So he's giving up the crib? You've been to the store and picked out the cutest toddler bed? All of you are totally excited? Except instead of rolling over and falling asleep, the way he did in the crib, now he comes out every two minutes to find you? All evening long?
You need your kids to play with minimal supervision and they've run out of ideas? That's one definition of summer! Of course, they often just need a little refueling time with Mom and then they can exercise their own creative muscles.
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.
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.
If your parents used spanking as a discipline method growing up, you may have reconciled yourself to their behavior by justifying it: You came out ok. You may even think there is no other choice for managing kids who are "a handful." How else do kids learn?
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.