12 Rules for Living With Children

  • Don't disapprove of what a child is -- disapprove of what he does.

    Give attention and praise for good behaviors -- not bad behaviors.

    Encourage and allow discussion, but remember it's the parents who should make the final decision.

    Punishment should be swift, reasonable, related to the offense and absolutely certain to occur -- it does not have to be severe.

    Throw out all rules you are unwilling to enforce and be willing to change rules if you think it is reasonable to do so.

    Don't lecture and don't warn -- youngsters will remember what they think is important to remember.

    Don't feel you have to justify rules, although you should try to explain them.

    As your youngster grows older, many rules may be flexible and subject to discussion and compromise. However, on the few rules that you really feel strong about, enforce them no matter what rules other parents have.

    Allow the child or youth to assume responsibility for his decisions as he shows the ability to do so.

    Don't expect children to show more self control then you do as a parent.

    Be honest with your child -- hypocrisy shows.

    The most important factor in your youngster's self image is what he thinks you think of him, as his self image is a major factor in how he acts and what he does.

    *Taken from Johnson, Thomas P. "Guidelines for Discipline"