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Quick tips for effective parenting

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Show up for your children—this means you have to be present for them. Parenting is an active job. You have to be involved in the process of raising your children. They can’t successfully raise themselves.

Patience—Children will constantly test your patience. If you’re short of it, you will be miserable and so will they. That’s not to say that you won’t have a breaking point, but be committed to being patient. Remember children are not little adults. They’re learning as they grow.

Be consistent—your parenting style should always be predictable to your child. It shouldn’t matter if you’re having a good or bad day, your children should be able to count on your being consistent. This teaches children to trust, decreases their stress and increases their attachment to you.

Say no! Don’t feel guilty when you say no. Remember, it is ultimately good for your child and increases their sense of security. Children who are permitted to do what they like and who are over-indulged don’t feel safe. Setting limits and boundaries help children to feel safe.

Acceptance—your child might not be who you expected him or her to be. That’s okay. Accept your child anyway. Happy and emotionally stable children come from families where they felt accepted. Children who feel judged or misunderstood, become angry, resentful and destructive.

Affirmation—tell your child what you like about him or her. That will help to shape who they become as adults. Sincerely pointing out the positives in your child will go a long way. Most children want to please their parents. If you praise their positive behaviors, you’ll get more positive behaviors and less negative behaviors.

Forgiveness—don’t hold grudges with your child. Forgive them when they do wrong. It’s the right thing to do. Make sure they are learning life’s lessons, but teaching them forgiveness by practicing it yourself, is a good thing to do. Forgive yourself too. Making mistakes is part of the parenting process. No one gets it right all the time. Forgive yourself for being less than perfect.

Flexibility—what works for one child might not work for another child. Be open and flexible in how you relate to your children. Being rigid, will push your children away and cause them to be angry.
Fun—there’s plenty of time for seriousness. Children need to have fun. Parents need to have fun. Plan regular activities for fun. If your children are old enough, put them in charge of planning for a fun time. They will love that. Parents, getting breaks from your children will revive you. Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself to do things that don’t involve your children. Everyone benefits from this.

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