Q:

What skills do responsible parents need to have?

A:

Responsible parents communicate honestly with their children, develop consistent routines and are involved in their children's education and development. Based on their values and community background, different parents use different tools to put these skills into practice.

Responsible parents communicate to their children their expectations regarding behavior. Parents should agree on those expectations first, then provide feedback to their children about their behavior. Responsible parents also set a good example and act as role models for those behaviors. Role playing is a parenting tool that lets a parent teach behavior without any positive or negative consequences to the child. Parents can use regular family meetings to keep lines of communication open with their children.

Developing consistent routines allows responsible parents to reward positive behavior and assign unappreciated consequences for negative behavior. If parents are inconsistent, their children receive mixed messages, which undermines the parents' ability to communicate seriously regarding their expectations.

Parents who are involved with their children's development and education are able to help them plan for and adapt to frustrating circumstances, which again sets a good example regarding appropriate responses. When a family becomes involved with the community, children are able to learn social interaction and develop self-confidence.


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