Top 7 Parenting Tips

Good parenting comes from the heart.
Good parenting comes from the heart.

Parenting is a job for life which comes without a rulebook, says Dr. Tanya Byron, clinical psychologist and author of "The House of Tiny Tearaways." Good parenting comes from the heart. It is consistent, loving, tough but fair, and sets a good example. Good parenting involves accepting the uniqueness of your child, and helping children to develop the confidence to enjoy being themselves. She offers the following tips for creating a positive bond with your child.


Commit to Your Child

Enhance your parent-child relationship by focusing on the following essentials:

  • Love your child and praise them frequently so that they feel valued and wanted.
  • Set clear boundaries so that your child knows where they stand.
  • Provide them with clear routines and structure so that they feel safe and know what to expect.
  • Be consistent in your approach so that they learn the behavior well.
  • Reward your child for being good, trying hard or doing well to build their self-esteem.
  • Follow through with clear consequences if they misbehave, so that they learn from their mistakes.
  • Give them cuddles and affection at every opportunity so that they know they are loved.


Increase Your Assertiveness

An assertive parent is a confident parent who has belief in their own abilities and will earn the respect of their child:

  • Use an authoritative tone of voice to rein in your child's bad behavior.
  • Use body language to emphasize praise.
  • Use facial expressions to emphasize what you are feeling.
  • Take steps to build your confidence if your self-esteem is low.
  • Get help to manage your anger if you fear you could lose control.


Anger Management

  • Distract yourself by counting or singing to yourself to take your mind off your annoyance.
  • Put a barrier between yourself and what you are experiencing.
  • If you feel you are going to blow, remove yourself from the room until you have regained control.
  • Remember that if you start to shout and fill your child's head with negative thoughts, your words will reinforce the negative behavior.
  • Look for support.


Learn to Relax

  • Control your breathing by slowing it down and breathing from your diaphragm.
  • Focus on relaxing your muscles; chances are that your brow is furrowed, your neck is hunched, your shoulders are high and taut and your fists may be clenched. You're in anxious mode.
  • Think about the non-verbal message that you're giving to your child. If they can see you are anxious, they will become anxious too.
  • Don't expect too much from yourself.


Monitor Your Own Behavior

  • Are you being negative? Do you suffer from anxiety?
  • Take action to get yourself into a different frame of mind.
  • Choose to feel happy.
  • Begin a behavior diary and monitor what kind of impact your approach is having on your child.
  • Take positive steps to change your behavior.


Not In Front of the Children

  • A parent who is able to self-manage their moods and behavior will be a more positive influence on their child than one who loses control easily. Children often believe themselves to be the cause of parental anguish.
  • Try not to argue in front of young children - you will frighten them.
  • If you do argue, let them see you make up.
  • Avoid crying or losing control in front of young children - it will alarm them. Instead, remove yourself from the room with an excuse.
  • Be calm and relaxed around food and make sure meals are eaten in a stress-free environment.
  • Take a unified approach to parenting with your partner or family.


Draw Up a Parenting Contract

  • List the positives: what you commit to.
  • List the negatives: things that are banished.
  • Ask your children what they want.
  • Pin it up somewhere where everyone can see it.
  • Take it seriously and commit to keeping the pledge.