Parents are urged to focus on the needs of their children.

Parents are urged to focus on the needs of their children.

Spend time with the kids

Teens report that parents are the most important influence when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

Perhaps the most important feature of quality parenting is spending time with your kid. In other words, making time every day for your child.

Parents are critically important in a child’s life.

Teens report that parents are the most important influence when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

Kids want and need boundaries and look to their parents for advice, guidance and support.

A review of solid parenting practices reveals some common themes.

Parents who are meaningfully involved in their child’s life focus on the following parental practices:

•Attentiveness – being fully present.  A fear most kids have is being ignored. Stop what you are doing, make eye contact and listen

•Set boundaries with firm and fair consequences when rules are not followed.

•Follow through  – When your child breaks a rule, apply the consequences and don’t back down. Consistency is one of the most powerful predictors of success.

•Regular communication – Regularly communicate with your child and school. Talk about their interests, friends, extra-curricular activities. Find out who your kids’ teachers are and talk to them about how to create successful atmosphere for your student.

•Model appropriate behaviour – We only have one chance to be with our kids before they grow up.  Consequently, spend time listening rather than talking, set clear boundaries and be consistent. This will lead to a powerful and enduring relationship.

Doug Rogers is substance abuse prevention counsellor with the Vernon School District.