Since the 1980's, parenting has changed. Many parents let their children raise themselves while they watched from afar. Others became "hover parents" and monitored their child's every move. The views of how children are raised have never been more discussed and debated than today, and much has changed from the children should be seen not heard of only a few generations ago.
Though some may consider themselves to be "expert parents", they too have many questions about how to raise their children.
The point of this book is for parents, and related interested individuals, to join together bringing tips, knowledge and references together which will help us all be better parents with less stress. Let us build this up first with any tips you contribute by category and then expand pages as greater content comes into existence.
This book was created as the depth of the 'Parenting page on wikipedia.org' is inadequate for the journey and caring and leadership role which encompasses all active parents in the parenting journey. That page is not helpful to you as a parent, but an effective book on wikibooks can be!
Parenting skills[edit | edit source]
Parenting is always an adventure- even those that consider themselves "fully prepared" never expect what comes next. New parents initially will be overwhelmed at the baby's constant demand for their attention. Here are some tips and things you can do to make sure your child grows up in loving family, and heads in the right direction.
Children are our future. Given the proper tools and environment they can shape the future into something beautiful. To brighten their future, parents should encourage their play, have regular conversations with the child, and develop the child's body and mind. Play is a critical aspect to all children. Child pyscologists have found that imaginative play is healthy to their growing minds and should be encouraged. Parents should talk and listen to their child on a "grown up" level; never condesending, playing down their ideas or using "baby talk". If the child can speak full, well developed sentences, baby talk in in no way helpful. In order to develop a child's brain and body, proper care must be given. Aside from healthful meals, a good peditrician must be aquired and visited regularly. Even if the parents aren't religious, morals are critical at an early age. Right from wrong, good from bad, and basic rules are all easily developed between 3 and 6 years old .
In the toddler years (2-5), parents should see that the child takes part in imaginative play on a daily basis. Parents may find it fun to join their child and play along. Time should be set aside every day, normally around naptime or bedtime, to read a story. This encourages the child to read and allows you to spend a peaceful moment together. You may walk in on your child holding a book upside down, trying to read for themselves. Allow them to safely explore the world around them: take nature walks, collecting interesting things you find, go bird watching and let your child "talk to" the birds, even a walk around the neighborhood will aid in their social development. It allows your child to interact with his neighbors and future school mates. If your child is of preschool age, regular doctor's appointments are essential. At this age children can develop sleep problems that can escalate quickly from nightmares to refusing to sleep in their own bed. It is always best to make sure your child is healthy early on and make sure no problems arise.  As a parent, Try to set a side time on a regular basis to do something fun with your child.
A top priority in a parent's mind should be their child's safety. If the parents are ignorant as to what they should do regarding safety, Child Care classes should be looked in to.
- Lying down while eating or drinking anything is a hazard. Even infants should be slightly elevated when given a bottle.
- Food, such as meats that can't be easily chewed through, should be cut into small pieces for the child to eat.
- Toys shouldn't include small removable parts, as these are tempting and present a choking hazard.
- Swimming pools should be fenced off and locked so that the child cannot access them. If this isn't possible, remove the ladder or anything that can be used as stairs. Children are curious creatures that wander and explore their environments.
Remember to give your child unconditional love, parent them positvly, teach them good people skills and manners, and remember the importance of play and a good sense of humor. Always do your absolute best, take a break now and then, and remeber that no 2 children are completely alike.
Discipline is a subject widely debated; How strict? Time out? What rules? Here are a few tips:
- Discipline should be gentle enough that the child isn't fearful of you, but also strict enough that they know you mean business.
- Time-outs should last no longer than an hour but no shorter than 10 minutes. If the child spends too much time in the "punish chair" or a corner, they will become distracted and forget why they had to go there in the first place.
- While some argue that physical discipline is needed, others believe that it leads to violence in the future. Studies haven't proven this but it should be left up to the parents to decide. If physical discipline is used, it shouldn't be excessive or abusive. 3 light swats on the bottom would be sufficient. 
You need to explain decisions with your children and let them talk back, at least a little bit to improve critical thinking. Not just "no means no" as your reason for something. A "temper tantrum" should be settled quickly and quietly by explaining your house rules. An apology and a hug is to be expected after a time out. Of course when a baby or child that cannot talk goes into a fit, parents should take care to investigate what is causing the baby or child such distess, rather than discipline. Parenting is a hard job and these tips are just here to help parents get a better understand of how to handle their child.
