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When All Else Fails, Parent with Humor

Parenting works best with jokes, playfulness, and cooperation -- not threats and demands.

Playfulness, not parenting power plays continued...

How do you learn to take a lighter touch? Try these tips from Nelson.

Think about the long-term results of parenting

“We don’t want our kids to just be obedient,” says parenting expert Jane Nelsen, EdD. “We want them to do things because they feel capable, because they want to cooperate, because they understand.”

Respect your child.

“Kids have the ability to see things differently, feel differently … and parents need to do that, too.”

Parent positively

“Think positive, not just controlling vs. permissive. All these positive tools are about being kind, firm, and respectful,” says Nelsen. “All at the same time.”

Avoid teasing your child

“Any kind of humor that is hurtful or disrespectful or a poorly disguised put-down is no good,” Nelsen says. “You know the difference, and they know the difference.”

Reviewed on October 17, 2013

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