Healthy Parenting Tips
I PROMISE you that if you follow these tips, your children will become more responsible, more cooperative, and—most important—much happier. After 30 years of extensive experience, I can tell you that THESE are the most effective tips you will find anywhere.
I’m also cautioning you that following these tips will require considerable change on YOUR part. Children are not bolts you can put in place with the turn of a wrench. As you read these ten tips, keep in mind they might seem impossibly difficult, but I will give you a final tip at the end that will change your parenting—and your children—forever. Not kidding.
Tip #1: No More Anger from You
The instant you become irritated with a child, they hear only ONE thing: “I don’t love you.” Really. How do YOU feel when other people are angry at you? Loved? Not a chance. So your anger at your children has to disappear. How? More about that in a minute.
Tip #2: Love Them
You’re already doing your best to do that, but not just any kind of “love” will do. It must be unconditional, which means love without the devastating effects of disappointment and anger. Most of us don’t even know what unconditional love—or Real Love®—is. We’ve never seen it, but I’ll teach you how to find it and use it with your children.
Tip #3: Teach Them
Teach them how to be responsible and happy—regularly, with immediate and consistent consequences if they don’t follow your directions. Few parents consistently monitor their children’s compliance, which leaves children with no direction but social media and worse.
Tip #4: Zero Tolerance for Anger in Your Children
Anger is poison. It eliminates any possibility of happiness in the angry child, and the effects on others are uniformly harmful. Have you ever been angry but at the same time peaceful and happy? Of course not. Neither have your children.
Tip #5: Zero Tolerance for Whining
Your children whine, resist, and complain far more every day than you realize. It’s become a kind of background noise that you ignore, but you can’t afford to ignore it anymore. Whining is a kind of “gateway behavior” that leads to all the other behaviors that hurt them, and I’ll teach you how to stop whining completely in a loving way.
Tip #6: Zero Tolerance for Teasing
Tip #7: Zero Tolerance for Lying or Withdrawal
When children lie, they’re defending themselves and immediately become separated from everyone. They can’t feel loved and happy while they’re lying.
You’ve seen your kids isolate themselves in their rooms, on their phones, or just in silence at the dinner table. They feel alone, and that is a terrible feeling for them, a feeling we ignore. We can’t afford to ignore that anymore. They can’t afford it either.
Tip #8: No More Addictions: Not to Phones, Social Media, Gaming, Porn, or Anything Else
When children are addicted to their phone or anything else, they’ve separated themselves from real living. It’s not a small thing. They’re gone. We cannot stand by and allow them to disappear. We must learn to become real parents and help them become engaged in life. We must teach them to be loving and responsible. If we don’t, the negative consequences will be horrifying.
Tip #9: Enjoy Them. Have Fun. Be Creative.
We all want to love our children. We promised them as babies that we would, but nobody taught us how to love and teach them. We can learn to do that. We can learn how to feel loved ourselves, and then we can ENJOY our children. We can fill them with peace. We can teach them how to feel loved and how to be loving, responsible, and happy.
Tip #10: Don’t Do This Alone
We can’t learn to be great parents alone. There’s too much to learn. We need too much support. You can learn how to get that help.
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If you’re paying close attention, you’ll realize that you have no idea how to actually implement any of these tips in your parenting. You’re not alone. The incidence of whining, complaining, anger, and addictions in our children is epidemic, far greater than COVID ever was, with consequences that last for a lifetime.
Parenting Tips Can Help
When our children whine, when they get angry, when they’re addicted to their phones, when they do poorly in school, we tend to shrug and say, “What can I do? I’ve tried, and nothing works.”
What can you do? What is the real problem? THIS is THE question. Until you can answer it, you will be confused and helpless with your child. And almost no experts can answer it.
We cannot understand our children until we first realize that what we all need more than anything is to feel LOVED. As proven by many studies, love is THE ingredient necessary for happiness, and without it we WILL be in pain. We feel small and helpless, and we HATE that. So do our children.
Our children are in pain because they don’t feel sufficiently loved BY US. Yes, I know you love your children as well as you can, but YOU were not given the KIND of love YOU needed as a child either, so you don’t have it to give. LOVE is both the reason for our children’s pain and also the answer. But we must understand that NOT just any kind of love will do.
What we all need is UNCONDITIONAL love, or Real Love®, which means to care about another person without any thought for something in return. There is no disappointment or irritation in Real Love. You didn’t get that kind of love—with no disappointment or anger—so you don’t have it to give your children. How do I know that you didn’t get unconditional love?
Remember in your childhood how many times:
- your parents or others rolled their eyes at your mistakes.
- they criticized your performance, especially with a “tone.”
- they told you they were disappointed in you—with their words, their facial expression.
- you just needed to talk to someone, but there was no one there.
Each of these times we were not unconditionally loved—whether aggressively or by simple neglect—we FELT the message, “I don’t love you.” Really. It was like being poked with a sharp stick. Our children have the same pain.
All of us—including our children—MUST be unconditionally loved and taught how to maintain our feelings of worth, our creativity, and how to identify and be responsible for our feelings.
When children don’t feel unconditionally loved, they try ANY behavior that will earn approval or protect them from feeling worthless. They try to please us, to earn praise. When that wears off, they try whining, complaining, disappearing into screens, anger, fighting, resisting, more pleasing, and on and on.
To be plain: the reason your child has problems—phone addiction, whining, school problems, and so on—is that you simply were not loved unconditionally yourself, and now you don’t know how to give that lifegiving ingredient to them.
And yes, you’re doing your best, but your disappointment, irritation, or simple lack of involvement with your child—all of which which happen much more often than you might think—are crushing to his or her sense of worth. Do not feel guilty. It all began with the love you did not get yourself.
Take the first step right now. Say out loud these words: “My child has problems because of MY disappointment, irritation, or lack of involvement, which proves that I simply don’t know HOW to love my child unconditionally.” Yes, ouch, but now we can talk about truly effective solutions.
Is There an Answer to Parenting Problems?
Oh yes, there IS an answer. And I know that you’re looking for a cute list of steps to take—we all are. I began this blog with a list of actions. But there is no shortcut to learning to be a loving parent, which is easily one of the most difficult jobs on earth.
We must be TAUGHT how to parent, and in the Ridiculously Effective Parenting Training, you will learn how you can completely eliminate disappointment and anger from your life. And THEN you can learn how to unconditionally love and teach your children.
THAT is the solution to preventing and treating the problems we see in our children. After thirty years of experience I have learned that love WORKS, but learning to receive and give it requires vulnerability and focused effort on your part. There are no easy or quick solutions, but there IS a solution.
I promise you that children who feel loved simply don’t whine, or stay glued to their phones, or get angry, or withdraw, or feel worthless. I know this from vast experience. They acquire a real reason to live. They become happy and creative. Why? Because they have ENOUGH of what they need most—the love of a parent.
Your problems—and your child’s problems—were created over many years. How fortunate that solving these problems can happen much more quickly. Change takes focus and practice, but loving is certainly not more difficult than the way you and your child are living now.
As you learn to be loving, you will feel so much happier yourself. You will enjoy the privilege of watching your child naturally and freely acquire the self-worth they need to be confident, creative, and happy.
You will experience the peace of a loving home, the confidence of being a loving parent, and the joy of raising children who are loving and responsible. What could possibly be better?
Eliminate confusion and conflict with your children.