This is a list I cut out of the newspaper in New Zealand. Sometimes its good just to read things like this as a reminder- especially #10!
1. When your child wants to show you something, stop what you are doing and pay attention.
2. Be physically affectionate - children thrive on hugs, cuddles and hand-holding.
3. Talk to your child about things that interest him or her, and tell them about aspects of your day.
4. Use lots of descriptive praise when your child does something you want to see more of, eg. "Thank you for doing what I asked straight away."
5. Activities such as play dough, coloring, dress-ups and making forts stop children getting bored, which is when they are most likely to misbehave.
6. Teach your child new skills by doing the task yourself first, then letting them try, eg, say "please" or "thank you", prompt your child to speak politely too, then praise them for their efforts.
7. Set clear limits on your child's behaviours. Sit down as a family to talk through the rules and consequences for breaking them.
8. When your child misbehaves, stay calm. Tell them, clearly, to stop misbehaving and outline what you would like them to do instead, eg, "stop fighting. Play nicely with each other." Praise your child if they stop, otherwise follow through with the consequence you had worked out as a family.
9. Have realistic expectations. Even though you are trying to be the perfect parent, you will have some discipline hassles.
10. Look after yourself. Try to find time to let yourself unwind.
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