When children are born they don’t bring along a guide on how to raise them. Every child is different and may or may not react the way the child in a parenting book you are reading a response.

Be Consistent

It isn’t always easy being consistent with your children. Sometimes it’s easier to say “yes” than to have to hear them nag you and cry and scream to get what they want. The easy route is not the one that is in the best interest of your child.

Being consistent 100% of the time is not possible. However, it is possible and essential to be consistent the majority of the time. One of the things children must learn in life is that there are consequences to their behavior.

By teaching them at home that you mean what you say, you are not only giving your words power, you are teaching them a good life’s lesson. For example, if your child misbehaves, you might decide to give him a warning. Explain why his behavior is not acceptable and let him know if he does the same thing again, he will be punished.

More than likely a child will repeat a bad behavior – that is what children do. They test their limits. If you do not follow-through on what you said, they will have learned that your words have no meaning. If, however, they see that by repeating the same bad behavior and punishment did indeed follow as you said it would, they will learn that there are consequences to their behavior.

These four tips for effective parenting will help make the journey easier. Feel free to come share you're own effective parenting tips with us too.

Be Involved

Life is difficult. Many parents are pulled in different directions between work and family obligations. Being there for your children is important even if it means having to rearrange your priorities. If they are involved in sports, make sure you do everything in your power to go to their games. If they take dance lessons, be at all their recitals.

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By letting your children know that you are interested in the activities they are involved with, you are making sure they know that they matter to you and that they are loved.

In situations where parents are divorced, children need that extra confirmation that they matter to their parent even though the parents are no longer living together.

Divorce can be difficult for children, especially when it comes to who they will live with and who will be telling them what to do. Rather than fighting it out amongst each other and in front of the children, you can hire an attorney to clearly and legally stipulate each parent’s rights and responsibilities. Fort Worth joint managing conservatorship attorneys will write out an agreement that includes “the right to spend time with the children and be part of their lives. It also includes the responsibility to take care of the children, such as providing food, shelter, and basic medical care.”

So even in situations where a child’s parents are no longer married, they can each still be involved in their child’s life.

Teach by Example

There is nothing worse than acting upon the idea of “Do as I say, not as I do”. This will come across as very hypocritical to children, especially older ones who can see that their parents are not doing what they are telling them to do.

Younger children are like copy machines. They will mimic everything you do, including bad things such as cursing. Rest assured that if you curse in front of your child, he will return the favor and probably at a family function or another place where you will be embarrassed.

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Boost Their Self Esteem

Children learn about their sense of self when they see themselves through the eyes of their parents. The expressions on your face, the tone of your voice, your body language, your words, and your actions are absorbed by your children.

As they grow older, children will begin to develop their own sense of self, but it will have started developing when they were small and influenced by what they see in your eyes as their parent.

If your children do something to make you proud, make sure you tell them.  Give them age-appropriate independence to make them feel like they are capable beings. Show your children compassion.

When they make a mistake, make sure that they understand the difference between who they are and their actions. You should let them know that you don’t like what they did but that you still love them.

A lot of parenting is trial and error. However, a few basic rules apply in general to help you be successful at the most important job you will ever have. That job is being a parent. It is your job to help your child grow into a physically, mentally, and emotionally-healthy adult.