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A Sampling of Dos and Don’ts from Teach Your Children Well

September 30, 2012

The following excerpts are taken from Madeline Levine’s book, Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success.

Resourcefulness*: Do create a little necessity in your child’s life.  Don’t become impatient with your child’s limited resources. (pps. 194-195).

Enthusiasm:  Do remember entitlement kills enthusiasm. Don’t use your love or approval as a way of manipulating your child’s interests or level of enthusiasm. (pps. 200-201).

Creativity: Do provide opportunities for unstructured play to develop more flexible problem-solving skills as well as higher levels of creativity.  Don’t expect your child to be notably creative without putting in the time.

Good Work Ethic:  In addition to focusing on effort, persistence and discipline, do make sure to notice other components of a good work ethic like integrity or the ability to communicate and collaborate. Don’t insist on your child’s “best effort” at absolutely  everything. ( pps. 213-214)

Self Control:  Do allow your child to experience moderate levels of distress. Don’t minimize or be dismissive of your child’s negative feelings (pps.223-224).

Self Esteem: Do encourage your child to work outside his or her comfort zone. Don’t praise indiscriminately if you feel your child needs a “boost” in self-esteem (pps. 231-232).

Self-Efficacy: Do provide opportunities for your child from a very early age to be able to contribute successfully to the family. Don’t  protect your child from failure. (p. 237).

* I LOVE this term, as opposed to self-reliance.  Self reliance is good, but resourcefulness “is the ability to both independently and optimally solve daily problems and to seek help from others when we can’t problem-solve independently.” I”m sold on the term because it’s broader, more realistic, and actionable.

To see an interview with Dr. Levine on the Today Show, click here.

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