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Parent and child partnerships vary from parent to parent and in different cultures. A healthy partnership between parent and child begins early and hopefully continues throughout their lives. There is no “right” way to raise a child, nor is there any such thing as a perfect parent. Everyone, generally, does their best with the knowledge and guidelines they have from their own childhood, parents, grandparents, doctors, etc. However, there are a few basic guidelines that will help secure a good parent-child partnership.

Tell your children you love them and be affectionate with them. Let them see the joy in your eyes when they come into the room. Let them know they’re special to you.

Listen to them when they talk, praise them when they learn something new and behave well. Tell your child you are proud of them.

Be consistent with your rules and discipline. If parents are divorced or separated and both raising the child, the rules need to be the same. For instance, if your way to discipline is “time out” for five minutes - stick with the rule. Don’t say it, but not follow through.

When your child makes a mistake, do not criticize them. Explain what they did wrong and why it’s not a good thing. Don’t say “you’re bad.” Make sure your child knows it’s the “behavior” you’re unhappy with - not them.

Children need order in their lives. Keep a regular schedule for meals, naptime and bedtime.

Spend as much time as possible with your children. Do things together - not only play time together, but let them help you with house cleaning, read books together, take walks, etc. Children crave your attention more than anything. Bad behavior is often a way to get your attention.

Become involved in your child’s school. Help them with their homework, talk with them about their day at school and their friends. Volunteer for school activities, or at the very least, attend parent-teacher conferences and school plays, parties, etc.

Parenting classes are a very good idea for first time parents - no matter what their age. Even grandparents may benefit from advice from a professional if they play a large role in the child’s life. Parenting classes are also not only for advice for babies and toddlers. When a child reaches the teen years, a whole new set of issues arise for parents. Parenting classes provide instruction to first time parents on everyday activities such as eating, bathing, changing diapers, ways to deal with stress, how to calm and sooth your baby, skills to handle the day to day work involved with raising a child. Many people take parenting for granted, but it is a full time job and requires certain skills such as time management and multi-tasking, not to mention a great deal of patience, strength and discipline. You want your child to become an independent adult, capable of caring for themselves and function in society.


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