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Positive Parent-Child Interactions


Q. What's the secret of communicating well with your child about school, especially when the child might be having problems in the classroom?

Author Marc Fey of Focus on the Family contends that the key is to create a home environment with three characteristics: acceptance, firmness, and autonomy. They have been tied to school success, he says. When they are in place in a home, school problems get solved a whole lot more easily than in other kinds of homes.


Here are his suggestions for how to make a child feel accepted:


  1. Show affection.
  2. Offer affirmation and praise.
  3. Be available and listening when your child comes to you with a problem, no matter how tired or stressed out you may be.
  4. Enjoy your child.
  5. Educate yourself on issues so that you can offer effective guidance and assistance.


Here are ways to be firm:


  1. Clear rules.
  2. Consistent consequences for breaking them.
  3. High expectations for maturity and responsibility.



Finally, here's how to build your child's autonomy, or self-control:


  1. Tolerate and encourage individuality.
  2. Ask for and value a child's opinion.
  3. Encourage the child to express himself or herself.


Homework: See more advice on parenting from this author and from the website of Focus on the Family,


By Susan Darst Williams Parental Involvement 24 2008



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