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...
5. Establish and set rules. "If you don't manage
your child's behavior when he is young, he will have a hard time learning how
to manage himself when he is older and you aren't around. Any time of the day
or night, you should always be able to answer these three questions: Where is
my child? Who is with my child? What is my child doing? The rules your child
has learned from you are going to shape the rules he applies to
"But you can't micromanage your child," Steinberg tells
WebMD. "Once they're in middle school, you need let the child do their own
homework, make their own choices, and not intervene."
6. Foster your child's independence. "Setting limits
helps your child develop a sense of self-control. Encouraging independence
helps her develop a sense of self-direction. To be successful in life, she's
going to need both."
It is normal for children to push for autonomy, says Steinberg.
"Many parents mistakenly equate their child's independence with
rebelliousness or disobedience. Children push for independence because it is
part of human nature to want to feel in control rather than to feel controlled
by someone else."
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."