Effects of parenting, family and family structure on child behaviour[edit | edit source]
The still developing mind of a child is like a sponge. A child will imitate nearly everything their parents do or say. Some will stumble around in mommy's shoes while others will watch football with daddy. Arguments should be held away from the child. They do not know exactly what is going on, only that it is something negative between their parents. The people which they are around the most, parents mainly, greatly affect a child's behavior. If a child is raised in a conservative household, in most cases they will grow up with negative feelings towards homosexuality. If a child is raised to think that "Daddy is a meany", they will grow up with this thought in the back of their minds. To say "Always be on your guard" wouldn't be accurate: "watch what you say" is the more appropriate phrase.
- Don't overuse "Hate"; overuse "Love"
- The tone of voice you use when talking matters. You may get tired of talking like Snow White, but at least your child will believe everything is peaceful at home.
As parents, you must REAR your child, rather than raise. If the atmosphere in your child's home environment is a peaceful one, your child's development will shine and they will excell. 
Age appropriate sexual health education[edit | edit source]
Children need to be educated to help them understand and save their bodies and various associated risks in age appropriate manner. In many cultures & families parents talking with children on topic of sex remains to be taboo subject and many parents do not know how to communicate with children in age appropriate manner and how to educate children about their rights and responsibilities towards their bodies without confusing or scaring children about the topic.
Children can be taught about their bodies and safety from early age. From age 3 onwards they can be educated with body part names. When parents teach children names of body parts like heads, shoulders, knees and toes, according to Elizabeth Seeley-Wait, clinical psychologist at The Children's Psychology Clinic,adding names their vagina, penis and bottom and allowing children to pronounce them confidently helps children to understand and communicate any health or abuse issues, if any arise, in timely and appropriate manner with their parents. 
Parent's should habituate themselves to keep child informed and ask child's consent every time other than times of help, cleaning and bodily health issues. Child need to be per-informed by parents which other adults can help them in their cleaning and health issues like Child care center teacher and doctor. Kids need to be informed what is normal, helpful behaviour and what is not, and skill to differentiate between good touch and bad touch. Kids also need to be taught that while respecting seniors, their body is their own and they do have right to decline unwanted kisses, hugs and unnecessary touches. And they can come and complain any abuse of their bodily rights to their parents and / or teachers. 
Child need to be helped in identifying at least five-six adults to whom they can turn to in times of any distress and they find comfortable to speak with. Any such pool of teachers, coaches and relatives and doctors at least two people from each category with their contact details.
Bad words and other inappropriate language[edit | edit source]
You may not like to hear your child using bad words. Children imitate, so if you, someone else who is frequently around the child or someone on televsion swears a lot, they may imitate that behaviour. There are several strategies to deal with this, but every child and every household is different so you will just have to try and see what works best for you and your child.
- You can try limiting your own cursing to "Dang!" and "Shoot!", but beware that if you swear like that often your child will imitate this as well.
- Try to limit your cursing to when something has gone really wrong. If you only swear on especially bad occasions, your child will generally understand the words have little meaning in any other context.
- Try not to use "special" words on occasions that are not that bad, instead say "Aargh!" or "Why does this happen!".
- Sooner or later your child will probably pick up a bad word. You may act shocked or get very upset when this happens, but you should be careful. If your child finds out they can evoke an intense emotional response from you by using bad words they may start using them in situations you wouldn't expect.
- Consider explaining calmly to your child the word they just used isn't appropriate for the current situation, like how you would explain that while they can say "potty" when they are at home, it would behove them to use the word "toilet" or "bathroom" when visiting a friend. If you don't show a strong emotional response but only mild disappointment because they didn't use it in an appropriate situation, the word will be less "exciting" for your child.
Travelling by car[edit | edit source]
Getting them in their seat belt[edit | edit source]
- The game we find most effective is to make it a competition and say 'lets count how long it takes you to get in and buckled up' and then we count loud and fast.
- You may add a rhyme to the number they get to. For example, on count of 6: "six! Pick up sticks!".
- For experience - start the process early - this way there will be no trauma. Baby will always help when used to situations. call it a "condition" for getting in the car - always sit him in the backseat, same car seat, same side... It is VERY important that you never let baby experiment or experience standing or even being in the car out of the carseat.
You may also try using those strollers that have a detachable car seat that connects to base that stays in the car - this way baby gets used to car seat before getting in the car. The trick is always starting early!
Car doors[edit | edit source]
When you get out of the car, before you close the door, watch where the fingers of your child(ren) are! They may put their hands on the car where the door goes, not realizing what is about to happen.
