Nope, I am not an expert, just a regular Joe-ann who thinks she is a know-it-all after having just one. :D
1. Try and not treat them as kids; treat them as people, with an understanding that they have a limited (than your maybe) brain capacity and other faculties.
2. As a rule, ALWAYS smile when looking at them, esp when they are babies. :)
3. If you disagree with your partner/spouse, do not disagree/fight in front of the kids. Try and remain calm till such time that you are away from the kids (this might help with the situation overall) and then work towards resolving the issue.
4. Be honest, ALWAYS. Always give your kids open, honest, frank answers. Be it about God, relationships, other people, relatives, sex, anything; be positive, be honest. If you think they might not understand, start your sentence thus, “you might not understand…” More often than not, they will lose interest and just drift away.
5. Violence/anger is never the answer; but it helps to show that you mean business. Decide on how far you’d go without traumatising the child. Yes, they will definitely be traumatised if you shout. (I know, cos’ I did, and till date I haven’t been able to forgive myself.) Do make an angry face, a very angry face, and stand firm; they will bow down and tow the line. Once they know you mean business, they will not test your patience.
Try the ‘if you’re good to mama, mama’s good to you’ rule; if they are being naughty, do take away (or threaten to) what they love the most. But if you have already established a good rapport, it would rarely come to this.
6. As a rule, always say ‘yes’. :) And then when you say ‘no’, it’ll be heard. Little things hardly matter, do give in, it’s alright.
7. Curb your own habits to match what you preach to your kids. They don’t follow what they hear from your mouth; they follow what they see you doing. (less TV, more reading etc.)
8. Make it a point to take a holiday with the kids every now-and-then. It is a very important and effective bonding mechanism.
9. At least once a day, devote a time to the kids; be there 100%.
10. Follow a healthy regime, esp food-wise. DO NOT introduce junk foods before the age of 5-6 years. I see a lot of parents feeding Mc -stuff to babies; it is not right for the small child; do not do it. With kids, each meal they have should be packed with nutrition.
11. Breastfeed your child, if you can, at least for the first year. Nothing compares to mother’s milk; it is nutritious and helps build the tiny tot’s immune system.
12. As early as they can, make them do their own chores; like, fold their clothes, clean their room, gather their toys etc. DO NOT let them order/boss you around. Start sweetly, like when they are little and you’re folding the clothes, invite them to help you, and then give them a treat for helping. Yes, quite like a puppy. :)
13. Don’t push them to do things they don’t want to do. There is a big difference in a healthy persuasion and downright pushing/forcing.
14. Be ok with it, if they do not agree with your point of view. Rather, it is sign of maturity and an independent mind.
15. Talk to them as much as you can; good communication is half the battle won.
16. Always have an abundance of I LOVE YOUs. :)
~As originally posted on Here to Help.