Be their advocate and don't give up on them
Appreciate who they are. Every child deserves at least one person who is 110% on their side.
The most important parenting skill is to manage yourself
Intervene before your own feelings get out of hand. Take care of yourself so you aren't venting on your kids. Stay calm, so you can access your own innate wisdom and generosity.
Set limits on behavior
Empathize with feelings (including the feelings they have about the limits you set). Both are important, neither by itself is successful.
Don't take it personally
Whatever your child does, it will be a lot easier for you to respond productively if you avoid getting hooked. Cultivate a sense of humor.
Expect age appropriate behavior
Be reasonable, they're kids. Don't expect perfection, from your kids or yourself, and keep your priorities straight. Your child is taking shape before your very eyes. Her messy room matters much less than how she treats her little brother.
Avoid power struggles
No one wins a power struggle. Don't insist on being right. Help them save face.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Make sure your kids' basic needs are met, and let kids know in advance the behavior you expect. Then hold them accountable.
Your child is your best teacher about what he or she needs
From infancy on, every child is unique. Listen more than you talk. Listen with your heart. When in doubt, see it from her point of view.
What worked yesterday will not work tomorrow, so your parenting strategies need to evolve as your kids do. Each of us seems to get the perfect child to learn whatever we need to know!
Discipline, despite all the books written on it, doesn't really work
Because resorting to power plays erodes the relationship. The deepest reason kids cooperate is that they love you and want to please you. Above all, safeguard the relationship.
Dr. Laura Markham