The most important qualities of a great parent? Not playing endless games, or making cookies, or coaching the soccer team. What makes a great parent is being fully present when you're with your kids. Loving and accepting your child 100%, exactly as he is; at the same time that you offer him inspiration and guidance to grow.
Most little ones between 12 and 24 months need 10-12 hours of sleep per night, plus a nap. But many parents find themselves faced with a baby or toddler who becomes increasingly resistant to bedtime and goes through a period of waking earlier and earlier in the morning. How to cope?
Tweens are emerging teens, but they're still children. They'll astonish you with their ability to conceptualize and argue brilliantly, and then to do foolish things. Parenting tweens is a challenge because the pressures of the peer group magnify, kids demand more independence, and hormones flare as puberty approaches.
Dear Mr. Dad,
Our five-year old refuses to brush his teeth -- almost every night my wife and I end up screaming at him (and each other) and he ends up in tears. We're thinking about bagging the whole idea. Does he really need to be brushing his teeth at this age? If so, what can we do to make the process a little less miserable for all of us (and our neighbors, who probably think we're torturing our son)?
We all want to raise responsible children. And we all want to live in a world where others have been raised to be responsible, a world where adults don't shrug off their responsibilities as citizens, even to the point of -- as my three-year-old once said -- ignoring their own messes.
Commit to dealing with your own issues. If you've been struggling with your weight for years and your preteen is eating everything in sight and showing it, your conversations with her are guaranteed to backfire. Get professional help if you need to.
Why does being a good student matter? Most important, quality of life. People who learn to think, who read great books, who understand something about the natural and scientific and political worlds, have richer lives, make better decisions and are happier. But there is another reason: Money.
I need some help to talk to my mother about spanking. She insists that spanking is the only way kids learn. And I have to admit my son is a handful. Timeouts certainly don't work with him. The only thing that does is staying three steps ahead of him, and that isn't always possible.
How do you hold a family together? How do you make kids WANT to spend time with the family? How do you give your children the motivation to work things through positively with their siblings and with you, instead of hardening into negative attitudes? Much of the answer has to do with the family culture you create.