The Fifty Parenting Tips (recently adjusted to reflect social norms theory)
1. Parents provide their children with a good mother/good father by marrying someone they believe will make a good parent.
2. After marrying, wait awhile before starting a family.
3. Parents use the best manners and train their children to follow their example.
4. Parents love their children and express that love frequently in little ways. Hugs, caresses, a smile, a hand on the shoulder can often communicate feelings as effectively as words.
5. Parents protect their children from physical, sexual, verbal, and psychological abuse.
6. When parents tell their children to do something, they see to it that it gets done promptly.
7. Parents set fantastic examples for their children.
8. Parents don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Children need moms and dads who aren't a source of embarrassment, shame, stress, and violence.
9. Parents assign their children age-appropriate chores beginning when they’re old enough to pick up their toys and continue this practice until they leave home.
10. Parents establish a code of conduct. If they don’t, their children will adopt one that may endanger their lives and the lives of others.
11. Parents have engaging conversations with their children by listening attentively and responding thoughtfully.
12. Parents never tell their children they're stupid, ugly, good-for-nothing, worthless, etc.
13. Parents praise their children's effort, behavior, and achievement sincerely and appropriately when they deserve it.
14. Children need to be able to take "No" for an answer, so parents teach them that in most cases they answer questions one time and one time only, then stick to it.
15. Parents check their children’s homework religiously and are there for them when they need help with schoolwork and projects.
16. Parents don’t make derogatory remarks about their children to other people while in their presence.
17. Parents read, pay bills, do laundry, clean the house…they do anything except watch television while their children do their homework.
18. Parents orient their children toward the future and preparing themselves for its challenges.
19. Parents allow their children to experience the logical consequences of their actions, if it’s safe.
20. Parents introduce their children to the arts, encourage them to participate, and support their efforts.
21. Parents severely restrict television viewing.
22. Parents don’t hold one sibling up as an example to another. In other words, they don’t say, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?”
23. Parents never draw comparisons between their child and another family member who may be a poor role model. In other words, they don't say, “You’re just like your no-good jailbird cousin!”
24. When parents hear these words…Can I help? Can I do it? Can I watch? They say yes, if it’s safe.
25. Parents hold education, hard work, and achievement in the highest esteem.
26. Parents don’t excuse or make excuses for their children's poor behavior.
27. Parents take their children to the library regularly and read to them daily, beginning when they’re infants and continue until they're reading on their own.
28. Parents make their children aware of their strengths and don’t draw attention to their weaknesses.
29. Parents don't bribe their children in order to elicit good behavior.
30. Parents teach their children that an emergency is the only reason they may interrupt a conversation.
31. Parents speak quietly and teach their children to speak quietly.
32. Parents don’t “label” their children…the irresponsible one, the wild one, the talented one, the smart one, the lazy one, etc.
33. Parents spend time with their children. They play catch together. Do yard work together. Shop together. Wash the car together. Go for bike rides together. Cook together. Shampoo the dog together. Play board games together, etc.
34. Parents teach their children to pick up after themselves.
35. Parents have bedtimes for their children and make sure they get at least 8.5 hours of sleep each night.
36. Parents don’t give in to a whining or tantruming child. If their child is having a fit in a restaurant or other public place, they take the child outside and distract him or her with something interesting.
37. Parents have high expectations for their children's effort, behavior, and achievement and communicate them clearly.
38. Parents allow their children to make mistakes and see to it they learn from them.
39. When opportunities present themselves, parents teach their children problem-solving skills, first by example then by guided practice.
40. Parents don’t allow their children to patronize corrupt media, that is, television, movies, and games that portray base, vulgar, or gratuitously violent behavior.
41. Parents introduce their children to media that portrays honesty, sacrifice, loyalty, perseverance, modesty, love, humility, courage, courtesy, respect, and reverence.
42. Parents involve and participate with their children in sports and group activities.
43. Parents respect their children’s privacy by knocking before entering so as not to interrupt their dressing. The popular notion that children’s bedrooms are their private property is dangerous nonsense.
44. Parents don’t fight or argue with each other in front of the children if it’s the kind of thing that would frighten the average child.
45. Parents take their children when they donate blood, recycle cans, contribute to a food bank, donate clothing, etc.
46. Parents instill in their children the belief that success in life is due to hard work rather than luck or inherited traits.
47. Parents teach their children how to do things for themselves instead of doing everything for them.
48. Parents don't threaten punishments they are unwilling or incapable of carrying out, and don't fail to carry out a punishment when it’s called for.
49. Parents encourage their children to save up or earn money for things they desire.
50. Parents raise kind, thoughtful children by modeling selflessness, empathy, and altruism.
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