10. Make them apologize. If your child does something wrong, make her fess up and face the consequences. Don’t brush rudeness, bullying or dishonesty under the rug. If you mess up, set the example and eat your humble pie.
11. Mind their manners. Even small children can learn the basics of how to treat another human with respect and dignity. By making politeness a habit, you’ll be doing your kids a huge favor. Good manners go a long way toward getting someone what they want. We’ve all heard the saying, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."
12. Make them work — for free. Whether it’s helping Grandma in the garden or volunteering to tutor younger kids, make service a part of your child’s life. It teaches them to look outside themselves and realize that other people have needs and problems, too — sometimes greater than their own.
With all the time you spend being mean, don’t forget to praise and reward your children for their stellar behavior. And always, make sure they know you love them. With a little luck, your kids can turn the tide and make their generation one known for its hope and promise.
Megan Wallgren is a freelance writer and mother of four energetic children. She blogs about how to wear them out at kinetickids.blogspot.com.
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