Parenting Best Practice

Children with instrument.jpg

Since the 1980’s, parenting has changed. Many parents let their children raise themselves while they watched from afar. Others became “hover parents” and monitored their child’s every move. The views of how children are raised have never been more discussed and debated than today, and much has changed from the children should be seen not heard of only a few generations ago.

Though some may consider themselves to be “expert parents”, they too have many questions about how to raise their children.

Parenting skills

Parenting is always an adventure– even those that consider themselves “fully prepared” never expect what comes next. New parents initially will be overwhelmed at the baby’s constant demand for their attention. Here are some tips and things you can do to make sure your child grows up in loving family, and heads in the right direction.

Children are our future. Given the proper tools and environment they can shape the future into something beautiful. To brighten their future, parents should encourage their play, have regular conversations with the child, and develop the child’s body and mind. Play is a critical aspect to all children. Child psychologists have found that imaginative play is healthy to their growing minds and should be encouraged. Parents should talk and listen to their child on a “grown up” level; never condescending, playing down their ideas or using “baby talk”. If the child can speak full, well developed sentences, baby talk in in no way helpful. In order to develop a child’s brain and body, proper care must be given. Aside from healthful meals, a good pediatrician must be acquired and visited regularly. Even if the parents aren’t religious, morals are critical at an early age. Right from wrong, good from bad, and basic rules are all easily developed between 3 and 6 years old .

In the toddler years (2-5), parents should see that the child takes part in imaginative play on a daily basis. Parents may find it fun to join their child and play along. Time should be set aside every day, normally around naptime or bedtime, to read a story. This encourages the child to read and allows you to spend a peaceful moment together. You may walk in on your child holding a book upside down, trying to read for themselves. Allow them to safely explore the world around them: take nature walks, collecting interesting things you find, go bird watching and let your child “talk to” the birds, even a walk around the neighborhood will aid in their social development. It allows your child to interact with his neighbors and future school mates. If your child is of preschool age, regular doctor’s appointments are essential. At this age children can develop sleep problems that can escalate quickly from nightmares to refusing to sleep in their own bed. It is always best to make sure your child is healthy early on and make sure no problems arise.  As a parent, Try to set aside time on a regular basis to do something fun with your child.

A top priority in a parent’s mind should be their child’s safety. If the parents are ignorant as to what they should do regarding safety, Child Care classes should be looked in to.

  • Lying down while eating or drinking anything is a hazard. Even infants should be slightly elevated when given a bottle.
  • Food, such as meats that can’t be easily chewed through, should be cut into small pieces for the child to eat.
  • Toys shouldn’t include small removable parts, as these are tempting and present a choking hazard.
  • Swimming pools should be fenced off and locked so that the child cannot access them. If this isn’t possible, remove the ladder or anything that can be used as stairs. Children are curious creatures that wander and explore their environments.

Remember to give your child unconditional love, parent them positively, teach them good people skills and manners, and remember the importance of play and a good sense of humor. Always do your absolute best, take a break now and then, and remember that no 2 children are completely alike.

Discipline is a subject widely debated; How strict? Time out? What rules? Here are a few tips:

  • Discipline should be gentle enough that the child isn’t fearful of you, but also strict enough that they know you mean business.
  • Time outs should last no longer than an hour but no shorter than 10 minutes. If the child spends too much time in the “punish chair” or a corner, he will become distracted and forget why he is there in the first place.
  • While some argue that physical discipline is needed, others believe that it leads to violence in the future. Studies haven’t proven this but it should be left up to the parents to decide. If physical discipline is used, it shouldn’t be excessive or abusive. 3 light swats on the bottom would be sufficient. ref>“Parenting Techniques”. Retrieved 6 March 2012.</ref>

You need to explain decisions with your children and let them talk back, at least a little bit to improve critical thinking. Not just “no means no” as your reason for something. A “temper tantrum” should be settled quickly and quietly by explaining your house rules. An apology and a hug is to be expected after a time out. Of course when a baby or child that cannot talk goes into a fit, parents should take care to investigate what is causing the baby or child such distress, rather than discipline. Parenting is a hard job and these tips are just here to help parents get a better understand of how to handle their child.

