Realistic Parenting Tips For A Healthy Relationship With Your Kid(s)

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parenting tips



Many factors influence a child’s development, yet many studies agree that parenting style has a huge impact and might be the most influential. According to a 2019 American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine study, the quality of the early parent-child relationship contributes to a child’s cognitive, neurobiological, socioemotional, and health outcomes (1)

A strong parent-child connection can improve your child’s physical and mental health. Not surprisingly, the effect is long-lasting and can even help them in school or other social settings. (1)(2)(3)

How can you help kids achieve their full potential? Most parents struggle with balancing between love and support, and sternness and boundaries. Which discipline methods are most effective, and do parenting practices vary for different ages? Is spanking still acceptable in some instances, or is it a thing of generations past?

We share some effective parenting tips below, including various hacks for different age groups.

Remember: The best parenting advice is the one that you intuit will best apply to your kid(s). 

No single parenting advice applies to all kids and parents. You might need to modify your parenting style depending on your child’s age, behavior, personality, and other factors. (2)(3)

Continue reading to learn more.


Different Parenting Styles

Here are four known parenting methods: (4)(5)

  • Authoritarian parenting (kids have no say; parents demand obedience without questions)
  • Authoritative parenting (promotes child independence and self-expression; includes positive and gentle parenting)
  • Permissive parenting (parents have little authority, and kids are generally allowed to do whatever they want)
  • Uninvolved parenting (parents aren’t involved in their children’s lives; also considered neglectful parenting)


There are several sub-styles under authoritative parenting – and it’s considered the most ideal of the four because it involves input from parents and kids alike. (4)(5)


What Are 5 Positive Parenting Tips?

According to Harvard Pediatrics, here are five ways you can foster connection and structure with your kid(s): (6)

  1. Model positive behavior – children copy what they observe or see (6)
(source: (6)


  1. Create a routine (e.g., bedtime routine, dinner routine, etc.) – it helps promote good behavior because kids know what to expect and do (6)


  1. Reward positive behavior and actions you want them to do (e.g., giving them attention when they’re quietly playing while you’re working or busy) (6)
(source: (6)


  1. Find ways to have fun (6)


  1. Avoid giving attention and naming a negative behavior (e.g., hurting siblings; by comforting the hurt child, then later positively advising the angry sibling, such as praising when they use “gentle hands”) (6)
(source: (6)


What Are The 7 C’s Of Parenting?

Here are the seven Cs of resilience parenting proposed by pediatrician Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg: (7) 

  • Competence
  • Confidence
  • Connection
  • Character
  • Contribution
  • Coping
  • Control


What Are The 5 C’s Of Parenting?

Here are the five Cs of effective parenting: (8)

  • Consistency
  • Consequences
  • Courtesy
  • Consideration
  • Caring


What’s The Golden Rule Of Parenting?

Here’s a modified version of the golden rule that applies to parenting, according to parenting counselor Jan Hunt, M.Sc.: (9)

“Treat your child as you would like to be treated if you were in the same position.”


Positive Parenting Tips For All Ages

Manifest Unconditional Love & Kindness

  1. Express “I love you” freely and abundantly  
  2. Avoid playing favorites with your kids; treat them equally, yet uniquely to play their own strength and different traits
  3. Bring mindfulness and presence to both the big and small moments
  4. Be firm yet warm and kind
  5. Allow them to calm down when they’re upset; allow space for all of their emotions and let them know you’ll be there for them through all of it
  6. Be generous with cuddles, affection, and love; get to know their love language and meet them where they are at
  7. Foster a loving, supportive, yet structured environment


Spend Time With Your Kids & Promote Parent-Child Relationship Bonding

  1. Make time for your kids; even a few minutes at a time yields big gains
  2. Pay attention and be involved in your child’s life; notice the minor details
  3. Remember that your full presence and the memories you make together are more important than physical gifts
  4. Actively listen to your kids and ask them mindful questions
  5. Respect your child’s opinion and meet them where they are at 
  6. Create quality time – it doesn’t have to be expensive; focus on experiences, not things
  7. Schedule a special bonding time daily; make it a ritual or a game
  8. Be engaged in their life and create space for family time
  9. Read books or enjoy hobbies with them
  10. Create simple traditions, rituals, and sweet memories


Nurture Your Child’s Self-Esteem

  1. “Catch” good behavior and acknowledge it
  2. Praise your kids even for small things
  3. Make time for milestones and important events
  4. Be specific with positive reinforcement and praise
  5. Let kids “overhear” you complimenting them or speaking positively about them
  6. Never compare your kids to others, especially siblings, because every kid is different
  7. Allow kids to learn responsibility for their own actions
  8. Let kids find solutions and don’t fix everything for them
  9. Support independence, autonomy, and sense of self


Keep Your Communication Lines Open & Be A Responsive Parent

  1. Schedule a special one-on-one time for each kid
  2. Ask about your child’s day
  3. Try to understand and acknowledge their emotions
  4. Help them name their emotions when they’re angry or upset
  5. Focus on your child when you’re talking; be present and make eye contact
  6. Build trust and open communication but keep their privacy


