Raising Red Heads
Putting together parenting tips is a challenge...
We all have different parenting styles, philosophies, cultural backgrounds, and life experiences.
Nevertheless, below are a ZILLION parenting tips and ideas I’ve picked up along the way that might help you out a bit. You may or may not agree with some of them but see what suits you and your particular situation.
Maybe one or two will hit a nerve or highlight an area that needs attention or improvement. Hopefully, reading them will also encourage you in other areas where you feel, yes, I’m doing that and it works.
Listen. Tell kids their ideas and opinions matter, even if we don’t always agree.
Set clear limits but have reasonable yet high standards of behavior.
Help your child know that you are on their side.
Celebrate their accomplishments, talents, abilities.
Help them set goals and help them follow through.
Treat your child with dignity. Convey trust and respect.
Tell them what behavior is okay and not okay. If not okay, explain you love them but dislike what they are doing.
Have clearcut consequences and discipline for deliberate wrongdoing.
As an adult, know that sometimes common sense and doing our best just isn’t enough and it’s okay to seek help.
Explain it’s okay to have feelings and be an example of how to correctly express them.
- Have fun family traditions and ritual during holidays, special events, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc., to make special memories.
- Watch for their talents and abilities and help them develop them in creative way. Don’t be jealous or compete with it…you’re the adult, remember.
- Failure and disappointment happens to everyone. Help them try again and not give up.
- When they do succeed or attempt something challenging, praise them. Reward when appropriate.
- Try to allow different life experiences like sports, travel, drama, music, art, literature, religious activities. It’s a big world out there with cool stuff to discover.
- Worship together, volunteer together, play games together, do projects together. Try to make chores like a game.
- Love unconditionally. Don’t compare them to their siblings, other families, or other kids. (Dogs love us that way!)
- Look out for each other and stand up for your family.
- Decide you are committed in this parenting thing for the long haul
- Have consistent house rules and boundaries. They should know there the consequences for wrong actions ahead of time.
Schedule your work day and make changes in your routine to spend time with your kids.
Talk about tough topics like religion, politics, and values.
Don’t overschedule their time with so many activities they don’t have time to just relax, talk, be kids.
Control your own temper (yes, you can) and stop verbal abuse.
Respect every family member’s role and their contributions.
Look for times when you kids do something right and mention it to them.
Encourage and respect their uniqueness and individuality.
If you make a promise or appointment with a family member, keep it. A really important parenting tip!
Stop you own bad habits (smoking, drinking, cussing, lying, gambling, overeating... They’re watching you.
- Limit time watching TV and discuss what you do watch. TV robs time with our kids and spouse and robs communication. Use the OFF button. You’ll be amazed at how creative things can get.
- Keep idle hands busy.
- Play with your kids. The time goes too fast.
- Be the parent, not their special friend. They need boundaries and someone to set them.
- Laugh with your spouse or partner and with the youngsters. Look for ways to bring laughter into your house with funny movies, games, family movies, telling jokes, etc. Kids love to be goofy.
- Talk about the unimportant things, things that don’t matter; then they'll be more open to talk about the important stuff.
- Never lie to them (don’t tell white lies either). Teach honesty. A parenting tip often overlooked...
- Have regular meal times as a family and have positive interaction, not arguments.
For the kids: Offer affection, kisses, hugs, verbal praise often. (I still remember my dad’s hugs even though he’s been gone over 30s years)
- Love your spouse/partner and spend time with your spouse, not neglect. Kids need to know parents need time alone, date nights, hold hands, cuddle and kiss, say I love you. One of the most important parenting tips!
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Take time to talk before bedtime, cuddle and hug (yes, even teens).
Don’t yell but communicate simply without rambling or lecturing. Say what you mean.
Practice patience (It’s tough sometimes!)
Be organized and teach them to be organized.
Surprise your family with little love notes in fun places (‘You did a great job today. Love you, Dad’ etc.)
Don’t ever talk bad or negative about your kids, spouse, or family to anyone.
If you can afford it, use safety products in your homes like electrical plug guards, cabinet locks, etc.
Read to your kids.
Say to them: "Tell me more about that" and mean it, listen.
- Tell your family you love them. Life is short.
- Feed your kids nutritious food and teach them good health habits.
- Have a special ‘date’ or kid time with each child regularly.
- Be a good example for them because they watch you a lot!
- Know who your kids are with and what they’re doing. Don’t be shy to call, ask, follow if necessary.
- Be kind to each other and share.
- Teach good manners ( say please and thank you, open doors, etc.)
I hope some of these parenting tips help!
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