Parenting is the hardest job there is, and even harder to do well. You owe it to yourself and to your children to be the best parent you can be.
- Step 1: Focus on the positive. Praise your children for good behavior and compliment them on the things they do well.
- Step 2: Respect your children and teach them to respect you. Don't practice behavior that you wouldn't want them to emulate, such as yelling, hitting, swearing, and putting other people down.
- Step 3: Have fun with your children. Laugh and tickle, run around, and play games. The most important thing you can do is raise healthy, happy, well-adjusted children with qualities that will follow them into adulthood.
- FACT: Unmarried parents accounted for over 30% of children born in 2000.
- TIP: Get a dry-erase calendar and make a "chore chart." List chores daily, and reward children for a job well done.
- Step 4: Teach your children self-reliance by letting them do things for themselves. Assign chores and let children know they're contributing to the household.
- Step 5: When children become the constant center of attention, they develop an unhealthy sense of entitlement. Put extra effort into your marriage for your kids' sake and your own sake.
- TIP: Schedule a weekly date night and shower affection and attention over your spouse instead of your child.
- Step 6: Cherish your children. Show them affection by hugging them often, and tell them how much they mean to you.
- Step 7: Set an example by being a healthy and balanced person. If you're constantly stressed, then you're not very fun for your family to be around. And if you spend all of your time at work, you can't concentrate on being a good parent.