Top Ten Tips for Better Parenting–and Other Relationships Too

Are you sometimes overwhelmed by endless advice on how to parent, or how to improve other relationships?  Have you tried recommendations and found them lacking? The surplus of advice can be overwhelming, as well as very time consuming.

This article focuses on ten basic actions that are central to improving your parenting, and also applies to other relationships, based on research and over 25 years of my professional experience. Practicing these tips will make your life easier and more rewarding!

As you read through the list, check which ones you are already doing on a regular basis, sometimes, rarely, or never, and your success on a scale of 1 (least success) to 10 (great success). If your rating is low on success, you might need more information on how to improve. Also, look at each skill according to your comfort level (on 1-10 scale, lowest to highest).

  1. LISTEN: The most important activity you can do with your child or other relationship is to truly, actively listen. If you haven’t learned the steps in Active Listening, let me know and I will send you the information.

Do Regularly _____ Sometimes ______ Rarely ______ Never ______

Success Rate      1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level    1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9         10

  1. OFFER ADVICE: Only when it’s asked for, and maybe not even then—better to ask them what their ideas are and help them evaluate.

Do Regularly  _____   Sometimes ______  Rarely ______  Never ______

Success Rate      1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level    1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

  1. HONOR THEIR INDIVIDUALITY: Their needs or perspective may not be what you assume and/or may be different than yours.

Do Regularly  _____  Sometimes ______    Rarely  ______  Never ______

Success Rate     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

  1. DO NOTHING regularly they can do for themselves. In your desire to be helpful, you may be keeping them from becoming more confident.

Do Regularly  _____  Sometimes  ______   Rarely  ______  Never ______

Success Rate     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

  1. ALLOW THE CONSEQUENCES: let them learn from their own actions—within reason, considering their age or developmental stage.

Do Regularly  _____  Sometimes  ______   Rarely  ______  Never ______

Success Rate     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

  1. AVOID JUDGMENT: Give them every opportunity to express themselves freely, without commentary from you—verbal or non-verbal. You might learn something!

Do Regularly  _____  Sometimes  ______   Rarely  ______  Never ______

Success Rate     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

  1. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY—admit when your words or actions were hurtful and sincerely apologize. You will not only feel better, you will also encourage the other person to own up to their part. (also notice when you blame others)

Do Regularly  _____  Sometimes  ______   Rarely  ______  Never ______

Success Rate     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

  1. SET LIMITS: Create boundaries that are reasonable for their age or stage of development. It will help them feel safe and learn how to set their own.

Do Regularly  _____  Sometimes  ______   Rarely  ______  Never ______

Success Rate     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

  1. BE POSITIVE: Others learn better from positive responses than negative (accurate and honest, not simply praise). Ask them:  What works?  What could be better?

Do Regularly  _____  Sometimes  ______   Rarely  ______  Never ______

Success Rate     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

LET GO: Recognize when it’s time for them to take full responsibility for their decisions, actions, and their lives. This will require you to create a different relationship with them.

Do Regularly  _____  Sometimes  ______   Rarely  ______  Never ______

Success Rate     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Comfort Level   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Rather than trying to tackle all of these at once, choose one or two that you can focus on and manage on a regular basis.  It will help you to integrate your new skills, so they become more automatic. 

If you would like any more information on any of these tips, feel free to let me know and I’ll send you some expanded tip sheets.

Check out my award-winning book on Parenting:  Your Living Legacy:  How Your Parenting Style Shapes the Future for You and Your Child. Available on Amazon. You can also read more on my website:  www.ShelliChosak.com

I’d be interested in hearing your comments here. Feel free to share this with anyone you think might be interested. Best,

Shelli