10 Parenting Tips

10 Parenting Tips: Easy and Fun

Following these 10 parenting tips can rapidly change the atmosphere in your home. Although they are simple, they are effective.

These tips help create a home environment that is loving, affectionate, and open to communication.

Make Time for Each Child

Finding quality time is one of the most challenging aspects of parenting, but it's also one of the most important. Just by spending 5, 10, 15, or more minutes of one-on-one time with your child, you'll improve her behavior. As an added bonus, you'll feel closer instantly.

This one-on-one time doesn't need to be formal or complicated. Simply having your child help you with dinner counts as quality time as long as you're talking and interacting. A walk around the neighborhood or a conversation before bedtime is also great.

Get Involved

Be an active participant in your child's life. If your daughter is a girl scout, find a way to be a part of the troop, whether as a leader, camp helper, or cookie mom. If your child plays soccer, be the coach or the team mom!

This doesn't mean you have to take a leadership role. Obviously, not everyone wishes to be in charge and not everyone has time to lead the team. However, every effort is appreciated. Simply attending games and cheering your child on will make his day. Make an effort to get to know your child's friends and ask questions about his day.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

If you are doing all the chores yourself, stop! You are draining yourself needlessly. Getting your kids involved in chores is good for the entire family. It teaches them responsibility, teamwork and a sense of ownership. As for you, it frees up some of your time for the fun parts of family life.

Make chore time fun. Use colorful chores charts to divide up tasks. Sing songs as you work. Set timers and have contests to see who can complete the assigned tasks first.

Use Positive Discipline

Sometimes the urge to yell and scream at your kids can be overwhelming, but try to resist. Instead of negative tactics, use positive reinforcement. When you "catch" your kids doing good, praise them, hug them, and offer rewards on occasion.

Limit Their Screen Time

Kids love spending time on the computer, video games, and the television, but they need time away too. Limit your kids' electronic time and stick with whatever limit you choose. Require your kids to spend time outside each day. Time reading, doing chores, and talking to family members is also important.

Limit Their Sugar and Caffeine

Good health is the foundation of everything else, so teach your kids good eating habits early in life. It's a gift they'll definitely appreciate later!

While treats, such as cake, candy, and cookies, are fine sometimes, they should not be a part of everyday life. Instead, offer fruit, nuts, cheese, crackers, and veggies as snacks. Let your kids develop a taste for healthy foods, and they'll never lose it.

Caffeine should be severely restricted or avoided completely as it is a stimulant and is thought to be addictive.

Teach Values by Example

Regardless of your views on religion, you likely have certain values that you'd like to instill in your kids. You probably want them to be honest, trustworthy, kind, and caring. You may also value things like courage and individuality. No matter what your values, you'll teach them more effectively by showing rather than telling.

No matter how many times you tell your kids not to lie, you shatter that if they repeatedly hear you lying. Let your kids see you doing good deeds, being considerate, and being trustworthy, and they're more likely to mirror these traits.

Foster Independence

As a parent, your goal is not just to raise a good child, but to raise a strong, confident adult. The transition from child to adult doesn't happen overnight; it's a gradual process.

Help your child foster independence by giving him more responsibility. You might let your child earn money and give him the responsibility of saving and spending it. Help him create a budget and give him the responsibility of paying for certain things.

As your child grows, allow him to make more decisions about things. As long as he is in a safe, controlled environment, his confidence and his independence will grow.

Encourage Their Dreams

Some parents think of kids' dreams as frivolous time-wasters, but that's a mistake. Instead of stifling your kids' dreams, encourage them. If your daughter dreams of being a writer, get her a journal and encourage her to fill its pages. If she dreams of playing the guitar, get her lessons. Even if she doesn't end up being a novelist or music star, she will learn things about herself and build confidence along the way. As an added bonus, kids who play sports and have hobbies are less likely to fall prey to peer pressure.

Become a Better Listener

Perhaps the most important of all the 10 parenting tips is to be an effective listener. Learn to listen in a nonjudgmental way so your kids can come to you with problems, concerns, and questions. If you build a foundation of solid communication early in your parenting career, it will be firmly established for the difficult teen years. Remember to pay attention to your child's body language too.

For more tips on parenting, visit Four Basic Parenting Styles and Positive Parenting Techniques.

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10 Parenting Tips