Basic Principles for Successful Parenting

Studies have shown that a parent's relationship with their child is the best predictor of their child's behavior.  Shifting your focus from the problems to the relationship ensures long term success.

Respond to your child in love, even when they are wrong, and have done something to make you or others angry.  This means remaining calm, keeping loving eyes, and not raising your voice.  The same message can be given with a quiet and calm spirit, and will make more of an impact on your child than screaming at him/her.

Respond maturely remembering that you are role modeling to your child how to respond to life's situations.  Learn to express your emotions appropriately, and use G-rated language.

Use appropriate humor (not sarcasm) and learn to diffuse power struggles and tantrums with creative playfulness and humor.  Being firm doesn't mean being a drill sergeant.

Learn how to be a good listener to your child as this will encourage your child to trust you and be more likely to share the truth.

Show your child respect remembering that your child is learning how to treat other human beings by how he/she is being treated by the significant people in his/her life.  Respect includes showing consideration for your child in how you speak to him/her, how you prioritize your child's needs, and how much you value who they are and what they do.

Care about the things that your child cares about.  Show interest in your child's interests (redirect those interests if not appropriate, but do so kindly and respectfully).

Set appropriate boundaries without setting walls.  Boundaries are healthy and necessary.  This means you are the adult and they are the child.  Not all conversations are child friendly.

Have realistic and age appropriate expectations of your child.  This can be done by learning about your child's developmental stages.

Teach your child to accept responsibility for his/her actions.  Use natural and logical consequences, not to punish your child, but for the purpose of teaching your child.

Praise your child often, offer it authentically and realistically.   Be a coach, not a cheerleader.

Children need large quantities of quality time.  Say "I love you" often.