Parenthood is the hardest, yet most important job in the world. Here are some tips to help you raise your children with love, wisdom, and patience.
1. Make rules. What rules should any person live by in order to lead a happy, healthy life? Tell your children what these rules are every day, and what the consequences are if they are broken.
2. Follow through. If a child breaks a rule, enforce whatever consequences were previously discussed. Be consistent - don't let your child manipulate you into making exceptions because you feel bad. When enforcing consequences, calmly ask your child, "This is what I told you would happen if you did (or didn't) do XYZ, right?"
3. Take interest. Be involved. Try to understand who your child is, and what makes him or her an individual. Ask questions. What do they want to do? What do they think about this or that? How do they feel?
4. Respect boundaries. Don't be too involved. That is, as your child grows, give him or her more responsibility, and at the same time give him or her more privacy and more decision-making power. Pay responsibility back with trust.
5. Be a role model. Live by the rules you set. Don't be one of those "Do as I say, not as I do" parents. Don't do anything you wouldn't want your child to do, even when they're not around (they're bound to catch you doing it, or find out about it, when you're not looking, and they'll get the message that it's okay to do things behind someone's back).
6. Show and tell them that you love them, even when they seem to hate you, or when they are being punished. If you have followed all the steps above, it will be easier for your children to understand that you are trying to do what's best for them, because you love them. They might still not believe you in the heat of the moment, but they will eventually look back and understand.
7. Never compare your children with others or even with siblings. For example, never say "Look at ABC's son, he is the same age as you and doing so well".
8. Never shame or embarrass your children in front of other people. Protect and rescue them at all cost from all kinds of shame.