Happy Parents, Happy Kids

Pay a Bit Less Attention to Your Kids

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Kate Powers

We all want our children to grow up feeling loved, but that doesn't mean you have to stop a conversation with your spouse anytime your kid wants you to watch her do a cartwheel. In fact, she'll be more likely to learn patience and resilience if you ask her to wait. Sunday breakfast is sacred in our family because we can all sit down together. Dan and I like to read the paper and chat after we finish eating, but Aidan would constantly interrupt us. So we put a clock with a timer in the family room and told him he had to play on his own for at least a half hour after breakfast. If he did, his reward was that we'd do something special as a family later in the day. After a few weeks, he started looking forward to making plans for his "Sunday-morning-paper time."

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