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Parenting Tips - The Best Advice

Aug 17, 2007
Parenting is not an easy job, and not one to take lightly by any means. You are responsible for caring for and molding the personality of a young child, and how you do it will determine what the child becomes as an adult. Unfortunately for parents, babies aren't born with instruction manuals which can tell them exactly what to do, and when, to insure that the child grows up into a well rounded responsible individual.

Keeping in mind that all people are different, and have different family dynamics, there are some things which usually can be mutually agreed upon as universal guidelines to raise children who are well balanced adults.

In no particular order, let's look at a few tips which may help any parent no matter who they may be.

Be an involved parent. Knowing what is going on at school and other areas of your child's life are a good way of making sure they are staying on track. It is also a good way to spot potential problems, such as bullies, trouble at school, or drug abuse. Being involved in school activities and developing a good relationship with your child's teachers can go a long way towards showing your child that you care about him.

Don't depend on school to teach your child everything he needs to know. Teachers cannot do everything alone. It is important that you help your child study, and that you work with your child at home to reinforce what he/she is learning at school. Make certain that you check homework every night, and let your child know what your expectations are.

Don't punish your child in front of others. If your child misbehaves, take him/her to the side and explain what they did wrong, and what their punishment will be. Punishing your child in front of other people will only cause unnecessary embarrassment, which can damage your child's self esteem.

Try not to give in or relent when you have already said no. Telling your child no, and then giving in when he/she throws a tantrum only teaches her that throwing a tantrum is the way to get what she wants. It reinforces bad behavior, rather than teaches good behavior.

Acknowledge your child's good behavior and accomplishments. Praise your child for a job well done, and encourage that good behavior. Try to focus on the positive, rather than the negative as much as possible.

Don't force your child into extracurricular activities. If your child wants to participate, encourage it, but don't push the issue. Children need to participate in some kind of organized activity, but they will not do well if you force them. They should enjoy participating in the extra activity, rather than dread going.

Make time for yourself once in a while. It is easy to become overwhelmed when you are with the children 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Have a grandparent or someone help you out once in a while so you can take a break. You will find that your stress level lowers, and that you are in a much better state of mind when you go back home.

Have regular talks with your child about peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. Let your child know that they can come to you with anything, and that you will help them through whatever problem they may have. Teach them the dangers of smoking, and these risky behaviors. Having the talk one time is not enough, since as children get older, they are constantly faced with peer pressure and put in difficult situations.

Teach your children the value of money. Let them know early on how the economic system works, and the importance of saving for the future. Teach them that in life you can't get something for nothing, and that you have to earn what you want.

Teach your children responsibility by assigning chores and making certain they do them. Make sure you give them age appropriate tasks, and explain to them they need to help you by making sure these things get done.

Value independence. It is nice to feel needed, but your children also need to learn to take care of themselves.

These are by far not all of the things that you need to know in order to be a good parent, but these should help give you some ideas maybe you hadn't thought of before. There are many parenting sites online that offer good tips, and forums in where you can actually talk to and seek advice from other parents.
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