What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  




     Home  >  Articles  > HOW TO GUIDES
by Dr. Susan Bartell

Related: raising our kids, child raising, life skills, new decade, 2010, skills, tools, teaching children, kids, parenting, parents,

how to raise a confident, well-behaved, happy child   It's a new decade, and if you're like me, milestone years get you thinking...how do I want my child to grow up over the next decade and beyond? What key tools should I give my child to ensure that he becomes a caring, self-sufficient, courteous, and industrious member of the community?

   In my 20-plus years working with children and parents and also raising three kids, I have discovered that there are four critical life skills each child should develop. If you model these behaviors and help your child achieve them, the result will be a confident, well-behaved, happy child, and eventually a young adult who respects you, whom others respect, and who is able to achieve great success.


1.  Frustration tolerance is a crucial life skill to impart. You must say "no" and follow through, set limits and stick to them, and not give in to whining and tantrums. Young children must learn to sleep in their own beds without extensive intervention. Teaching your child to soothe himself is a key to learning frustration tolerance. Older children must learn that they won't get everything they want: Some things will be deferred, others they may never receive. This is not deprivation - rather, it is your duty to teach your child to cope with not having his every demand met. You should model frustration tolerance by being patient on long lines, not yelling frequently at your child or others, and by striving until you achieve a goal.

2.  Teach your child compassion for others. This can be done in many different ways. Make sure that your child says "I'm sorry" when he injures someone or hurts their feelings - even by accident. Help him take responsibility for his own behavior by modeling this yourself. Make giving to charity an important part of your family life by donating time or money. Look for other opportunities to make compassionate behavior a priority for your family.

3.  Regardless of socioeconomic level, every child needs to learn the value of hard work and money. Starting when your child is in elementary school, begin teaching him to take pride in his work product by selectively praising his artwork, and schoolwork, only when it truly reflects effort. It's fine to tell your child that next time he should work harder. Your child will learn the value of money if you give him an allowance and then enforce the use of it to purchase items he desires, rather than buying them for him. As he gets older, increase the allowance and its spending power, while reducing your contribution to his spending. This is how he will learn to budget and save.

4.  Finally, your child must learn to respect others. As early as possible, teach your child to say "please" and "thank you," to write thank you notes, and to show all other forms of appreciation. Enforce these niceties in every single situation, even with family members. Insist on polite behavior in public places and remove your child when he doesn't behave politely (even if it inconveniences you). Before entering a situation, advise your child of a consequence for inappropriate behavior and then follow through. Have zero tolerance for bullying, rudeness, hitting, punching, or kicking - whether your child does this to you or anyone else. Enforce immediate consequences.


   If you use the next decade to teach your child these four life skills, there is little doubt that he or she will become a young adult who will enter the world with confidence and in whom you will take great pride.


Dr. Susan Bartell is America's #1 Family Psychologist. Her latest book is Dr. Susan's Fit and Fun Family Action Plan. You can learn more about her on her website at www.drsusanbartell.com.

Give yourself a free Holiday Gift

Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More HOW TO GUIDES Articles

How to Raise Your Son to Be a Gentleman
14 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day with Your Kids
How to Keep Kids Active and Healthy in the Winter
6 Ways to Make History More Fun for Kids
5 Age-Appropriate Money Lessons for Kids

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local HOW TO GUIDES Sponsors

Broadway Edge
244 W. 54th St., 5th Fl.
New York, NY

Tutors on Wheels
369 Lexington Ave, Suite 333
New York, NY
Since 2003, Tutors on Wheels has been providing t...

Locations in Fairfield, CT and NYC
Mary Ann Hall's MUSIC FOR CHILDREN: the music scho...

Sachs Center
235 West 76th Street #1b
New York, New York
(646) 807-8900
The Sachs Center is a full service boutique practi...
Theatre Arts Center
Queensborough Community College
Bayside, NY
See Our HOW TO GUIDES Directory

local zones


Nassau cont.


Suffolk cont.


Westchester cont.



Rockland cont.


Queens cont.


Brooklyn cont.


Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE