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Learn to be an Effective Parent

Updated on December 4, 2008

Everyday, in stores, at school and in my friend’s homes, I see parents being controlled by their children, instead of the other way around.  Kids have mastered the art of whining, cajoling and/or flat out making demands of their parents that a generation or two ago would have landed said kids in a whole lot of hot water.  What happened?  When did the shift of parental authority from leader to follower occur, and more importantly, how can parents get back on track? Below are a few ideas on how to do it.


An effective parent is an effective leader.
An effective parent is an effective leader.

Easy steps to being an effective parent.

Make your marriage the primary relationship in your household. – Before all the kiddies came along, you were a couple, spouses!  While the addition of children is a blessing, it doesn’t change the fact that you are married and in a partnership.  In order to establish that you are the leaders too, you have to make your marriage exclusive.  Be involved with your partner in life, this will thereby make you the center of your kid’s world.


Single parents – Develop hobbies, outside interests, a circle of friends that separate you from the kids.  You have a life, you have needs and you will be a better parent if you are not always available to cater to your children’s every whim.  Too, you are setting an example.  You are not your children’s playmate, you are their parent.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. – Saying no and sticking to it is paramount!  Your children must understand that your word is law. If you have trouble saying no to your kids, practice in front of the mirror.  The children I see who are the most obnoxious and resistant to authority are those whose parents never tell them no and have not established their parental authority. There’s only one sheriff in the house and it’s YOU!


Establish appropriate boundaries. – Children should know and understand that they cannot have full access to you at all times.  This precludes illness or special needs of a child, but by age three children can understand that there will be times when you need quiet or that you cannot attend to them.  You require privacy, if nothing else than for your own sanity.


Be a loving leader. – You’re the adult and the center of your child’s universe. He or she looks to you for guidance and instruction.  Take the reins with confidence because you know what you are doing, where you are going, and know that you will get there.


Refer back to the first two paragraphs. – Over the long haul if you have maintained your relationship with your spouse (or maintained your adult life if single,) you will have a richer marriage that will increase the likelihood of you staying together after the kids are gone.  You will have taught them by example what a healthy marriage looks like, encouraged them to be



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