Whatever your beliefs, you probably want your children to know that life is sacred, that nature deserves a certain reverence, that their presence in the world contributes to joy and goodness, that things have a way of working out, that the greatest joy usually comes from sharing with others...
Virtually all three-year-olds go through a bossy phase. And most toddlers go through a brief biting or hitting phase that ends after a few incidents when the parents express their shock and dismay. Two- and three-year-olds are still trying to figure out what is socially acceptable behavior.
Many women worry about leaving their older child when they go to the hospital to give birth to their baby. It doesn't help that labor is by definition unpredictable in both timing and length, making it even harder to prepare a child who is often little more than a baby himself.
Although sophisticated advertising claims the DVDs teach babies to understand and speak earlier, no independent research has supported this claim. Recently, however, a University of Washington study of 8- to 16-month-old babies reported that the babies who watched baby DVDs understood FEWER words than those who did not watch them.
Positive Discipline starts by having a good relationship with your child, so that he responds to gentle guidance as opposed to threats and punishment. The most effective discipline strategy is to make sure your child wants to please you.
Parents often ask me how to help kids develop good values. Quite simply, kids learn what they live. Tomorrow is Earth Day, which would give us a perfect opportunity, if we weren't already so busy. Want to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem?
Talk explicitly about your values and why they are important to you. What IS integrity? Why is respectful behavior important in a church, synagogue or mosque? Helping children interpret the world is a crucial responsibility of parents.
But no one is born with good judgment and the ability to make wise decisions. Good judgment and decision-making skills develop from experience combined with reflection. Your goal is to give your child experience in making decisions, and make sure she has the opportunity to reflect on them and learn.
Ultimately, love is the only leverage we have with our children. Even if they worked, fear and "Because I say so!" only last for as long as they can be physically enforced. Every parent knows how fast children grow; fear works for a very short time if it works at all. Love, on the other hand, becomes a more effective motivator over time.