While there are many wonderful parenting books and philosophies out there, it can be hard to find one that covers everything modern parents need to know. So what’s the solution? Canadian child psychologist, speaker and author Dr. Jillian Roberts has developed a framework called the Mindkey Parental Compass that offers a set of values to guide you through parenting, rather than a static set of rules.
Her philosophy, which includes seven key principles, promises to enhance the parent-child bond and equip parents to be more effective problem-solvers and she says, “It's never too early or too late to start using the compass. Its values are timeless, making it relevant for children of all ages, even those in their teenage years.”
Need some help tackling tricky parenting issues? Follow these seven principles from the Mindkey Parenting Compass.
Establish yourself as the primary confidant in your child's life as early as possible. Encourage them to ask questions about anything, even the most challenging or embarrassing topics. Begin your responses with gratitude for their questions, acknowledging the value of their curiosity, and reassuring them that they can always turn to you for answers. Strong, healthy parent-child bonds are pivotal for nurturing resilience in children.
Validate your child's emotions and needs, fostering an environment of love, trust, and openness. This is essential to create a safe space for your child to approach you with their problems or mistakes. Children must understand that making mistakes is a natural part of life, and the key is to learn from them to avoid repetition. Deeply felt unconditional love nurtures a growth mindset in children.
Strive to become an adaptable parent who remains attuned to your child's evolving world, encompassing both offline and online influences. Keep abreast of your child's social circle, music preferences, technology usage, and online influencers. Active involvement in your child's life signals your understanding of their perspective and your willingness to engage in meaningful communication.
In today's context, it is crucial for children to grasp the importance of both physical and emotional boundaries. Teach them about various levels of boundaries, which serve as the bedrock of healthy relationships. Educate children about the sanctity of physical spaces and the significance of respecting the boundaries of others.
For instance, emphasize the necessity of seeking permission before entering someone's room and only sharing online content involving others with their consent. By instilling a deep understanding of boundaries and their consequences when crossed, you can shape respectful digital citizens.
These boundaries encompass our inner selves, our families, our communities, and online domains, and crossing a boundary once makes it easier to transgress in the future.
In an era where children are increasingly absorbed in their digital lives, it is imperative to teach them the value of prioritizing and nurturing in-person relationships with peers and important adults. Create a welcoming home environment that encourages social interaction while actively discouraging bullying and shaming behaviours.
Foster numerous opportunities for socialization and instill the importance of teamwork. Cultivating robust and supportive relationships is paramount for healthy psychological development across the lifespan. Teach children the cardinal rule of friendship: to have a good friend, one must first be a good friend.
Celebrate the beauty of human diversity and actively promote an inclusive family mindset. Model openness, respect, and acceptance of diversity. Expose your child to diverse people and environments, providing experiences that embrace different perspectives. Engage in discussions about concepts like Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Work to reduce the stigma surrounding sensitive topics such as sexuality by openly addressing related issues, and empowering your children to discuss their concerns and questions with adults. Do not tolerate or perpetuate stigma and prejudice, particularly concerning sensitive topics like sexuality and gender identity. Reflect on and let go of any lingering prejudices from your past, fostering a more authentic and non-judgmental existence.
Building resilience serves as the core of the MindKey Parental Compass. All the points on the compass synergize to lead us to this ultimate objective: nurturing your child's resilience. In an age where parents face novel situations with their children that they never encountered in their own upbringing, we acknowledge that new dilemmas are bound to arise.
Dr. Jillian Roberts is a registered psychologist, Professor at the University of Victoria, founder of the MindKey Health Clinics and author of What Happens When a Loved One Dies: Our First Talk about Death and On the News: Our First Talk About Tragedy.
Want to learn more strategies and discover helpful activities to try with your kids? Access the Mindkey Parental Compass course for free with code CLINIC100.
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