Effective parenting is anything but an exact science – but what is it and how do we measure it? Firstly, one must consider the values they want to pass on to the next generation. Most parents want their children to grow to become independently successful and develop into productive members of society. In order to assist children in achieving these goals it would only make sense for parents to follow a consistent parenting philosophy which teaches children the necessary life skills to accomplish this. Over the years Robert Land Academy, a private military school for boys located in Canada, has developed a list of effective parenting DO’s and DON’Ts that assists parents in teaching essential life skills to their children. Among the DO’s are: Communicate Regularly – Show as much genuine interest in your child’s activities, ambitions, and accomplishments as possible. Set Realistic Expectations - Having realistic expectations is critical. Ask your child what life is going to require from them and expect qualitative results - as life does. Lead by Example – Through your own behavior and actions, demonstrate how your child should behave and treat others. Be Encouraging – Allow your children the opportunity to fail when they hit one of life’s brick walls - then encourage them to get back up and continue on. Be Consistent – Treat your children within the guidelines which have been established and with which they are familiar. Several DON’Ts can be inferred from the list above. One other DON’T is: Don’t Negotiate – Making deals is always discouraged, especially if you are not comfortable with one of the potential outcomes. Parents often set their children up for failure or disappointment by negotiating “payoffs” for performance of certain jobs. Never promise material rewards for something that your child should be doing as a responsible individual of society. This is not a comprehensive list to effective parenting, but rather are helpful suggestions that support a positive parenting philosophy. If your child internalizes the values you have shown through your positive examples and encouragement, they should be well on their way to independence and to becoming a positive and productive citizen. Ultimately however, you must accept the fact that your child is responsible for their own success or failure.
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