Our neighbors have three great teen-age children. They seem to have what some people call old-fashioned values. They're polite. You can understand what they say when you talk to them-yes they actually speak to us old people. (Remember anything over 29 is absolutely ancient to teenagers.) They are balanced in their after school activities. They get good grades. They actually like being together as a family.
Intrigued by all this wholesomeness, I asked their parents what they did for these kids that sets them apart from so many of their peers. Here are 3 clues they use that might help you in the challenge to raise good kids:
---In the face of tremendous outside pressure to let the evening meal be like a fast food restaurant, they resisted. Dinner is family time. It is when they discuss each person's day. It's a positive time, not the place to criticize or rebuke. It is often the only time during a day when they all come together.
---Each child has family chores. They don't get paid for these; it's their contribution to the family. Its one of the ways they learned about social responsibilities and the value of contributing to greater whole.
---Social skills are almost being destroyed by technology. So these strong parents restrict television to evenings after homework is finished. Computer usage and other electronic games are decided by each child's different needs-but they too are restricted.
They said, " One of the toughest things to do is to set boundaries and limits, and having the courage to stick to them!