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Parents: Be Role Models
Parents and caregivers are vital to the healthy development and growth of young
children. We all know this, but what can we do better to enrich our children? Helping
children learn more about themselves and their environment can be a key step in preventing
school and youth violence. Parents want children to be safe, and children want to feel and
be safe. The following information will be both helpful to you as a parent as well as to your
children. So take the time to read and make time to share this with your children. Violence
prevention begins with YOU. Remember to make time to listen, talked time to talk.....these
can be precious moments.
- Nurture your children to show that you love them. Every day, tell them that you love them
and show affection with a hug, a kiss, or a touch. Make time for special family fun activities.
Also, meet your child's friends to ensure that they are getting positive influences.
- Understand emotions. Children who don't know how to control their anger are more likely to
fight. Teach children how to calm down and talk over their problems. Keep in mind that anger
is real, but it usually goes away. To calm down, think about or do things you enjoy.
Once you have calmed down, think about the problem with a clear head. Take steps to solve
- Communication is a two-way street. Children who have good communication with their parents
are more likely to ask for their advice than turn to peers. When talking to your child,
always remember to LISTEN to your child. Find out what your child knows about violence and
how to prevent it before you start talking. Let your child know they can always talk to you
- Respect is such an important trait for everyone involved. Many youth fight because
they feel disregarded and , as a result, feel angry, humiliated, or embarrassed.
Respect means that you need to give respect so you may get respect. Stand up for
yourself without putting yourself in danger and discuss ways to solve problems without
fighting. Respect is not gained by physical force or intimidation but by the quality
of your character.
- Education helps everyone benefit. Take interest in your child's education and development.
Read to your child and encourage your child to read. Meet with your child's teachers
often and learn about your child's progress in school.Review homework and tests, Give
your child household responsibility/chores. Children who aren't interested in school,
who have friends who use alcohol/drugs, and who are not bound by rules are more likely
to use alcohol/drugs.
All of these pointers can be helpful in becoming a great parent. Do what is the
most beneficial for your child by helping them become a good and caring citizen in our
society. For more on family relationship development for good mental health contact Mental
Health America at 1-800-969-6642 or log onto www.mentalhealthamericajc.net.
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176