward to spending this special time with you.
Provide a safe base. Part of providing a safe base is helping your child when he or she is frustrated or distressed. Another part of providing a safe base is making a safe place for your child to explore and play.
Comfort and stabilize. Watch for signs of overstimulation or boredom in you child. Stay ahead of this by slowing the pace of your activity or changing the tasks. If your child becomes anxious, he or she may need you to stop and share closeness and love for a few minutes.