15 Basic Rules of Parenting
- Be Realistic
Many parents set unrealistic goals for themselves. One of these is to be the best parent in the world. Being a good parent is good enough for children. Don’t berate yourself for not being perfect. Nobody is.
- Be the Best Role Model You Can
The most powerful and influential teaching tool is the model. Your children watch you every second they’re with you. Do as I say, not as I do doesn’t work. They will do as you do, so do the best you can.
- Talk with Your Children, Not at Them
Children know when they’re being talked at, and they dislike it as much as adults do. They shut down so you can’t get through to them. When you hold conversations, invite their input. Show respect for their opinions and solutions. Then you make the final decision — you are the parent.
- Give Your Love Openly
The more children feel loved by you, the more they will listen to you and learn. Unconditional love is a great teacher. Give it with your hugs, kisses and words!
- Keep Your Promises
If it proves impossible, apologize and make it up to them. Better yet, don’t make promises you may not be able to keep. Everything you say becomes suspect when you go back on your work.
- Lighten Up
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Allow yourself to laugh when things don’t go as planned.
- Encourage Creativity
Ask questions to stimulate your children’s curiosity and interest. If they seem to be repeating old ways, ask them to brainstorm how they could do things differently.
- Celebrate Every Success
Acknowledge everything good that you and your children experience no matter how small.
- Admit Your Mistakes
Everyone makes them. Help your children learn from your own mistakes by talking about them, and by showing your children that you have learned to do things differently.
- Get Involved
Know where your children are and what they’re doing. Learn about their friends and their friend’s parents. Find ways to be active in their school and stay involved in their homework and study skills.
- Respect Your Children’s Reality
We all experience things differently. Respect the right of each of your children to see and absorb things in his or her unique way. This will help your children learn to respect and tolerate others and gain confidence in themselves.
- Discipline with Love
Treating your children fairly and firmly will help you establish a positive connection with them. It will also provide them with a firm foundation of solid values and necessary boundaries that will last a lifetime.
- Establish Traditions
Build lasting memories and traditions that will bring your family closer together. Celebrate special occasions and cultural and national holidays as a family with events that can be shared and remembered.
- Make Time for Each Other
No matter how busy you and your children are, schedule time to be together to talk, do chores, shop, watch TV or do any other activity that will result in greater understanding and togetherness.
- Think Positively
Research has shown that a positive attitude helps you feel optimistic and is contagious to others. If you start the day in a positive way, so will your children.
© 2002 The Positive Line #79930 Rev 11/04 Item #FCJ-22