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Being a Good ParentThere are many ways to raise happy, well-adjusted kids, but science has a few tips for making sure they turn out okay. From keeping it fun to letting them leave the nest, here are 10 research-based tips for good parenting.
Don't be fooled by their heightSlide 2 of 51
Don't be fooled by their heightNo matter how tall they get or how grown-up they look, your kids are still just that … kids. And parents of older children especially need to remember this fact, according to Sara Johnson, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The developmental period known as adolescence lasts about 10 years — from ages 11 to 19 — and it's regarded as a critical time for brain development. So it's important to keep in mind that, even as kids grow into young adults, "they are still in a developmental period that will affect the rest of their life," Johnson told Live Science in March 2016.Slide 3 of 51
Support the shy onesSlide 4 of 51
Support the shy ones
A little bashfulness is one thing, but kids with behavioral inhibition — a trait that refers to shyness and also extreme caution in the face of new situations — may be at higher risk of developing anxiety disorders, according to researchers. And parents who shelter kids demonstrating behavioral inhibition (in effect, encouraging this inhibition) may actually make the situation worse.
So how do you support shy kids? The key is to get them out of their comfort zones without trying to change their nature, said Sandee McClowry, a psychologist at New York University. Why not just break them of their shy habbits? Research has shown that shyness is a part of some children's character and a very difficult trait to change. In other words, it's better to work with shyness than against it.
"That acceptance of the child is a huge, huge thing," McClowry told Live Science in September 2016.Slide 5 of 51
Live in the momentSlide 6 of 51
Live in the moment
Adults tend to constantly think about the future, but kids — especially preschool-age kids (ages 2 to 5) — live in the here and now, scientists say. To get on a kid's level, parents need to learn how to live in the moment, too, said Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development in New York City.
This is especially true when it comes to communicating verbally with a young child, said Klein, who is also the author of "How Toddlers Thrive" (Touchstone, 2014).
Instead of telling a 3 year old that it's time to get ready for some future action, like going to school, parents should give their child a set of instructions, Klein told Live Science in August 2016. Replace ambiguous statements like "it's almost time for school" with clear, simple explanations and directions, such as, "We need to leave for school. It's time to get your coat."Slide 7 of 51
Tell them how they feelSlide 8 of 51