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Effectively teaching kids lessons about what's important and getting them to value the right things is a tricky mission to execute. While it's only natural to want to raise kids who are compassionate, kind, mindful, love to spend time playing outdoors, and care about the planet, that's often easier said than done. As many parents know, the second you tell your kids to do something, they often want to do the exact opposite.

Rebellious kids come with the territory, but worry not—all hope is not lost! With a few tweaks and a little bit of extra thought tailored to your child's nature, you'll be able to make your parenting lessons stick in no time. Here's what you should keep in mind.

Prioritize listening and building a strong connection.

Instead of trying to control your child by using traditional forms of discipline like timeouts, consider that if you put that time and effort toward building a strong connection with your kids, they'll be a lot more likely to listen to you. "When a child has that connection with you, they sense how much they are loved and respected by you," explains clinical psychologist Dr. Genevieve Von Lob, author of

Five Deep Breaths: The Power of Mindful Parenting. "How do we get that connection? Sometimes we underestimate the power of listening, but it’s truly one of the ways we can make a real difference as a parent. We need to find time in our distracted, busy lives to put down our cellphones and listen to our children with our full presence and attention."

Child psychologist Bobbi Wegner adds that when it comes to parenting lessons, there are few things more valuable as a parent than developing the ability to listen. "I think parents spend so much effort teaching and providing life lessons, but quite honestly, most of those are tuned out," she says. "The best way to be heard by a child is to listen as a parent. Ask questions. Get curious about their perspective and engage in a developmentally appropriate dialogue. Act as a consultant who thinks through problems and issues with kids rather than top-down dictating. If you want to teach, then prepare to listen."

Remember that being right isn't the same thing as being successful.

Say you're trying to teach your kids to spend less time with screens and more time playing and moving outside. Child psychologist Laura S. Kastner points out that as a parent, being "right" isn't the same thing as being successful. Of course you know spending time in nature is better for your kids' minds and bodies than spending hours playing games on a phone or iPad, but telling them so over and over again probably isn't the most successful way to ...

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