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TEN TIPS FOR PARENTS
· Parenting is a tough job. Give yourself credit for taking on an unpaid 24/7 job.
· Parenting is the most important job you will ever have. Remind yourself that through good parenting you have an opportunity to make a real difference in the world.
· Sometimes kids are just being kids. Learn what to expect from your child at each stage of development. Sometimes it helps to know that two-year olds have temper tantrums and teenagers challenge the authority of their parents. There are many good books to help you, and a parent support group gives you lots of experts to consult – other parents!
· Sometimes children misbehave to get attention. Don’t forget to pay attention to your children when they are being good. If they know they can count on your attention for good behavior, they will be less likely to misbehave.
· Structure and predictability are important for children. Provide structure and predictability for your child from infancy through the teen years. If a child knows what to expect, behavior problems are less likely to occur.
· Your children will not always like your rules. Be clear in letting your child know what you expect and then be consistent in following through on those expectations, but don’t expect your child to agree. All children test limits, but they are less likely to frustrate you if you set clear rules and enforce them.
· Discipline does not need to be physical. Learn to use non-physical discipline. It works - and you don’t run the risk of hurting your children. Some examples of non-physical discipline are taking away privileges and time-outs.
· No parent is perfect. Know what things upset you and stay tuned to your own stress level. Stress in your life will affect you ability to handle child behavior problems. Give yourself a time-out if you think you are about to lose control with your children.
· Humor relieves stress. Children respond well to humor and humor can soften the seriousness of many situations.
· No man or woman is an island. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to reach out for help. Every parent feels overwhelmed at least some of the time. It shows strength to ask for help.
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