Leaving your child alone in the car[edit | edit source]
Never leave your child alone in a locked car, out of your direct sight and no way to get out. Not even for a few minutes. If you forget, get distracted or the business you have to attend takes longer than expected you will never forgive yourself. If the sun is shining the inside of your car may heat up quickly. Either take your child with you or (if they are old enough) make sure they are comfortable with waiting in the car and able to unlock the door and get out if they have to.
Bedtime[edit | edit source]
When your child is at least 6 months old it is recommended for parents to try to solve bedtime problems. At this age the child has reached a point where they can sleep longer, they are now able to wake up and comfort themselves to fall back asleep. It may be difficult at first because the child is already used to the parents being there as soon as they start crying. Parents should gradually start ignoring the child’s crying, maybe 5 minutes for the first night and then increasing the time every night.
- Many books all say 'have a routine', (this is unhelpful on its own)
- I run the principal I call the bed machine, once the bed machine is started, it may take a while but will keep moving forward with only one destination 'BED'.
- For us we call it 'Books, Milk and bed' others do 'Bath, book and bed'.
- Establish a set order for yourself.
Brushing teeth[edit | edit source]
- We place a chair outside the bathroom which we call the 'brushing chair', which we get our son to sit on when we brush his teeth, it has greatly reduced the squirm factor
- Allowing the child to watch and practice as mommy and daddy brush their teeth will teach them to develop good brushing habits
Meal times[edit | edit source]
Getting them to eat their greens[edit | edit source]
- Scientists have proved that young children are anatomically predisposed to dislike the colour green, for reasons having to do with the developing retinal cones of the eye. Therefore it is useful to include non-green vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, rutabaga, salsify etc.
- Foods can also be coloured to introduce fun and create an interest factor; however, artificial food colourings should not be used, as some children are allergic to them.
- Sweet vegetables are more palatable to young children such as peas, swede & sweet potato.
Table Manners[edit | edit source]
About a century ago, children weren't allowed at the table until manners were mastered. They ate in their nursery with the nanny and came to the table as a reward for their progress or when family came to visit.
- Do not expect your child to never put their elbows on the table; remember that they are small and must support themselves.
- All children should learn to say please and thank you but this is a courtesty extended beyond the table.
- Remember:children learn from what their parents do. If your husband belches at the end of every meal, your child may grow to think that this is accepctable.
Bringing your child to work[edit | edit source]
- Make sure there is at all times somebody available to watch over your child! Things like cleaning agents or staircases are probably not properly protected.
- Although your workplace is a very familiar and trusted place for you, it's completely new for your child. They encounter things they have never seen before and people they never met before.
- Your child may get very excited by all these new impulses, or a little scared. Bring something that you can use to calm your child down, like a stuffed animal or other toy.
- Within acceptable limits, allow your child to explore this new place.
External Websites[edit | edit source]
- Essential Parenting - A platform dedicated to providing nuggets of information, practical tips and the latest programmes just for parents. It is a Singapore parent education initiative by the Family Education Department, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
References[edit | edit source]
- Shay Bilchik (18 Feb 2002). "10 Tips for Positive Parenting". ARA Content. http://www.pioneerthinking.com/ara-posparenting.html.
- "Preschool Parenting Tips". Keep Kids Healthy, LLC. 16 May 2001. http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/preschool/preschoolquicktips.html.
- "Positive Parenting Tips". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 9 Septmeber 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html.
- "Proper Parenting Means Learning Successful Parenting Skills". Parenting-Healthy-Children.com. http://www.parenting-healthy-children.com/proper-parenting.html. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- "Parenting Techniques". Lifecho.com. http://www.lifecho.com/parenting-techniques. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- Dokoupil, Tony (21 Oct 2009). "In Defense of Permissive Parenting: Why Talking Back May Lead to Smarter Kids". The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC. Archived from the original on 30 Jun 2013. http://archive.is/XuYT8.
- "Positive Parenting". The Nemours Foundation. http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- Belsky, Jay (February 1984). "The Determinants of Parenting: A Process Model". Child Development (The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc) 55 (3): 83-96. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1129836?uid=3738992&uid=2&uid=4&sid=55836820373.
- Patrick C. Friman. "Solving Sleep Problems with Infants". Boys Town Press. http://www.parenting.org/article/solving-sleep-problems-infants. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- Friman, Patrick C. (2005). Good night, sweet dreams, I love you : now get into bed and go to sleep!. Boys Town, NE: Boys Town Press. pp. 57. ISBN 1-889322-65-2. http://www.boystownpress.org/index.php/good-night-sweet-dreams-i-love-you.html.