Some Great Parenting Tips
Have dinner together (at the dinner table) on a regular basis. Use it as a time for interaction. Avoid interruptions- no answering the phone, no texting, etc.
Plan family nights consistently. Whether it means going out together or a movie night at home, schedule time to be together having fun.
Schedule one on one time with your children. Kids love to feel special.
Get to know your child’s likes and dislikes; favorite color, favorite teacher, least favorite food, etc.
Make sure you express unconditional love for your children often.
When your child does something you appreciate, make sure to thank them. Kids want to be acknowledged.
Parents need to give consistent messages. If kids think they can play one parent against the other, it is a recipe for disaster.
When parents are encountering problems (i.e. marital problems, stress at work) children often pick up on the stress. Children often believe that the parent is stressed because the child did something wrong. It is important to assure the child that they are not the cause of the problem and they are still loved.
Teenagers need to understand that they have limits. Make expectations clear and follow through with enforcement.
While it is natural for teens to want independence, make sure you are spending time with them regularly. Maintain your connection. If you lose it, it is very difficult to get it back.
Make your home a gathering place for your teens friends. Get to know the friends.
Be clear with your teen when you will respect their privacy and when you feel the need to get more information from them.
Give children light chores. It helps them develop a sense of responsibility.
Make sure children are getting enough physical activity. Limit T.V. and video games.
Do not over-schedule your child in sports, activities, music etc. Strike a healthy balance.
Set limits. Stop inappropriate/dangerous behavior. Remove the child from danger. Explain the danger briefly in understandable terms. Don’t try to reason with a toddler beyond his/her level of reasoning. Redirect the child to another activity.
“Catch” a child being good. Reinforce positive behavior.
Occasional temper tantrums are a natural expression of attention-seeking and limit testing. Remove the child to a quiet area until the behavior changes. Ask the child to let you know when they are ready to act differently.
Develop a morning routine (not too rigid). Start with several minutes of interaction (a brief “together” time). Have a personal hygiene and breakfast routine.
At age 3 or 4, allow kids to pick out their own outfits to wear (activity and weather appropriate). It encourages development of a small level of independence.
Set some “one to one” time each day with each child.
For the first six to eight weeks of life, you are totally on their schedule. You are responding to their needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
At age 6 to 8 weeks, you can begin to try to introduce routines. More attempts can be made to structure eating schedule, sleeping schedule, bath time, etc. Don’t try to push this too hard. From day one, try to read to your child daily. Continue this through toddler years. Many studies have been done on brain development to support this.
Develop playtime routines at a very early age. Physical interaction, smiling, talking, and toys that stimulate brain development are important.