Be the role model your children deserve
Kids learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do.
Fess up when you blow it. This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.
Live a little greener. Show your kids how easy it is to care for the environment. Waste less, recycle, reuse, and conserve each day. Spend an afternoon picking up trash around the neighborhood.
Always tell the truth. It’s how you want your child to behave, right?
Kiss and hug your spouse in front of the kids. Your marriage is the only example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels, and sounds like. So it’s your job to set a great standard.
Respect parenting differences. Support your spouse’s basic approach to raising kids — unless it’s way out of line. Criticizing or arguing with your partner will do more harm to your marriage and your child’s sense of security than if you accept standards that are different from your own.
Give yourself a break. Hitting the drive-through when you’re too tired to cook doesn’t make you a bad parent.
Trust your mommy gut. No one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being. If you think something’s wrong, chances are you’re right.
Just say “No.” Resist the urge to take on extra obligations at the office or become the Volunteer Queen at your child’s school. You will never, ever regret spending more time with your children.
Don’t accept disrespect from your child. Never allow her to be rude or say hurtful things to you or anyone else. If she does, tell her firmly that you will not tolerate any form of disrespect.
Pass along your plan. Mobilize the other caregivers in your child’s life — your spouse, grandparents, daycare worker, babysitter — to help reinforce the values and the behavior you want to instill. This includes everything from saying thank you and being kind to not whining.