10 Commandments of Good Parenting
Does your child have behavior problems? Your relationship with your child likely needs some attention.
The 10 Principles of Good Parenting
1. What you do matters. "This is one of the most
important principles," Steinberg tells WebMD. "What you do makes a
difference. Your kids are watching you. Don't just react on the spur of the
moment. Ask yourself, 'What do I want to accomplish, and is this likely to
produce that result?'"
2. You cannot be too loving. "It is simply not
possible to spoil a child with love," he writes. "What we often think
of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child
too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child things in place
of love -- things like leniency, lowered expectations, or material
3. Be involved in your child's life. "Being an
involved parent takes time and is hard work, and it often means rethinking and
rearranging your priorities. It frequently means sacrificing what you want to
do for what your child needs to do. Be there mentally as well as
Being involved does not mean doing a child's homework --
or reading it over or correcting it. "Homework is a tool for teachers to
know whether the child is learning or not," Steinberg tells WebMD. "If
you do the homework, you're not letting the teacher know what the child is
4. Adapt your parenting to fit your child. Keep pace
with your child's development. Your child is growing up. Consider how age is
affecting the child's behavior.
"The same drive for independence that is making your
three-year-old say 'no' all the time is what's motivating him to be toilet
trained," writes Steinberg. "The same intellectual growth spurt that is
making your 13-year-old curious and inquisitive in the classroom also is making
her argumentative at the dinner table."
For example: An eighth grader is easily distracted, irritable.
His grades in school are suffering. He's argumentative. Should parents push him
more, or should they be understanding so his self-esteem doesn't suffer?
"With a 13-year-old, the problem could be a number of
things," Steinberg says. "He may be depressed. He could be getting too
little sleep. Is he staying up too late? It could be he simply needs some help
in structuring time to allow time for studying. He may have a learning problem.
Pushing him to do better is not the answer. The problem needs to be diagnosed
by a professional."