Advice for Parents From Kids: Part 1

Kids speak up on how they think you can be a better parent.

For this month's From a Kid's Perspective survey, I decided to switch things up a bit. Instead of coming up with a topic to ask kids, I decided to gather some top secret information on the questions or concerns parents have about their kids. The questions came pouring in, so I guess it's safe to say that we, kids, are not easy all of the time. Below is the first part of the three part series, with five questions from parents that were answered by kids ages 12-18.

Check back next month for part two, where you can find answers to some of the most common issues between parents and their kids. If you would like to have your questions answered, please email me at

Q: What's the best thing for parents to do when our kids look sad or upset, but don't want to talk about it?​​

Sixty percent of kids want their parents to ask them what's wrong only once, and if we don't want to talk about it, then drop the subject. If we are still upset later, ask again because it's nice to know you still care and were generally more likely to share what has upset us.

The rest of kids would prefer it if their parents wouldn't ask at all, but let us come to you.

Q: What can parents do to help their kids feel more comfortable talking to us and confiding in us?

The top three things kids want their parents to do when talking with them, or sharing their problems are:

  1. Listen without judgment.
  2. Give us your undivided attention.
  3. Always be on our side, no matter what!

Q: What activities would kids like to do with their parents to feel more connected with them?

Kids answered that they would want to go out to eat with their parents, or find a hobby that they both enjoy doing.

Q: How can I motivate my kids to do more and/or to work harder?

No. 1 answer from kids was to give them praise and recognition when they are working hard or doing the right thing. Also, the majority said to tell us your concerns, then give us a chance to make that change

Q: With teenagers, what is a good punishment for bad behavior?

The majority of kids said the number one thing parents could do to punish them would be to limit their social life, (ex: not letting us hang out with friends, or having an early curfew). Second, which wasn't very surprising, was to take our electronics.

To read past FKP surveys, or to have kids ages 12-18 participate in future surveys, go to my Facebook page "FKP."