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Give your child a daily dose of affection and understanding
Give your child a daily dose of affection and understanding

To help your child become an autonomous and resilient learner:

Give her a daily dose of affection and understanding.

This month, I will be focusing on lessons I have learned from the book, Age of Opportunity, by Dr. Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D. Steinberg is one of the world’s leading experts on adolescent psychology.

In the book, Steinberg explains how adolescence has evolved and how we need to adapt, as parents and educators, so we raise happier, more confident, more driven and more successful teens. As he points-out, the adolescent brain is particularly malleable, so it is critical that we intervene and invest in our teens to guide their development.

Steinberg suggests that parents adopt an “authoritative” style of parenting, which combines equal parts warmth (e.g., affection and understanding), firmness (e.g., clear expectations and fair consequences), and support (e.g., encouragement and praise).

As a starting point for expressing warmth, consider making it part of your daily routine to ask your child about the good things and bad things that happened during the course of her day, to listen attentively to her responses, and to validate her emotions. And remember: everyone needs a hug now and then – even a surly teen!