Parenting cannot be over-simplified. There are simply too many variables when it comes to raising children: their health, your health, where you live, how many kids you have, what personality types are in your home, and a host of other factors that affect your life.
But there are some very definite DOs and DON’Ts for parents who want to raise kids in a healthy environment, and these can be applied to every home, every family situation.
DO be intentional about saying I love you to your child regularly.
DON’T try to make up for not spending time with your child by buying gifts or giving money. Those will never replace your attention.
DO teach your child the values that are important to you. Give him a moral compass to guide his decisions.
DON’T ever stop believing in your child. That belief empowers her to work hard, to do her best and to excel.
DO introduce your child to other adults that will speak positivity and truth into her life–coaches, teachers, family, and friends.
DON’T make your child feel as if your acceptance or approval is based on his performance–in school, in the home, in sports.
DO be silly with your child. It is the secret ingredient to great parenting.
DON’T discipline your child purely out of your anger. Give yourself time to calm down, then deal with the problem.
DO earn the skill of biting your tongue. There are conversations you have with your child when it is best to think about your words before blurting them out. The damage can’t be undone.
DON’T cling to your children. Let them grow up, let them spread their wings. Let them try and fail and learn from their mistakes.
Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new booklet 11 Habits for Healthy and Positive Sports Parents is available on Amazon.