Are you spending 20 minutes of one-on-one, un-interrupted, positive time with your child every day? You have no agenda, no teaching points, no technology—just having fun, enjoying your child, smiling, encouraging and seeing what is right with your child. And saying positive things out loud to your child enthusiastically!
Are you interacting with your child in a calm, respectful manner all (or at least almost all) of the time? This means listening carefully, praising, encouraging, describing what the child is doing right, acknowledging effort and progress, making requests respectfully and correcting in ways that preserve your child’s self-worth.
Is the atmosphere in your home calm and kind? Do people speak respectfully to each other? What is the noise level? Are people yelling? How many hours is the TV on? Is your child watching TV or playing video games less than an hour or two each day? Do you sit down together for a family meal at least daily? Is there quiet time?
Are you using discipline methods that increase cooperation and build self-worth? Do you bring your attention to the behaviors that you do want? Do you use effective praise to eliminate unwanted behavior? Do you refrain from harsh punishment and apply mild punishment to enhance your discipline approach?
Is your child’s daily schedule predictable? Does it match your child’s age and temperament? Are there set routines? Does the morning routine allow positive contact? Does the bed-time routine include some soothing, positive attention for your child—talking, story-telling, reading, cuddling, good night kiss? Are the times in between pretty consistent from day to day, including down time and play time?
Is your child eating a healthy, nutritious diet and physically active every day? This means limiting sugar, caffeine and processed foods and offering a variety of healthy foods. Are you all getting adequate sleep?
Are you taking care of yourself? Do you give yourself time to regenerate? Do you ask for and receive support from your partner, family and/or friends? Do you eat healthy food and exercise regularly? Are you caring for yourself in the way you hope your child will care for him or herself when your child grows up?
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