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Parenting 101: Basic Tips You Must Know

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

In 2013 I became a mother--and my whole world changed. Two years later I had another child. Yes, there's been stress, anxiety, frustration, and exhaustion....but there's also been so much love and joy because of these two tiny humans--that I helped create. It's such a beautiful thing to me. I feel honored that God gave me the most important role and sacred calling I could have in this life--to help raise some of His precious sons and daughters. It's a huge responsibility with no instruction manual (even though there is a plethora of information and opinions out there). Pretty overwhelming, huh.

I minored in Marriage & Family Studies in college. The following are notes from a parenting class I took (with many of the principles learned from this book on the left that I recommend). These are of course guidelines for developing effective parenting skills. You may disagree with some of the advice, and that's okay. In the end, you--and only you (and your partner) know what is best for your children and can decide what kind of a parent you want to be.


Building close, nurturing relationships

  • Know what’s going on in your child’s life: Show interest and concern. Ask questions.

  • Help your children with the challenges they face: Give advice, be a good listener, and seek to understand their needs.

  • Spend time with your children: Quality and quantity is important. Have fun and build memories. Hugs, kisses, cuddling, and saying that you love them are important. Express your love in a variety of ways--through words and actions. Set a good example.

  • Don’t be quick to judge or react negatively: Allow your children to explain before you attack or blame.

  • Communicate: Be unified in parenting with your spouse, come to an agreement, and communicate rules or concerns to children. Allow them to provide input and manage conflict resolution together. Compromise.

  • Express unconditional love and establish trust: Develop a trusting relationship with your children in which they will feel comfortable talking to you and will want to come to you for advice/counsel. You can’t just be a friend, however—you are an authoritative parent as well.

Communicating with your children

  • Don’t push or force your children, or they will rebel.

  • Parents can be wrong: Sometimes parents don’t always hear or remember what a child has said.

  • Don’t dismiss a problem: Communicate what you feel and expect. When a problem is communicated or is evident without communication, address it either way.

  • Don’t be too critical: Acknowledge good behavior. Compliment your children when they least expect it.

  • Decipher the language of each child: What are they really saying? Don’t be judgmental or jump to conclusions.

Mistakes Parents Often Make:

  • Not communicating and not showing they care or are interested.

  • Not listening and shutting a child down before they can explain.

  • Not allowing children to have input or disregarding their input.

  • Not being involved with children or asking questions.

  • Yelling and verbal abuse.

Establishing high expectations

  • Enforce “The Golden Rule”—“do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

  • Have a family council—teach your children about respect, being polite, love/forgiveness, etc.

  • Be authoritative in approach. Be responsive and express high expectation for good behavior. Teach self-regulation, how to control behavior, decision-making, etc.

  • Offer positive reinforcement when a child completes a chore, cleans up messes, etc.

  • Implement routines with structure and order (i.e., morning, bed time, dinner time, helping with age-appropriate chores, completing homework, summer time when school is not in session, etc). Instill in them good work ethic.

Setting clear, age-appropriate limits/rules

For example:

  • If you get something out, put it away when you are done with it.

  • No dessert until after dinner.

  • You will be punished if you whine, throw a fit, disobey/disrespect parents, quarrel with siblings, etc. (put in time out, privileges taken away, etc.)

  • You must ask permission from parents and from friends’ parents if you can play at someone’s house, and it must be arranged ahead of time.

Providing supervision/monitoring

  • Know where your children are, what they are doing, who they are with, when they will be home, any changes to plans—at all times (ask and/or teach your children to tell).

  • Ensure the safety of your children in the supervision of their activities.

  • Monitor what food your children eat: Make sure they have healthy diets and get the nutrition they need).

  • Don't leave your children unattended: Have at least one adult at the park when your children are playing, and be available when your children are home and when they have friends over.

Redirecting behavior

  • Establish a home of love and peace: Hold family prayer, scripture study, and participation in wholesome recreational activities as a family.

  • Be loving but firm in discipline: Use natural and logical consequences.

  • Don’t give into your child’s wishes when they whine and cry: Don’t allow them to always get what they want and take advantage of you.

  • Conduct joint problem-solving with your children: Teach them how to make good choices (giving them a sense of autonomy). Explain to them the effects of their behavior, the reasons for punishment, why something is wrong, etc.

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