Being a parent is one of the most fulfilling experiences a person can have. There is a natural instinct that seems to come to a new parent, but there are bits of advice that can help when you are challenged in the growing up years. The most important thing however, that any parent can give their child, is a sense of being loved and the most important thing that any parent can remember is that they don't have to be infallible to be a "perfect" parent.
A gentle cuddle, a little encouragement, appreciation, approval or even a smile can go a long way to boost the confidence and well-being of your children. Sadly, many children seek this kind of acceptance from their peers (who are wholly unqualified).
Express interest in your children and involve yourself in his and her life.
Create an atmosphere in which they can come to you with a problem however large or small.
Help them feel safe
Respect their privacy as you would want them to respect yours; for example, if you teach your child that your room is out of boundaries to them, respect the same with their room. Allow them to feel that once they enter their room they can know that no one will look through their drawers, or read their diary.
Instill in them, a sense of belonging by displaying individual and family portraits on the walls of the house.
Don't argue with your spouse in front of the children. If they are sleeping, argue quietly. Modern divorce rates have children feeling insecure and fearful when they hear parents bickering. In addition, children will learn to argue with each other the same way they hear their parents argue with each other. Show them that when people disagree, they can discuss their differences peacefully.
Avoid favoritism. Surveys have shown that most parents have favorites, but most children believe they are the favorite. If your children are quarreling, don't choose sides.
Give up your vices: gambling, alcohol and drugs can jeopardize your child's financial security. Smoking almost always introduces health hazards to your child's environment. Second-hand smoke has been linked to several respiratory ailments in children. It could also contribute to the early death of a parent. Alcohol and drugs might also introduce health hazards or violence to your child's environment.
Set boundaries such as bedtimes and curfews, so they learn that they have limitations. By doing so, they actually get a sense of being loved and cared about by their parents. They might rebel at those boundaries, but inwardly enjoy knowing that concerned parents love them.
Encourage responsibility by giving them jobs or "chores" to do and as a reward for those jobs give them some kind of privilege (money, extended curfew, extra play time, etc). As "punishment" for not doing these jobs they have the corresponding privilege revoked. Even the youngest of children can learn this concept of reward/consequence. As your child grows, give them more responsibilities and more rewards/consequences for not completing those responsibilities.
Teach them what is right and wrong. If you are religious, take them to the religious institute that you follow. If you are agnostic, teach them your moral stance things. In either case, don't be hypocritical or be prepared for your child to point out that you are not "practicing what you preach".
Don't routinely do things for your children that they can learn to do for themselves. While getting them a glass of water before bed is a nice way to make them get to sleep faster, don't do it so often that they come to expect it.
Model moderation and responsibility when it comes to drinking. Explain that they will have to wait until they are old enough to enjoy a drink with friends and talk about the importance of designated drivers. Failure to discuss these issues early sometimes contributes to sneaking and dangerous experimentation. Again, don't be hypocritical or your child will (more than likely) ignore your advice.
Avoid comparing your children to others, especially siblings. Each child is individual and unique. Celebrate their differences and instill in each child the desire to pursue their interests and dreams. Failure to do so may give your child an inferiority complex, an idea that they can never be good enough in your eyes.
Teach your children that it is okay for them to be different and they do not have to follow the crowd. Teach them right from wrong when then are young, and they will (more often than not) be able to make their own decisions, instead of listening to others.
Remember that your child is not an extension of yourself. Your child is an individual under your care, not a chance for you to relive your life through them.
When your child acts out in a harmful and spiteful manner, tell him or her that such behavior is unacceptable and suggest alternatives. Avoid statements such as: "You're bad." "Go away!" etc (as difficult as it may be).
Be assertive yet kind when pointing out what they have done wrong. Be stern, but not cross, when you tell them what you expect.
Avoid public humiliation. If they misbehave in public, take them aside, and scold them privately.
Model the behavior and character you hope your children will adopt and live by the rules you set. Show them by example in addition to verbal explanations. Children have a tendency to become what they see and hear unless they make a conscious and concerted effort to break the mold.
Communicate clearly. Children should be very familiar with the consequences of their actions. If you give them a punishment, be sure they understand the reason and the fault, if you cannot articulate the reason and how they are at fault the punishment will not have the discouraging effects you desire.
Life is a great teacher. Don't be too quick to rescue your child from the results of their own actions if the consequences are not overly severe. Example: Cutting themselves may hurt, but it's better than leaving them unaware of why sharp objects should be avoided.
Spend time with each child individually, try to divide your time equally if you have more than one child.
Set aside a day to go to a park, theme parks, museum or library depending on their interests.
Attend school functions. Do homework with them. Visit their teacher at open house. Even if it means taking some time away from work. Remember that children grow fast, and soon will be on their own. Your boss may or may not remember that you missed that meeting, but your child will most certainly remember that you didn't attend the play they were in.
Be a Role Model - Young kids are like sponges. As parents we are our children's first role model. Pay attention to what you say or do around them and think about what kind of example you are making.
Want to teach kids about charity? Get involved and take your kids with you to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and help serve up meals. Explain to them why you do acts of charity so they understand why they should.
Teach kids about chores by setting a schedule and having them help you out. Don't tell your child to do something, but ask for their help. The earlier they learn to help you, the longer they will be willing to.
Want your kids to listen to you? Show them you can listen to them.
If you want your son or daughter to learn to share, set a good example and share your things with them.
Allow them to experience life for themselves - But don't just lose total control. Don't make decisions for them all the time, they must learn how to live with the consequences from the choices they make. After all, they will have to learn to think for themselves sometime. It's best they start when you are there to help minimize the negative consequences and accentuate the positive ones. They need to learn that their own actions have consequences (good and bad). By doing so, it helps them to become good decision makers and problem solvers so that they are prepared for independence and adulthood. Do not miss this crucial step. You must explain their options, and the consequences of each one, then live with whatever option they select.
Spend a lot of time with them and love them with all your heart, but don't smother them. There's a big difference between protecting someone and imprisoning them.
If you're trying to quit a habit, look into groups that can help you overcome it. Always get support, and have someone you can talk to when you begin to get a craving for your habit. Remember that you're not only helping yourself, but you're helping your child as well.
Reflect on your own childhood frequently. Identify the mistakes your parents made, and make an effort to avoid them. Every generation of parents gets to make a whole set of new mistakes.
Encourage introspection by sharing with your children your own self-evaluations.
Do not be afraid to be a parent. Do your best, be their friend, but never let them forget you are their parent.
Parenting does not stop when a child grows up. Being a good parent remains a life-long role. But remember that once they become adults, the decisions they make in life are ultimately theirs.
Do not strictly follow the parental behavioral stereotypes of your culture, race, ethnic group, family, or other defining factor. For example, it is a commonly seen stereotype that Asian parents will force their children to achieve impeccable grades and take math and music classes, etc. These stereotypes are WRONG! Each child is individual and each parent loves their child. Please do not believe that there is only one way to raise a child.
Do not force them by beating or hurting them. It will only cause resentment and make them go against you. Also, you will get arrested and your child will be placed in foster care. If you have multiple children, they may be separated.