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 continued...
7. Be consistent. "If your rules vary from day to
day in an unpredictable fashion or if you enforce them only intermittently,
your child's misbehavior is your fault, not his. Your most important
disciplinary tool is consistency. Identify your non-negotiables. The more your
authority is based on wisdom and not on power, the less your child will
Many parents have problems being consistent, Steinberg tells
WebMD. "When parents aren't consistent, children get confused. You have to
force yourself to be more consistent."
8. Avoid harsh discipline. Parents should never hit a
child, under any circumstances. "Children who are spanked, hit, or slapped
are more prone to fighting with other children," he writes. "They are
more likely to be bullies and more likely to use aggression to solve disputes
"There is a lot of evidence that spanking causes aggression
in children, which can lead to relationship problems with other kids,"
Steinberg tells WebMD. "There are many other ways to discipline a child,
including 'time out,' which work better and do not involve aggression."
9. Explain your rules and decisions. "Good parents
have expectations they want their child to live up to," he writes.
"Generally, parents overexplain to young children and underexplain to
adolescents. What is obvious to you may not be evident to a 12-year-old. He
doesn't have the priorities, judgment or experience that you have."
An example: A 6-year-old is very active and very smart -- but
blurts out answers in class, doesn't give other kids a chance, and talks too
much in class. His teacher needs to address the child behavior problem. He
needs to talk to the child about it, says Steinberg. "Parents might want to
meet with the teacher and develop a joint strategy. That child needs to learn
to give other children a chance to answer questions."
10. Treat your child with respect. "The best way to
get respectful treatment from your child is to treat him respectfully,"
Steinberg writes. "You should give your child the same courtesies you would
give to anyone else. Speak to him politely. Respect his opinion. Pay attention
when he is speaking to you. Treat him kindly. Try to please him when you can.
Children treat others the way their parents treat them. Your relationship with
your child is the foundation for her relationships with others."
For example, if your child is a picky eater: "I personally
don't think parents should make a big deal about eating," Steinberg tells
WebMD. "Children develop food preferences. They often go through them in
stages. You don't want turn mealtimes into unpleasant occasions. Just don't
make the mistake of substituting unhealthy foods. If you don't keep junk food
in the house, they won't eat it."