Cool parents are cool people who raise super cool kids.  It doesn't mean that to be a cool parent you should be your child's friend. 

How to be a cool parent

They have friends and they need parents who provide consistent expectations, plenty of love and guidance.  Additionally, if you want your children to have a great outlook on life, strength in character and a good head on their shoulders you may need to add some "cool parent" ideas to your plan.  Below are a few ideas to keep your kids positive, happy and healthy!

1. Keep them moving

Kids need physical activity just like adults.  In fact, it's more natural for kids to keep active than it is for us.  One of the first things we lose over the years is our interest to indulge in physical activity.  This is most obvious at school recess when you see kids run, play, jump around and just be silly.  It’s unlikly most adults will do such activity when given the opportunity to de-stress from their day’s work.

Today, many homes have pro-sedentary devices like cell phones, game systems and tablets.  When you see your child taking less interest in being physically active it might be time to add some family physical activity to the agenda to combat a sedentary household.  Go for walks together, kick a ball around, swim or get your kiddo on a school sport team.  

It’s best if they get some physical activity at least an hour everyday not including school time.  It’s not just good for their physical well being, it helps with their mood, self esteem and imagination.

2. More than school and friends

Find your kid’s strengths and interests and help them develop a corresponding hobby, sport or skill.  Remember, kids may not have interests in the same things as you or their siblings.  Hopefully, you’ll be able to discover and encourage their interests before the introduction of tech gadgets with games and social media that may be a strong competitor to natural imagination and creativity.  

If they’re already into games, phones and social media you’ll need to encourage and introduce something pretty darn cool to detract them from these types of activities.  Take them to a lock-n-dam, car show, park, location of historical significance or somewhere that will generally build an interest in something as an on-going hobby or subject of study.

3. Young chefs

Cook, bake and create with your kids.  Allowing kids to hone their creative skills in the kitchen gives them the ability to manage their time, learn basic measurements and follow or develop recipes.  Creating baked goods or meals can establish a great sense of accomplishment that can help them in other activities at school, summer jobs and hobbies.  It provides them a skill they will be able to utilize for a lifetime.  

4. Young readers

Reading books that interest your kids is essential to developing more confidence along with reading and comprehension skills.  The key is to allow them the opportunity to pick the books that they like as opposed to just books they are required to read for school assignments.  Once they are proficient readers they may even like to write their own poems, short stories and novels.  Moreover, the skills they attain reading will help them with their school work and grades.

Make a family ritual where all devices, including televisions, computers and cell phones are turned off for an hour, once or twice a week to give you and your children a chance to read independently, but together as family.  

5. Relationship and character building  

What do you and your child share an interest?  A great way to get your child's attention as a cool parent is to involve him/her in something that the two of you both like!  It's one of the best ways to build a stronger relationship.  

Some ideas might be baseball, crafts, cooking, building models, science, nature or physical fitness.  Not only is it a great way to build your relationship, but it gives your child a passion for a pastime that he/she can share with you.  You might be surprised how soon your young apprentice might become the master.

6. Your kid needs a competitive advantage 

Cool parents are successful people.  They are good at something or many things in their life that set's them aside from others.   It promotes self-esteem and earns respect from their children.    It could be a skill, career, compassion or trait.  Cool parents can easily help their kids find their own niche.

Sometimes the draw for kids to try something bad is that nobody else they know has done it.  Well the same holds true for good things too.  Being an expert at things that are good for mind, body and soul makes kids interesting to their peers. 

Kids are natural competitors.  When they are capable of understanding something that others find interesting, it provides them a great feeling of accomplishment, value and advantage among their peers. Some of those things may be: yoga and mediation, computer science skills like coding and game design, karate, engineering, acting, singing, hiking or surfing.

Now, get your child out there to become a really cool kid.  The best place to start is by being a really good example as a cool parent (which is also really good for you btw).  

-OurDMK.com



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