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February 1999 - Volume 2 - Issue 2

Parenting Tips

Ideas to help you be a better parent

  • Be a "5-to-1" parent: Every time you give your child a consequence for misbehavior, provide five opportunities for him or her to earn praise or a reward.
  • When you're happy with your child, say a lot. When you're unhappy, say little. Talking too much when you're upset makes it more likely that you'll say something you don't mean to say.
  • Time-out will not be effective if you don't have time-in.
  • Time-in is the "good stuff" a child likes. If a child has nothing to lose by going to time-out, it just won't work.
  • Love for young children is taught through physical contact. When they're within reach, reach out.
  • Seek to understand you child at least as much as you try to make yourself understood.
  • Never verbally put down your child.. There's a difference between correcting your child and attacking your child.
  • You can criticize a child's behavior, but never criticize the child.
  • Never use spanking or other forms of corporal punishment with your child.
  • Don't talk to your child while he or she is in time-out. The idea is to take away the good stuff for awhile, and your attention is one of those good things.

    These helpful tips provided by Father Flanagan's Boys Town. 14100 Crawford Street., Boys Town, NE 68010. Excerpts taken from article originally titled "Parenting Tips: Twenty-one ideas to help you be a better parent". Reprinted from Foster Care Magazine, April 1997

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