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Helpful Tips for Parenting

1.Be an advocate for your child, not an ambassador or accomplice.

2. Discipline can come from three places, anger, control or love.  It is okay to feel anger and control, just wait until you can come from love.

3. As a general rule, do not argue or negotiate with a child. (Someone will always lose)  Replace arguing with conversation and agreement.  Giving a child choices is healthy and different from negotiating.

4.Don’t take it personally, and don’t tell a child they “hurt your feelings”.  That can only over-empower them.

5.  Neutralize entitlement by teaching and living gratitude.

6.  When you say yes or no mean it.  Be steadfast.

7. Have agreements with children.  Resist threatening and punishing.  Let the agreement be it’s own authority.

8. Don’t do anything in front of your children which you wouldn’t want them to do or say.

9.  Don’t yell or nag!

10. Be clever, have a sense of humor and choose your battles.

11.Be clear.

12. It is occasionally okay to admit you could have done something better, and apologize.  Do this sparingly.

13. You are your child’s mentor, guide and parent, and not necessarily their friend.  They will not stop loving you.

14. An emergency has blood, large cuts or breaks and involves calling 911.  Everything else is not an emergency.

15. Protect yourself with appropriate boundaries and respect theirs as well.

16. Know the difference between secrecy and privacy.  Limit your lies.

17. Let them think they are smarter than you, in actuality they are really just faster.

18. Don’t say “you need to…” You cannot tell people what they need to do.  Tell them “you need them to do it”.  They cannot dispute that.

19. Protect their childhood.

20.  Reward initiative.

21.  Make sure consequences are truly consequential.

22.  Own and play a lot of table games.

23.  Look at children when they talk to you, and stop what you are doing.

24.  Don’t micro manage them unless you are planning to live with them for their whole life.

25.  Don’t lecture, moralize, spiritualize.  Keep it clear and short.

26. Never tell them something is okay if you don’t really believe it.

27. Seek outside help when you are not handling it well or if it is above your head.


c. Rick Concoff, M.A. 2010

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