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The keys to raising well-rounded children

MONTREAL – Raising a responsible, well-behaved and compassionate child is every parents goal – but it’s not always easy.

That’s where international best-selling author and parenting expert Barbara Coloroso comes in.

She passed by the Global Montreal Morning News to share some of her top tips when it comes to raising children.

How do I raise my kids to be caring?

For Coloroso, parents have to take the lead when it comes to teaching children about empathy.

She says parents must talk the talk – and then walk the walk – to give children the opportunity to follow in their footsteps.

“Don’t abundantly praise them when they do the right thing, because praise interferes with ethical behaviour,” she points out.

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Instead, thank a child for doing small things like sharing their toys with their baby brother or sister as this allows them to know when they’ve acted responsibly.

Compassion is a life lesson that children will hold on to throughout their entire lives.

What decisions should I let my kids make?

Coloroso points out parents have to be firm when it comes to allow their children to make decisions.

This, she says, is something that must start at a young age.

It’s as simple as “red pajama, blue pajama.”

Coloroso tells Global Morning News anchor Camille Ross her children didn’t get to decide what time they went to bed, but they were allowed to chose which pajamas they would wear.

She says she believes in the power of letting children make smart choices and decisions when they’re young.

“Age appropriate, ability appropriate choices and decisions, ” she insists.

What’s the biggest mistake parents make?

Many parents fall in the trap of saying “no,” to their children before hearing what they have to say.

“Part of it is nagging and making it our issue,” she said.

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Coloroso says we need to pay attention to the words we use so we can learn to better communicate with our kids.

If we constantly use the same negative words, our children are more likely to tune us out.

“Say ‘no’ very rarely and say ‘yes, later,’ ‘convince me’ or ‘give me a minute,'” she said.