Who am I to tell anyone how to parent their kids? Every kid is different. I was not a perfect mom but I was a good one, as are so many of you out there. I did teach a parenting class at “my school” I worked at for six years while I finished my degrees and internship. I share the following as an encouragement, not as telling you what to do. I share this especially for you soon-to-be or early parenting parents. This could be an opportunity for discussion. Whether you agree or disagree. What do you want to teach your kids and how are you going to teach them. So the following are my suggestions: 1. Don’t let your kids talk back to you. Nip it early, the first hint in their voice. If you settle this early, you won’t be dealing with it when they are teenagers. 2. Mean what you say. Your kids will respect what you say if you show them you mean it. An example is not threatening over and over. I didn’t count to 3. I told my kids what I expected and they knew I meant it the first time. 3. Praise more than you correct. Kids, no matter their age, love to hear praise from their parents. Praise is the best multiplier of good behavior. 4. Admit when you are wrong. Sometimes this speaks louder than anything you can teach them. 5. Tell them you love them. Kids long for their parents affection, love, and approval. 6. Help them discover and develop their gifts and talents. Not what you want them to do but what dreams and desires do they have? 7. Teach them to be honest. This is a fundamental character builder. 8. Have fun with your kids. One of my favorite memories is sliding aside the coffee table and dancing with my kids in the family room. 9. Teach them to respect authority. Have the teacher’s back when they express a problem. 10. Teach them responsibility. I didn’t tell my kids they need to get up for school. My daughter had an alarm clock in 5th grade. Her brother in 7th. 11. Spend time with them. I wish I had done more one-on-one dates with my kids when they were in Junior High and High School. Time provides the opportunity for them to tell you what going on in their world. 12. Faith is important. Where would I be without my faith? 13. Be an example. I hope this is encouraging to you as parents. At a minimum, a window for discussion.

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