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10 Tips to Polish Up Your Parenting Prowess

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Learn the do's and don'ts of disciplining your child.

Click on an item in the set below to see more info.

1. Improve Your Kid's Decision-Making Skills

DON'T: If you are not willing to accept your child's decision, don't give your child a choice.

DO: If you give your child options, accept his choices.

2. Validate Her Emotions

DON'T: Disregard your kid's emotions. Denying a child's feelings is ultimately rejecting the child.

DO: Validate your child's feelings, because they are genuine.

3. Show Respect, Get Respect

DON'T: Command respect. The quality of respect you will receive will be as artificial or natural as how you ask for it.

DO: Earn respect by showing it to your child. Act kindly, firmly, and consistently.

4. Be Consistent

DON'T: Demand a behavior that you can't or won't enforce.

DO: Enforce the rules you establish with consistency.

5. Foster Real Love

DON'T: Buy your child's love. True affection comes naturally.

DO: Earn affection by showing love to your child. You receive the love that you give.

6. Contemplate Your Actions and Reactions

DON'T: Fear making a mistake. Everyone messes up. If we don't try we may never know if something will work.

DO: Act quickly and think on your feet when needed. Remember to thoughtfully consider the situation and your reaction later.

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7. Be Understanding

DON'T: Assume children will always share why they did something.

DO: Understand that when kids can't or won't express why they did something, there is likely a good reason.

8. Give Kids Responsibilities

DON'T: Take away responsibility. When a child fails to carry out a job, don't take away the task.

DO: Give your kids responsibility. Give them another chance to fulfill the responsibility if they can't succeed the first time.

9. Have Realistic Expectations

DON'T: Expect children to behave like adults. Children can feel incompetent if you hold them to an unreasonable standard.

DO: Know what is within limits to expect from a child. Set your child up to succeed.

10. Walk the Talk

DON'T: Tell children to do one thing and act out the opposite. Showing self-discipline is needed for your child to take your seriously.

DO: Keep in mind that children learn more from what they see than what they hear. Model the example you want them to follow.

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