Welcome to the Beyond Discipline: 10 Building Blocks for Positive Parenting Series.
This is the 2nd post in a series of 10 on the Building Blocks for positive parenting.
Each week I will be sharing ONE building block along with questions intended for reflection and personal growth and share some tools and ideas for implementing each building block into your parenting and family life as YOU see fit.
Building Block #2
A sense of family matters to children. It doesn’t matter if it is a small family or a large one, single parent or two – what matters is that the child feels like they belong and have a place in their family. Children that feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves tend to be more giving and flexible and more willing to lend a helping hand.
A family is the first place in which children can experience a sense of community, a sense that they matter and a sense that they can be a part of something important. Children that have a sense of family and belonging feel recognized, confident sharing their opinions, ready and able to participate in household tasks, more likely to be cooperative and caring for others.
By creating a healthy sense of family and fostering belonging for our children we are also increasing their overall well-being. In turn that feeling of well-being translates into better learning and children that engage in activities that are healthy and socially fulfilling.
A few parenting practices that foster family and belonging:
Family Meetings: A wonderful parenting tool is to hold family meetings once a week where everyone can share a bit of what they have done in the past week, each person can share any concerns and I find it to be a great time to review expectations for the week ahead. In my family we also share something we appreciated about each other in the past week as a way to express gratitude, kindness and care for someone in the family.
Family Meals: Eating meals together is a wonderful way to build a sense of family. There are also many chances for building family by preparing a meal plan together taking into consideration what everyone enjoys eating, giving children a chance to set the menu, shopping for ingredients together, cooking together and inviting children to join in with cooking tasks. Children can also participate in setting the table and helping clean up after meals.
Household Chores: Involve children in household chores, not as punishment or obligation but to give them a chance to feel capable and valued members of the family. This post has a list of age/developmentally appropriate household task and chores children can do!
Listen: Conversation builds connection and it’s so important for children to express their ideas and feel closer to you.
Questions for Reflection
How much time are you dedicating each week to family time?
Do you welcome and listen to your child’s opinion and ideas on a daily basis?
In which ways can you involve or encourage your child to participate in the family?
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Peace & Be Well,