Help Your Child Learn Social Skills

  1. Encourage kids to make eye contact
  2. Encourage them to make friends (but don’t choose their friends for them or interfere with their choices)
  3. Watch out for behavioral problems and seek help if necessary


Strive To Be A Good Role Model

  1. Be integral with your word
  2. Respect your partner even if you have parenting differences
  3. Express your love and appreciation for your partner openly 
  4. Don’t be afraid to own up to mistakes and apologize, even to your kid(s)
  5. Show love for the environment and gratitude for the home and blessings of your family
  6. Understand that kids can be keen observers
  7. Learn to be flexible
  8. Show positive attention and learn to control your emotions
  9. Model and teach good manners
  10. Openly work on reparenting yourself and express your low moments or challenges to your kids (e.g.: “Mommy is having a really hard time right now. I’m feeling really frustrated and need to take five minutes to reset myself. I love you and I will be right back.” 


Acknowledge Your Limitations & Needs As A Parent

  1. Accept that the perfect parents don’t exist
  2. Trust yourself – you’re doing great as a parent, even with your low moments
  3. Remember that kids don’t come with a manual
  4. Learn to take a well-deserved break and practice self-care
  5. Trust your instincts, you’ve got this
  6. Rally other parents or caregivers and discuss your parenting plans and challenges
  7. Learn to say “no” – kids will survive even if they don’t always get what they want
  8. Let kids make mistakes and learn from them
  9. Improve or hone your parenting skills through watching podcasts, how-to videos and articles, etc.


Effective Parenting Skills

Raising Kind & Grateful Kids

  1. Watch out for entitlement in your children. Teach them about actions and consequences. 
  2. Model traits like humility, respect, kindness, and appreciation. 
  3. Embody the spirit of gratitude and express it freely
  4. Identify your own values and discuss family values with your partner, and welcome kids into the conversation 
  5. Express the ways you’re striving to be a good parent to your kids.  
  6. Hold strong boundaries with firmness and grace


Family Time During Meals 

  1. Schedule regular family meal times
  2. Encourage kids to eat what everyone else is eating
  3. Keep serving new dishes, even when they’re rejected
  4. Consider baby-led weaning
  5. Let kids choose or “order” their food occasionally


Always Prioritize Your Kids’ Health & Safety

  1. Babyproof your home
  2. Follow the safe sleep guidelines (e.g., let your baby sleep in a crib or firm, flat surface)
  3. Create a routine and encourage self-soothing at bedtime
  4. Watch out for recalls
  5. Practice car safety and checks (e.g., using age-appropriate car seats)
  6. Promote a healthy lifestyle by modeling it yourself
  7. Encourage healthy teeth and gums by choosing the right toothbrush; allow your kids to watch you practice good oral hygiene and make it a family ritual if possible
  8. Use sunblock or sunscreen when necessary
  9. Potty train your child when they and you are ready


Encourage Brain Development

  1. Support your child’s hobbies and interests
  2. Avoid TV in their bedrooms
  3. Encourage brain-boosting meals (e.g., nuts, berries, eggs, healthy fats such as avocados, salmon and olive oil) and activities
  4. Let kids learn a new language (or sign language)
  5. Boost brain health with physical activity
  6. Expose them to a variety of activities
  7. Spend ample time outdoors
  8. Go on walks and nature adventures together


Consider Adjusting Your Parenting Style

  1. Acknowledge that what you do matters
  2. Create realistic expectations
  3. Draw on your childhood experiences


Good Parenting Tips & Principles

Kids Also Deserve Respect

Even young children deserve respect. Listen to your child and let them express their opinions, regardless of age.


Understand That Tantrums Don’t Always Mean “Bad Behavior”

Toddlers, especially 2-year-olds, are prone to throwing tantrums because they struggle to express their emotions. That’s why the stage is also known as the “terrible twos.”

It’s important to let your child feel that no matter their age, their emotions are valid, and you’ve got their back.


Understanding & Imposing Discipline

Your discipline methods are more likely influenced by your chosen parenting method. 

For example, while spanking used to be a common punishment with past generations’ authoritarian parenting, modern parents use time-outs or non-physical forms of discipline. If you choose positive or gentle parenting, you involve your child in problem-solving as you process their behavior, why they did it, and the natural consequences of their actions.

