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The Do's and Don'ts of Parenting

It is a hot summer night and I am sitting here thinking of all of the kids that are out there that are so disrespectful and just do what they want when the want, they are wild animals. I truly believe this is due to the parents not being involved in their child's lives. Parents have to work, yes, but parents had these kids and they are ultimately responsible. My philosophy is if you don't want to deal with the crap that kids dish out "don't have them". It is hard being a parent, trust me I have been there. As a parent you have to stand up and teach the kid what "no" means. You have to be strong and if you say you're going to do something you have to do it. Here is a list that might be helpful.

Don't allow your child to walk all over you and talk bad to you. That is disrespect and if you allow your child to do that to you at home, they will do it outside the home.

Don't allow your child to have technology in the bedroom, (TV, Computer, Video Games etc.) These things should be supervised while the child is doing them and there should be limits as to how long they can be used. Yes the child as they get older is going to give you a hard time about privacy etc. Well guess what... tell them we can take it all away or we can keep it like it is and ask them what their choice is? School computer labs are supervised, as well as all other activities. Take responsibility and be a parent.

Don't allow your child to play violent video games, or watch any form of violence on TV, or have free access to the internet, not while they are living at home. Your only asking for them to start acting out the scenes in these games or on these TV shows. Trust me I work in a school and see this every single day. These kids tell me, it was on TV so if they can do it I can too. WRONG !!!

Don't just send your child to another room, plan an activity to keep them busy with in distance so you can see them. Parent need to always know where their child is and what they are doing. If they are at school you can look at their daily schedule to get an idea.

Don't leave your child home alone after they become a teenager for the weekend while you go out of town. Kids always need supervision.

Don't smoke in your house, car or around your child. This can cause all sorts of health problems for the child, and when they come to school they smell horrible and so does their bag. This causes other kids to not want to be around them.

Don't talk on your cell phone in a school zone. If your in front of the school dropping your child off... get off your phone, smile and tell them you love them and to have a great day. It really goes a long way with your child.

Don't listen to bad songs in the car. Trust me a 3 year old came to school one day singing a song with bad language.

Don't allow your child to take long naps. You want them to sleep all night. I would say no nap time after they turn 3, and if they really need a nap maybe 30 minutes, and you have to be the alarm clock and wake them up.

Do love your child and tell them how proud you are of them for their efforts, praise them when they do something that is good. Kids love to be praised. It boosts their self confidence.

Do have structure in the home such as a routine of what time they wake up, what time breakfast, lunch and dinner is, what time homework time will be, bath time (please make sure your child is really bathing, also you have to teach them how to lather the soap on the wash rag and rub it all over them) and then bed time. It is ok to be flexible on the weekends but still keep some kind of routine.

Do take and active interest in the child's life at school, extra curricular activities, etc.

Do look through your child's back pack every day and check their folder and sign it every day if it is required. Parents that don't do this send the message to the school that they don't care, or they are to lazy, or they forgot. So many kids miss out on activities because their parents won't look at their folder. The folder is the main communication line between you and the school.

Do allow your child to participate in extra curricular activities. I recommend only 1. I say this because it must not interfere with home work and school work.

Do help your child and teach them how to do things such as hold a pencil, write their name, do math, spell words, and play board games.

Do plan a check in time for those kids that are older and get home from school before you get home from work. Check in on them every 30 to 45 min. Make sure all computers are locked or password protected, only have appropriate video games available, and make a rule that no company is allowed over. Leave a snack for them when they get home (kids are hungry when they get home from school) and then let them have a free choice such as a video game picked out by you and the child.

Do lock your beer, wine and any other adult item you do not wish for them to see or have.

Do plan "me time" Parents need to have some time to yourself. Plan a time of the day that you get to spend alone doing what you want. My me time was always after the kids took their bath and got into bed and I knew they were asleep, then I got to do what ever I wanted with in reason.

Do plan a bed time that is early enough so you can have this alone time. I suggest 8:30pm. For older kids I would say 9pm. We know it will take a little while for them to get to sleep, but if there is no technology in the room they won't be distracted.

Do plan a strenuous activity about and hour before bath time to wear the kids out so they will fall asleep easily. I always took my kids to a play ground or park, or even in the yard and played relay races with them where they ran back and forth tagging certain things. Then it was in the house for bath and bed, and they were usually asleep with in 20 minutes. If it is cold or dark outside, you can do this in the house by planning some kind of physical activity such as a guided exercise dance, with jumping jacks, jumping, doing arm movements etc.

When your child throws a fit over not getting their way, give 2 choices and ask them which one. If they refuse to answer then tell them if you don't answer then I will choose for you and you may not like my choice. If you put a child in time out and they run out, make them get back in it. Tell them you can go by yourself, or I can help you. If you have to help them, pick them up appropriately and take them back to time out, and be prepared to do this a million times if necessary. If you tell them to do something you need to make sure they do it. Kids should know and believe that the parent is the boss.

In Christ,

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The Do's and Don'ts of Parenting -