Effects of parenting, family and family structure on child behaviour

The still developing mind of a child is like a sponge. A child will imitate nearly everything their parents do or say. Some will stumble around in mommy’s shoes while others will watch football with daddy. Arguments should be held away from the child. They do not know exactly what is going on, only that it is something negative between their parents. The people which the are around the most, parents mainly, greatly affect a child’s behavior. If a child is raised in a conservative household, in most cases he will grow up with negative feelings towards homosexuality. If a child is raised to think that “Daddy is a meany”, they will grow up with this thought in the back of their minds. To say “Always be on your guard” wouldn’t be accurate: “watch what you say” is the more appropriate phrase.

  • Censor cursing to “Dang!” and “Shoot!”
  • Don’t overuse “Hate”; overuse “Love”
  • The tone of voice you use when talking matters. You may get tired of talking like Snow White, but at least your child will believe everything is peaceful at home.

As parents, you must REAR your child, rather than raise. If the atmosphere in your child’s home environment is a peaceful one, your child’s development will shine and he will excel.

Travelling by car

Getting them in their seat belt

  • The game we find most effective is to make it a competition and say ‘lets count how long it takes you to get in and buckled up’ and then we count loud and fast.
    • Recently to this we’ve added a rhyme to the number he gets to .. ie in on count of 6 “six! Pick up sticks”
      • For experience – start the process early – this way there will be no trauma. Baby will always help when used to situations. call it a “condition” for getting in the car – always sit him in the backseat, same car seat, same side… It is VERY important that you never let baby experiment or experience standing or even being in the car out of the car seat.

You may also try using those strollers that have a detachable car seat that connects to base that stays in the car – this way baby gets used to car seat before getting in the car. The trick is always starting early!


When your child is at least 6 months old it is recommended for parents to try to solve bedtime problems. At this age the child has reached a point where they can sleep longer, they are now able to wake up and comfort themselves to fall back asleep. It may be difficult at first because the child is already used to the parents being there as soon as they start crying. Parents should gradually start ignoring the child’s crying, maybe 5 minutes for the first night and then increasing the time every night.

  • Many books all say ‘have a routine’, (this is unhelpful on its own)
  • I run the principal I call the bed machine, once the bed machine is started, it may take a while but will keep moving forward with only one destination ‘BED’.
  • For us we call it ‘Books, Milk and bed’ others do ‘Bath, book and bed’.
    • Establish a set order for yourself.

Brushing teeth

  • We place a chair outside the bathroom which we call the ‘brushing chair’, which we get our son to sit on when we brush his teeth, it has greatly reduced the squirm factor
  • Allowing the child to watch and practice as mommy and daddy brush their teeth will teach them to develop good brushing habits

Meal times

Getting them to eat their greens

  • Scientists have proved that young children are anatomically predisposed to dislike the colour green, for reasons having to do with the developing retinal cones of the eye. Therefore it is useful to include non-green vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, rutabaga, salsify etc.
  • Foods can also be coloured to introduce fun and create an interest factor; however, artificial food colourings should not be used, as some children are allergic to them.
  • Sweet vegetables are more palatable to young children such as peas, swede & sweet potato.

Table Manners

About a century ago, children weren’t allowed at the table until manners were mastered. They ate in their nursery with the nanny and came to the table as a reward for their progress or when family came to visit.

  • Do not expect your child to never put their elbows on the table; remember that they are small and must support themselves.
  • All children should learn to say please and thank you but this is a courtesy extended beyond the table.
  • Remember:children learn from what their parents do. If your husband belches at the end of every meal, your child may grow to think that this is acceptable.