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How to Raise a Child of Character

Updated on September 30, 2007
Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson is a mother and writer who is passionate about healthcare and education for women and children.

Raising good kids is hard work. There are no short cuts. We all need as much help as we can get. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Know your children.

    Get to know all you can about their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes.

  2. Model the behavior you want to see.

    Don't get caught up feeling guilty when you mess up. Own it and move on.

  3. Eat together.

    There are million reasons not to. Just do it.

  4. Plan to parent.

    On one level, parenting just happens, but if we're not careful our busy schedules can crowd out one-on-one time with kids.

  5. Know their friends.

    You don't have to spend every minute at school to know what's going on. Pay attention.

  6. Listen.

    Take yourself out of the equation and listen to what your child needs.

  7. Comment.

    Kids are being influenced every moment. Take time to capture those teachable moments, but don't overdo it so that kids tune you out.

  8. Discipline them.

    There is nothing worse than letting your child dominate you. Every time you give in, back down, or fail to enforce boundaries, you teach your child that you can't be trusted.

  9. Have fun.

    We learn best while we're laughing. Lighten up. Don't take yourself too seriously, even though parenting is a serious job.

  10. Step back.

    Let them be who they are meant to be. Ask yourself if what you want is truly for them, or if your desires represent unfulfilled needs of your own.

More Help for Raising Good Kids

These articles give more specific advice about particular parenting challenges.

How to Teach Kids to Listen - Because listening to others is the foundation for every relationship your child will create, it's worth the time it takes to teach. Not to mention, parenting a child who listens is WAY easier than parenting a child who ignores you.

How to Teach Kids Not To Be Selfish - We all want to raise unselfish kids. I hope so anyway. World peace is riding on it! The best way to teach kids not to be selfish children is to be unselfish yourself. Kids are copycats. Modeling any behavior is always your best bet. Encourage kids to be kind and provide them with opportunities to serve others.

Battling Perfectionism in Children - Many kids and especially gifted children struggle with perfectionism. What does it really mean when we say someone is a perfectionist?

How to Show Affection to Your Children - Maya Angelou says that the best thing for your child is that your eyes light up when she walks in the room. I agree. Taking a moment to acknowledge your precious gift will go far in letting her know you love her. Hug and kiss your babies, never worrying that you'll spoil them. But physical attention is not the only way to show affection to your child.

Keep Kids In Line With Reward Boards - As parents we need all the tools we can get. Reward boards are a great way to get kids to do what you want them to do. At the same time, reward boards help them to take ownership in their behavior and have a good attitude about it.

How to Raise Kids With Healthy Eating Habits - This is one of those horrible areas where we simply must lead by example! Yes, if you want to raise kids to have healthy eating habits, you've got to eat healthy yourself.

Attachment Parenting 101 - It has been said that Attachment Parenting is just a name for what a lot of us do instinctively. We pay attention to our kids. We get to know them. We do what we need to do for them as individuals. So maybe if you don't think you're practicing any kind of "parenting philosophy" you're doing Attachment Parenting. It's all about trusting your Inner Mama or Papa.

How to Deal With Back Talk - Sooner or later all parents have to deal with back talk. It's kids' way of asserting their personalities, expressing their wishes, and testing your limits. While it may be annoying and you certainly want to train your child not to be a rude person, you have to put back talk in perspective to deal with it.

How to Stop Young Kids From Whining - When it comes to whining, it's better to have a plan because if you don't, you're likely to do anything to make it stop and that could include giving in to some pretty outlandish demands.

How to Play With Your Kids - Do you groan at the thought of playing Monopoly Junior? Are you Marco Polo'd out? Have you ever forgotten to seek for a hidden child? Let's face it, not all of us are cut out to roll around on the carpet pushing Tonka trucks with our kids. It's time to stop feeling guilty about it.

How to Stop Tantrums For Good - Many parents think that these outbursts are a normal part of childhood that must be endured. And this is true, they are normal. And they must be endured, but by the child, not by you.

How to Encourage Modesty in Girls - With role models flashing just about everything as they exit limos to hit the club scene, how do we impress upon our girls that this is Not Cool without coming across as completely un-cool ourselves? It's a dilemma worth puzzling over.

How to Stop Older Kids From Whining - Maybe you didn't quite nip out that whining when your kids were younger, or maybe it's just the way things go, but older kids do their share of whining too.

How to Stop Kids From Begging at the Store - Lay down the rules and your next trip to the Piggly Wiggly can go from awful to simply unpleasant in a few easy steps.


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