› 10 Parenting Tips

10 Parenting Tips

Somebody should have given us a book at the hospital when we were taken our newborn home to tell us how to raise this child.

But they didn't.

So now you can get the top 10 parenting tips to guide you in raising a confident, well behaved kid. Of course, there are a lot more than 10 tips to raise a child, but this gets you off to a good start!

  • Good Communication – The first of 10 Parenting Tips is good communication is the foundation for any relationship you develop. It started with how you communicated with your parents and your siblings. That lead to how you communicated with your teachers and friends at school. Then you had to communicate with your spouse and your boss at work. Now it’s time to communicate with your kids. If you had good communication with your parents as a child, consider yourself lucky and pay if forward to your kids. If you didn’t have good communication in your family, start a new tradition and start communicating today.
  • Teach Love and Respect – Treat your child with love and respect and expect the same thing back from them. The time you spend with your child should not be stressful and loud. The interaction time between you and your child should be kind and conversational. Teach them by speaking to them in a calm and let them know that is how they should speak to you also. If you give off negative energy, that is exactly what you will get back from your child.
  • Be a Good Listener – Your child needs and deserves time when they are allowed to express feelings, share an experience or explain a problem they are having from beginning to end without interruption or criticism from you. Become a listener as soon as your child is old enough to tell you about their day or their drawing or what they did while they were at Grandma’s house. The more you listen when they are little, the more likely they are to talk to you when they are older.
  • Mark the Boundaries – Children will start testing you and questioning boundaries at a very young age. They will actually start testing before you even realize they are old enough to try. At about one year of age, certain boundaries are being tested. It’s important to let your child know exactly where the boundaries are and what consequences there will be if they cross them. Make your boundaries in steel, not string. That means, don’t change boundaries as it’s convenient for you. Don’t accept poor behavior sometimes and then decide to set boundaries the next time. This is confusing for a child and they won’t know when you expect them to behave and when they are allowed to be naughty.
  • Tell, Don’t Ask – When you ask a question, you are giving the other person the option of saying “Yes” or “No”. So when you ask your child to behave, you are giving them the option of behaving or misbehaving. When you ask them if they want a snack, pose it in the form of a question. When you are telling them it is time for bed, pose it as a statement. They do not have a choice. Kids will do what is expected of them, but when given too many choices they have a hard time making a decision.

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  • Follow Through – with consequences and promises. If your child is misbehaving and you tell them to shape up or there will be a consequence, then follow through. For instance, if you said you need to finish your dinner or you don’t get a snack later, don’t give in and give a snack later. Kids learn so fast when you don’t always mean what you say. On the other hand, follow through with your promises. If you promised them that you would take them to the zoo on Saturday, then follow through and take them to the zoo. Of course, there are times when circumstances arise that don’t allow you to follow through and then you have to explain that to the child, but on an everyday basis, keep your promises.
    • Be a Parent, Not a Best Friend – It’s easy to be a good friend. It’s difficult to be a good parent. Everyone wants to give their child everything they want and be the favorite person in their child’s life. The best thing you can give your child is an authority figure to look up to. Don’t be concerned that he or she will get mad at you and not speak to you for an hour. Children can get mad and then get over. They are very forgiving and very loving. In the end, the love will be much stronger because they know you care.
    • Eliminate Daily Struggles – If a daily activity leads to a struggle every single day, then change the routine. This is most important in the morning when everyone is getting ready to go their separate ways. You may be in a hurry to go to work and drop the kids off at daycare, so things get stressful because you’re always running late. If you get stressed because you’re running late every single day, then change the routine by getting up earlier yourself, getting the kids up earlier or preparing some things the night before. If your child throws a tantrum every morning because they can’t decide what to wear, then have them pick their clothes the night before and lay them out. The same thing applies during the day and at night. If it’s always a struggle, change it!
    • Quality Time – Your child needs uninterrupted time from you. In the age of cell phones, computers and video games, quality time together gets scarcer. Find time when everything gets unplugged. Go on a lunch date, take a walk or find some other time together. Quality time doesn’t mean you have to spend money. You just need to give yourselves time to actually talk to each other.
    • Pick Your Battles – This is the last of the 10 Parenting Tips...Make sure you win the war. I say to pick your battles because there are a lot of things you and your child will argue about. A lot of these arguments are regarding important life lessons and at some point, you have to be that authority figure who says, “This is the way it’s going to be because I am the parent.” But with some of the smaller things, you can let your child win the argument and allow them to feel a sense of independence and responsibility. As long as it’s not something that will put them in danger or affect the rest of their life. For example, maybe your son wants a funky haircut that you don’t like. His hair can grow back and he’s not hurting anyone. Let him have the haircut. Let him have that small battle.

    If you'd like the expanded version of these 10 parenting tips, sign up for Marcia's FREE e-Book:

    “Good Parenting Skills: The Three Keys to Successful Parenting”.

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    Marcia Reagan is the creator of DaycareAnswers and lives in Central Minnesota with her husband and two children.  She's been an in-home daycare provider for over twenty years and loves to share her experience and passion for daycare with other providers.  

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