by L. LaShawn Sithole
1. Do not ever put them down or make fun of them. Try not to raise your voice excessively. It's disrespectful and will defeat your purpose, not to mention over time, it's completely ineffective.
2. Listen attentively to what they tell you and pay attention to the body language of what they are not saying. If you don't, over time they won't be as likely to share with you.
3. Take their ideas, dreams, suggestions and opinions seriously. Then respond accordingly.
4. Respect their feelings and each child's unique personality and identity.
5. Insist that they show respect to others. This is most often taught by your own actions.
6. Be patient - whatever that looks like for you, make an effort to improve by being even more understanding.
7. Show appreciation by being generous with genuine compliments.
8. Focus on strengths by commenting often on what is done well. Once you know the challenges of this young person, make an effort to help him or her get the support they need to be a success.
9. Show confidence in the young person by encouraging him or her often.
10. Be authentic and be consistent!
(Caution: All of these suggestions may prove useful with adults, too!)