Some discipline-related parenting tips:

  1. Acknowledge that discipline isn’t punishment or abuse
  2. Be firm yet kind even in disciplining your child
  3. Set limits and boundaries – and be consistent with enforcing them
  4. Be in charge and create reasonable rules and limits
  5. Be firm and consistent with enforcing boundaries and limits
  6. Pick your battle, and don’t sweat all the small stuff
  7. Discipline your child’s behavior, but don’t criticize them
  8. Avoid negative reactions to emotional outbursts and negative behavior, but give yourself grace because you’re human and parenting can be hard
  9. Explain why you’re imposing limits and rules
  10. Avoid harsh discipline even in major situations
  11. Discipline in private (it saves your child from public pressure and humiliation)


Child-Rearing For Different Ages

Parenting For Babies

  • Consider attachment parenting (e.g., baby-wearing and being more attuned to your baby’s needs)
  • Sometimes, you need to let them cry it out (show your support by carrying them in your arms until they calm down)
  • You can begin to develop strong bonds by spending lots of time with your baby
  • Let your baby sleep in a crib, and avoid using crib bumpers, stuffed toys, blankets, pillows, or other stuff inside
  • Limit the use of ‘container’ play devices such as exersaucers to a maximum time of 15-20 minutes daily to reduce the risks of negative effects such as delayed motor milestones (e.g., sitting, rolling, standing, and walking) or hip and spine development problems (10)
  • Protect babies from potential danger and make sure you babyproof your home
  • When your little one is ready for solid foods, consider BLW (baby-led weaning) and encourage them to eat healthy foods
  • Choose educational baby toys (e.g., Montessori baby toys)


Parenting For Toddlers

  • Acknowledge that tantrums might be their way of expressing themselves
  • Don’t encourage negative behavior
  • Praise good behavior
  • Encourage physical activity
  • Choose age-appropriate educational toddler toys (e.g., outdoor toys for 1-year-olds, Montessori toys for toddlers, etc.
  • Double-check babyproofing around your home (e.g., installing baby gates, locking up medicines and household cleaners, keeping sharp or dangerous objects out of reach, etc.).
  • Set limits and be consistent in imposing them – it’s beneficial for  toddlers to learn how to follow the rules even at this age


Parenting For Preschoolers

  • Continue nurturing your child
  • Encourage your preschooler to socialize and play with other kids
  • Be consistent with discipline
  • Acknowledge your preschooler’s feelings
  • Show respect for your preschoolers, but be firm with boundaries and structure
  • Foster independence and encourage your child to help with simple household chores
  • Choose age-appropriate activities and educational toys (e.g., Montessori toys for 3-year-olds, educational toys for 4-year-olds, etc.)


Parenting For Grade Schoolers

  • Foster independence
  • Let your child build strong relationships with peers and other adults (e.g., their teachers)
  • Model and teach kindness, empathy, respect, and good behavior
  • Be involved in your child’s education (e.g., assisting with assignments, attending PTA meetings, watching school plays, etc.)
  • Let your child make decisions and learn from their mistakes
  • Encourage playing with educational toys (e.g., educational toys for 7-year olds, educational toys for 8-year-olds, etc.) instead of gadgets
  • Go on weekly or regular dates with your child


Parenting For Teens

  • Encourage open communication lines
  • Talk to your teen or adolescent about their mental health
  • Respect your teen’s opinions
  • Guide (but don’t limit) their decisions 
  • Watch out for red flags and behavior problems
  • Continue monitoring their education (e.g., grades, school activities, etc.)
  • Choose your battles
  • Be honest about drugs, smoking, sex, alcohol, peer pressure, driving, etc.
  • Show interest in their life
  • Involve your teen in problem-solving, especially when you encounter negative behavior
  • Show your support and love


Parenting For Adolescents & Young Adults

  • Talk about mental health issues
  • Be open about sex but also respect their privacy
  • Model and teach about alcohol consumption and responsibility
  • Provide support even in adulthood
  • Encourage safety rules in driving


Benefits Of Encouraging Emotional Regulation In Children

Learning to understand and regulate emotions can have the following advantages for your kids: (11)(12)(13)

  1. Boosts your child’s confidence and self-esteem
  2. Helps your child develop compassion, kindness, and empathy
  3. Promotes better mental health
  4. Might reduce risky behaviors
  5. Promotes better physical health and well-being
  6. Can help promote healthy relationships with others
  7. May help with academic improvement
  8. Helps enhance decision-making, judgment, and problem-solving skills
  9. Guide your child’s behavior and mistakes
  10. Helps curb intentional misbehavior 
  11. May help improve the parent-child relationship
  12. Allows your child to cope with problems (e.g., broken relationships, failures, etc.)


Benefits Of Emotional Regulation For Parents

Some benefits you can enjoy with emotional self-regulation: (14)(15)

  1. Promotes healthy communication with your family
  2. Helps you understand, empathize, and connect more with your kids
  3. Fewer conflicts in the family
  4. Fosters a loving, positive, supportive, and healthy environment for you and your kids
  5. Can make it easier for you to support and help your kids learn how to regulate their emotions
  6. Can help you guide your child lovingly to raise calm, positive kids


Parenting Books To Consider

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read



Raising Good Humans



Raising Mentally Strong Kids



How to Talk So Kids Will Listen 



Good Inside” – by Dr. Becky Kennedy



The Whole Brain Child



The Conscious Parent
























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