What do modern moms and dads do that maximizes the chance their kids will grow up right? There’s no magic formula, regardless of what all those self-help books say. Instead, it’s a trial-and-error process on the best of days. However, there are a few guidelines that can streamline the effort for well-intentioned couples who want the best for their young ones. Helping with college expenses for teens is one of the methods that work well for older kids.

For younger ones, it’s worthwhile to avoid being a friend and instead be the adult in the room. But mothers and fathers should also walk the walk and be models for the behavior they preach about. Try to be an accessible sounding board for youngsters’ concerns whenever they need a good listener and advisor. Do your best to spend as much free time with kids as possible. You will never regret it. Finally, be proactive and speak with your sons and daughters about complex issues of faith, relationships, and other vital topics. Consider the following suggestions.

Be A Parent, Not A Friend

It’s tempting to be a friend to children, but young folks need the guiding, authoritative hand of a mom or dad every step of the way. Being an authority figure does not imply a humorless, strict, overbearing presence. The practical version of the role includes all sorts of responsibilities, like playing with kids so they learn how to interact with others, teaching daily lessons about behavior, and acting as a role model for proper manners and speech.

Help Pay For College

One habit great parents have is doing everything they can to assist with the high cost of attending college. Homeowners are fortunate because they can apply for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to gain access to an immediate source of financing. Tuition, fees, room, board, and other education-related expenses can add up fast. Married couples who own their homes have a decided advantage when college time arrives for teens. Relying on built-up equity in the form of a credit line offers financial flexibility and the chance to help kids who are academically ready for higher education.

Be A Sounding Board

In countless situations, teens need someone who can pay close attention to their problems and concerns. Being a sounding board is not necessarily about giving advice. Most of the time, adolescents need a sympathetic ear and perhaps a few words of encouragement. Early teen years can be a confusing time, and having a friendly listener makes all the difference. Do your best to wait until your child has completely stated his or her concerns. Then, if they ask for advice, provide succinct, non-judgmental opinions that can guide them toward a resolution.

Model Responsibility

One of your main jobs as a mom or dad is to show the way. In general, that means being a role model in all kinds of situations. At the dinner table, with neighbors, at the store, while doing household chores, and in dozens of other scenarios, young people watch how you behave. Never underestimate the power of your everyday reactions, words, habits, and the way you deal with adversity. Adults who can remember this fact are excellent role models for kids of all ages.

Spend Time With Your Children

Retirees have a common regret. They regularly say that they wish they had spent more time with children, especially when the kids were young. If you are a new parent, why not take the opportunity to avoid ever having that regret? To achieve this, habit stacking for new parents means less time spent on adulting and chores and more time spent with the kids.

When moms and dads spend their spare time with youngsters, togetherness creates a long-lasting bond in many ways. When your children are raising families of their own, they’ll reflect on the cherished moments that you spent with them. In a way, what you do today initiates a generational cycle of caring and nurturing that helps young adults grow up right, develop in a healthy way, and become responsible adults.

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