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Begin Young

Teach your children to be "self-directed" at a young age by giving them chores and other ways to contribute to the household.  By teaching your young child how to be responsible you lay a foundation for helping him/her make good decisions in the future.

Set clear guidelines and expectations for your child. Early on they should understand that going outside those guidelines and rules will have consequences.

By fifth grade, you need to be helping your child to develop character traits that will serve them in their relationships in the future.

  • Delayed gratification – They need to learn how to wait for little things, like dessert after dinner—as well as big things, like birthday presents.
  • Foresight – They need to understand that there will be consequences if they don't plan ahead and anticipate what could happen in the future.
  • Time management – teach then how to use their time wisely. Even at a young age they can learn how to be on time for school, dinner, etc
  • Master feelings – It is very important that your child understands how to control their feelings. Just like you teach them when they're young that they can't hit someone when they're angry, you teach them that they don't have to be controlled by romantic feelings as a teen. 
  • Respect authority – If they learn how to respect limits as a young child, they will be able to set and keep their own limits as they grow older.