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Each week the Eyres post one tried and proven “Parenting Principle” (or sometimes a Marriage Principle) here on this page, and also on social media (Instagram @richardlindaeyre, Facebook @lindarichardeyre, and Twitter @richardeyre). Please follow, and invite your friends to do the same. Each week the brief, quotable parenting principle will appear with several links to articles, podcasts, videos, or radio and television appearances that give more ideas, instruction and inspiration on that principle.

June 4, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #10: A “Secret Code” For Better Family Communication

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All parents know how important communication and discipline are within their family, but few seem to manage the clear, calm effectiveness they desire. What we need is a simple “secret code,” built around animal images that kids love, which corrects and reminds children of correct behavior without power struggles or arguments. Humpback Whales, for example, do not interrupt each other, and they sing pleasantly to one another—no yelling or anger. Crabs have an instinct to pull each other down so that if there are two crabs in a bucket, neither of them will ever get out. We want to be like whales, not like crabs.

The full secret code includes 9 animal images, researched, tried and proven, and guaranteed to make the task of correcting kids behavior simpler, more effective, and much, much more pleasant.

For the animal code images and specific instructions on how to use them:

Video Podcast Article Online Program

May 28, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #9: Focus On One Value Each Month

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Most parents know that the best protection and the best legacy they can give their children is to teach them good values.

A few years back we were privileged to write a book called Teaching Your Children Values which was published by Simon and Schuster. Oprah loved the book, and along with Donahue, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and Prime Time Live, she catapulted the book to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list–the first parenting book in 50 years to top the list!

The thing Oprah liked, and the thing readers continue to like, is the simple format. It outlines 12 universal values that all parents want to teach their children and gives methods stories, and activities to teach it. But perhaps the most important thing it does is to suggest that families focus on one of the values each month. It’s this focus that makes each value effective!

This week’s parenting tip is to focus on one value each month. For a list of the values we suggest and for ideas on how to implement this year long program:

Value of the Month Alexander Series Video Article Podcast

May 21, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #8: Mommy Dates, Daddy Dates

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The most important and consequential parenting is one-on-one, one parent with one child, and Mommy dates and Daddy dates are an awesome way to be sure this kind of individual attention happens regularly (and they’re also great fun!). The basic idea, of course, is to give a child your full attention and focus during a little outing that could range from a special evening together to picking him/her up from school to go to lunch together.

For more how-to detail on this idea:

Article Podcast Video

May 14, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #7: The Ancestor Story Book

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The Ancestor Story Book is a way of giving your children identity and resilience by teaching them more about the lives and stories of their grandparents and great-grandparents. Studies show that the more kids know about their ancestors, their genetics, their heritage, the more secure they feel and the more immune they are to peer pressure. Write down the stories you know, in age-appropriate language for your kids—put the stories in an “Ancestor Book” and let your kids illustrate the stories. These will become your children’s favorite bedtime stories!

For more how-tos on this idea:

Video Article Podcast 1 Podcast 2

May 7, 2018

The Power of Grandparenting

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We take a short break from the top ten parenting tips this week so that we can focus on grandparenting. Grandparents can make such a difference, and as you know from our last social media post, we just released two books called Being a Proactive Grandfather and Grandmothering.

One key message of both books is that parents and grandparents need to sit down together and discuss the helps and inputs and assistance parents would welcome from the grandparents. Taking this kind of teamwork approach, with grandparents acknowledging that the parents are in charge and they are the “supporters” and “supplementers” can be wonderful for the kids and wonderful for the relationship and trust between parents and grandparents–and this is true whether you have one grandchild or 31 like we do.

For more how-to specifics and an additional array of insights on grandparenting:

Article 1 Article 2 Podcast 1 Podcast 2

April 30, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #6: Decisions in Advance

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We meet many families that have gone through much worry and grief because of a single bad decision that one of their children made. Kids get blindsided by peer pressure that they had not anticipated or prepared for. The best way to prevent this from happening is to work with young children (from about age 8 to 14) on making their own list of “Decisions in Advance.”

Set up a special page in their journal with that title at the top and ask the child what kind of decisions he can make right now, even though she has not faced them yet. Kids will come up with things like “I will never smoke” or “I will graduate from college” or “I won’t ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking.” Before letting the child write down any advance decision, do some role-playing where you imagine a situation a few years down the road where there is a lot of peer pressure regarding that choice. Ask the child exactly what he would say or do in that situation. When she has really thought it through, she can write it down and date it and sign it on her list of decisions in advance.

For additional detail on how to do this:

Video Article Podcast

April 23, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #5: A Family Economy to Combat Entitlement

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We often ask parents what they think is their biggest parenting challenge. The number one answer is “Entitlement Attitudes.” The best way to deal with this widespread problem is to understand that we give our kids more by giving them less, and to set up a work and initiative-teaching family economy where kids earn money rather than get handouts.

For ideas on how to do this:

Video 1 Video 2 Article Podcast

April 16, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #4: Family Mission Statement

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Most businesses have them—a clear statement of mission, of goals, of what the company wants to be. Families should have one too, a family vision statement, created together by parents and children thinking together about what they want their families to become. We started with a list of the words that we hoped would one day describe our family, then we winnowed it down to a descriptive paragraph, and finally down to a three-word mantra that everyone felt good about and bought into. The words were “Broaden and Contribute” and a couple of years later our children gave it to us one Christmas as a beautifully framed calligraphy and gold leaf plaque that hangs in our family room to this day. It has brought us together and influenced each of us in our choices and our ambitions.

For how-tos on creating a meaningful and uniting mission statement as a family:

Video Article Podcast Book

April 9, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #3: Family Traditions Calendar

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If we want our family culture to be stronger than the peer culture, the internet culture, the celebrity culture and all the other cultures that swirl around our kids, we need fun and compelling family traditions. Most families have traditions—the trick is to refine them and anticipate them and emphasize them more than ever before. One good way to do this is to make a family traditions book or calendar and let the children illustrate it.

For more detail and expansions of this idea:

Video Article Podcast 1 Podcast 2

April 2, 2018

Top Ten Parenting Tips #2: The Five-Facet Review

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How do I nip my kids’ problems in the bud and recognize their gifts in time to cultivate them?

Try having a “Five Facet Review” once a month where you sit down as a couple and go through the five aspects of each child. “How is Tommy doing physically? How is he doing mentally? Emotionally? Socially? and spiritually? Analyze and brainstorm together about each of the five. Take notes. Formulate some need-meeting goals for the month ahead. Make it fun, go out to a restaurant on a date and confine your agenda to your kids!

If you are a single parent, do it with a grandparent or someone else who knows and loves your kids. When done well (and regularly) this habit can help you recognize oncoming problems before they are too hard to solve, and can help you notice the gifts and aptitudes of your kids in time to cultivate and develop them.

For how-to details:

Article Podcast Video 1 Video 2

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