Questions You Need to Ask

The following questions apply to children beginning around age eight and should be used as a decision-making guide through the teen years.

  1. How well does your child handle the privileges and responsibilities you give her? Does she demonstrate good judgement?
  2. Does your child follow her "gut" reaction in all situations? Can she say "No" when she is uncomfortable? To adults as well as peers?
  3. Does your child have high self-esteem? Does she feel appreciated, loved, and capable? How does she demonstrate it?
  4. How does your child express feelings like hurt or anger? Does he resolve conflicts with peers? If not, how does he manage his emotions?
  5. Can your child discuss troubling or confusing things with you or with others? Are difficult subjects discussed at home? If not, why not?
  6. Does your child have friends? What do they do when they are together?
  7. How well does your child solve problems? What are his strengths? What are his weaknesses?
  8. What could tempt your child to act recklessly or do something he doesn't want to do? Are there things that you can't or won't buy him that would lower his resistance to a dangerous bribe?
  9. How much time does your child spend on the computer? Does he prefer it to socializing with friends and participating in activities? What sites does he visit and what games does he play?

From Raising Careful, Confident Kids in a Crazy World, by Paula Statman © Copyright 1999 Piccolo Press, Oakland, CA. All rights reserved.

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