Submitted by: Antone Lewars

Effective parenting has a lot to do with trial and error, however, to raise your children the right way you need to do what is best for them. When it comes to discipline, for example, is it best to be strict, permissive or somewhere in between? Being a great parent is definitely possible for you, especially if you implement the strategies we are about to discuss.

Some parents, either deliberately or without thinking about it, practice what is called permissive parenting. Parents who fit this description tend to have kids who run rampant and mostly do as they please. These are the kind of parents who seem to not care if their kids are climbing on store counters or screaming at the top of their lungs in a public place. You might think that kids raised this way would be care free, even if others find it irritating, but this isn’t usually the case. When kids venture outside the home and go to school, meet others and eventually have to find jobs, they find that there are limits and rules everywhere, yet their parents didn’t prepare them for this. Parents who are unable to set boundaries are often trying to be friends to their kids rather than parents, and the fact is kids need actual parents who sometimes say “no” to them.


If your kids do something praiseworthy, don’t forget to acknowledge it. You’re not sending the right message to your kids if you only recognize their shortcomings. Everyone, especially kids, responds to praise, and it helps them want to do well in the future. You want to bolster a child’s self esteem as much as possible, and praise is the best way to do this. You don’t have to exaggerate or make things up, but make sure you notice when your kids do something that’s worthy of praise.

Don’t let yourself feel isolated as a parent, and ask for help when you need it. Your spouse should play an equal role when it comes to making decisions and spending time with children. If you have to, join a local support group, which is especially helpful for single parents; ask family and friends for help when necessary. You may be a great parent, but there will still be times when you’ll require assistance or a helping hand. Make sure you have a system in place so that you can get help or support when you need it. It’s important to be able to admit it when you feel you’re in over your head, so look for help when you need it. Sometimes someone else can offer a fresh point of view and give you a useful suggestion. While there’s no simple rule to govern all situations you face as a parent, it’s good to have some guiding principles. All we can do is approach it to the best of our abilities and ask for help when we need it. You can use ideas such as we’ve presented here to help you, but you have to see what works best with your own kids.

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