10 Tips to Polish Up Your Parenting Prowess

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.

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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