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Many parents ask me for the formula for raising a great youngster that they can take pride in -“hey, that is my kid they can boast”.

First of all it takes a lot of hard work/sacrifice on the part of both parents. It is sure a lot harder if you are a single parent having to juggle a full time job and take care of the home front. Sometimes dad/mom is married to their career and doesn’t have time to nurture their child.

Let’s assume that your child is most fortunate to have two loving parents who care for their offspring. Lots of love & hugs allows them to feel wanted. During the Second World War many orphan infants in England who were not physically loved by their workers tended to die in their cribs.

Children need a sense of order in their lives where meals/bedtime has a schedule. Nutritious meals along with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables washed down with plenty of milk beats sweets and cookies.

Play time for adolescents is more important then music/ballet lessons. TV/computer games do not encourage social interaction: a fun game of tag with or pick up game of soccer can encourage physically active kids who learn to enjoy the outdoors. Childhood obesity is rampant in Canada with children at the age of twelve type two diabetics.

Parents who read to their children funny/ interesting books introduce a love of life long reading. Get your child their own library card and encourage them to talk to the librarian to select a title. Children emulate their parents and if you read they will follow your example.

Young boys tend to be more active then their sisters; the former need lots of time to work off their boundless energy. They are not ADD, Attention-deficit disorder kids that need medication. A busy active boy is a healthy child who you should not sedate with prescription pills.

Please learn to laugh with your children. Praise works wonders: for every “NO” answer there should be many words of praise - GOOD JOB offered by the parents.

Encourage your child to risk and dare to be different then the rest of the crowd.

I have counseled thousands of youngsters over the years and have never found one that I didn’t like. I have to admit that some I enjoyed more.

Each youngster is a unique individual who given the chance will be a thoroughly nice person that you can be very proud to say: “That is my son/daughter.”

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com