Four Parenting Imperatives that Will Change Your Family

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Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. That being said, the human race wouldn’t be here today if so many people weren’t willing to give it a shot. Some do well, others don’t do so well. Still others, well, those are the ones who simply don’t do the job, or see their children simply as possessions to be discarded or abused.

Most of us, though, really want to be good parents. In some ways, parenting comes down to your core values – both the values you hold and the ones you want to pass on to your children.

Here are four core parenting values you should discuss with your partner, all of which can help your children to grow up healthier and happier:

  1. Respect. You want your children to respect you, as well as other children and other adults. It’s important, however, to separate respect from fear. In days gone by, children did what they were told to do out of fear of punishment. That’s not the same as respect in a relationship. Today, it’s important to create a relationship with your children based on how you interact with them. That doesn’t mean always agreeing with your child, but it does mean avoiding blame, name-calling or shame.
  2. Self-esteem. The very best way to build your child’s self-esteem isn’t to tell her how great she is; rather, it’s to demonstrate how great she is. Allow her to attempt tasks on her own, and don’t be afraid to let her fail once or twice before she gets it. If you jump in too soon, she’ll come to esteem you – not herself.
  3. Discipline. It’s important to understand the difference between discipline and punishment. Punishment can be a part of engendering discipline, but the most important way to help your child be disciplined is to demonstrate discipline yourself. Model what kinds of actions and words are appropriate, and talk with your children frequently about those things – especially when they’re not already in trouble or being punished.
  4. Accountability. The best way to help a child see the rightness or wrongness of their actions is to let them feel the full weight of the consequences. Often, the consequences of bad behavior are, in themselves, enough to keep your child accountable for his own behavior.

So, what do you think? Are there other parenting ideas that are equally important to these?


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