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Homeschool Fiction

Follow homeschoolers Nadia and Aidan as they travel the USA! Each book in this series explores a new state and a new research topic. Along with their parents and pet turtle, they find adventure and learning everywhere.

...and just what is that mysterious device of theirs?

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February 2008
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10 Ways to Be a Better Parent TODAY

Every parent could benefit from being better connected with their child (no matter the child’s age).  Here are some simple ideas to get you started.

  1. Do something unexpectedly nice for your child that you don’t normally do. Does he love video games so much he barely eats? Make him food and take it to him, then clean it up when he’s done. Does she hate putting away her laundry? Do it for her and don’t mention it to her. Does he have a favorite meal that is usually only served on his birthday? Make it tonight — just because.
  2. Listen, don’t speak. Allow your child to voice his opinions and feelings fully before you interrupt him (better yet, don’t interrupt at all!). Yes, you’ve got experience on your side, but, no, you’ve never been him or been his age in this time on this day. His life is different than yours. Perhaps what was wrong for you is right for him. He’ll respect you if you respect his decisions about his life.
  3. Call in well. When was the last time you had uninterrupted time with your child? Spend at least one whole day doing nothing except what your child wants you to do. That’s right. Do only what your children want. Don’t do the bills, don’t do the laundry, unless, of course, your child wants to do this with you. Just about any task or chore can wait a day. Sometimes relationships can’t. [You can suggest things, just be prepared for a no — follow through.]
  4. Turn on your child’s favorite movie or television show and invite her over to watch it with you (or put in one of her CDs and listen to it in your living room). Don’t get up to do something in the middle (unless you pause it to get you and your child a snack). Don’t read your e-mail. Watch the show fully, you’ll get insight into who your child is and how she thinks. Don’t assume she feels a certain way about a topic just because she is watching a particular show about it, listen to her thought processes and don’t tell her she’s wrong.
  5. Rent, borrow, or buy something your child really wants, give it to him, then ask him all about it. I’m not saying for you to buy your child’s affections (this is an unhealthy behavior). However, if you routinely don’t get your child things you can afford — spice things up and get him something. He’ll be very excited and grateful (in his own way). The conversations the item brings into your life will bring you two closer. Buy extra batteries for it if it’s an item that requires batteries. Battery powered toys aren’t much fun without the batteries.
  6. Spend a whole day being your child’s friend, not your child’s parent. Don’t correct your child’s behavior or quiz their knowledge. Doing so regularly (or always) puts a barrier between a parent and child. Yes, you are the parent, but no, you aren’t the superior being. If you think and act like you are, you’ll never be friends with your child. You’ll regret this once your child is grown.
  7. Assuming your child is not an infant, go and look at her baby photographs. Then look at her sleeping now. Then look at her awake. Isn’t she gloriously beautiful? Can you believe that you have the honor of having this person be in your life? How lucky you are! Could you ever not treat this perfect person with all the respect and love she deserves? Don’t forget how quickly she’s growing! She’ll be grown up before you know it, so treat these years as special and sacred — they are.
  8. Make a secret. Don’t have many things in common with your child? Go and share an experience. Giggle about something silly. Share a secret. Don’t see this easily happening? Take your child somewhere unexpected and fun. Drive to a different store or town if you have to. Going to a new location and doing something you don’t normally do is great inspiration for shared secrets. Go out to eat, tell no one. Hang out in a video arcade and see who can do the worst at a game neither of you have played before, tell no one. Try on ugly clothes at a clothing store and swear each other to secrecy.
  9. Say yes next time you want to say no. Better yet, say yes to everything for an entire day.
  10. Write your child a love letter. Or a love note, or a love e-mail, or a love Skype, or a love poem, or a love painting, or a love text message, or a love IM. You get the picture. Write a “I love thee so much, let me count the ways…” letter. It’ll remind you that you really do. Dirty hands on walls won’t matter so much.