Advice to Parent By
I recently sat down and tried to come up with a list of parenting tips to post on my website (the one you're likely on right now!). In doing so, I came up with the following tips, observations, thoughts, insight, and advice. It is by no means a complete list, but it's the one I'm sticking with.
With no further explanation, here's that list:
Children deserve to be treated with respect, even if it isn't always mutual.
Good behavior should lead to a maintaining of privileges, and shouldn't be obtained through bribes.
Children should not be rewarded or overly praised for behaviors that are generally expected.
Discipline should be firm, fair, and consistent...not hostile, excessive, or sporadic.
Discipline should be instilled with confidence, not emotion.
Discipline should be used to teach, not to control.
Parents should use every opportunity possible to teach life-skills, coping-skills, and social-skills to their children.
Parents should establish an open line of communication with their children, being approachable to even the most difficult of topics or issues.
Spending 30 minutes of quality time with your child will go farther than any gold star or raise in allowance.
Praise should be used to elicit a feeling, not to elicit a behavior.
Positive character traits should be taught, encouraged, and reinforced.
Consequences should be unpleasant, but never painful or humiliating.
"Discipline through intimidation" is the same as "correction through bullying."
A parent that doesn't enforce rules or encourage social boundaries is nothing more than an accomplice to his or her child's future failings.
Unclear expectations are not really expectations...they are vague suggestions.
The best way to assure a future tantrum or threat is to give in to the current one.
Parents that place too many demands on their children are raising future rebels. Kids need to be kids...allow them that opportunity.
Take charge early or forever be your child's door mat.
Ignoring your child's positive behavior is a great way to assure it won't happen again.
Your child will always remember the times that you bragged about him or her to others...and that is incredibly valuable.
A parent without humor is like a mechanic without a wrench.
"Time out" is incredibly effective...especially when it's the parent that is utilizing it!