mother hugging child
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
March 21, 2024 ·  7 min read

 15 Parenting Rules That Show Us How to Authentically Love Your Child

Almost every, if not every, parent wonders to themselves at least once whether or not they’re doing a good job of parenting. After all, it’s incredibly stressful being responsible for the well-being and upbringing of another human being. Fortunately, parenting experts have written numerous books and therapists have spent hours studying the behaviors of children to understand them better. By following these 15 parenting rules, you’ll be well on your way to success.

1. Following Parenting rules Means Being Consistent

parent holding childs hands

Children thrive in an environment with consistency and some boundaries, including some discipline. Although it can be difficult to know the best way to do this at an age where some parents understand their own childhood trauma can negatively impact the situation, it is a good thing to make sure some rules and consequences exist. For example, no electronics until homework is done or after dinner is a reasonable rule for any parent to make. Furthermore, a consequence that likely won’t cause any trauma would be to take away those privileges for various amounts of time, increasing in duration with each offense. Note that if more and more privileges are being taken away and the behavior continues or even worsens, there may be a more serious problem at hand, ranging from depression or anxiety to more severe mental health issues. In this case, it’s best to consult with a doctor.

Read: Fed-Up Mother Wrote ‘Tough Love’ Letter To Her 13-Year-Old Son – Parents Everywhere Applauded Her

2. Lead by Example

first day at school. father leads a little child school girl in first grade

The saying “Do as I Say, not as I Do” is one that nearly every adult heard at least once during their childhood, but most people know that actions have a far greater impact than words. As such, children are more likely to absorb the habits and actions of those around them, rather than live by the words of people who do the opposite.

3. Parenting Rules Call for Communication

Portrait of a happy teenage boy son talking to his father at home. Sharing secrets and having fun, support and parenthood concept

Like all relationships, open communication is the key to a happy and healthy parent-and-child relationship. It’s important that children learn early on how to communicate and connect with others, for reasons that include healthy future relationships, a sense of safety and security, and learning how to identify and voice opinions, feelings, and needs.

4. Be Flexible Regarding Certain Methods

Teacher having meeting with parent of schoolboy

Although it’s important to be consistent, children differ from one another. Therefore, they also respond differently to stimuli, and it’s important to be willing to change things to accommodate that. Parents often have their own ideas about activities or meals for children. However, taste buds and preferences change early on as children explore their personalities and bodies. Furthermore, big feelings can cause disruption or derailment from the day’s schedule. Therefore, it’s important to be open to changes in plans, grocery lists, or family adventures.

5. Parenting Rules also Call for Rest

holidays and leisure concept - young woman reading book and resting her feet on table at cozy home

Although parents love their children more than anything, they can become burnt out from too much time with them. Not necessarily because there’s been too much time with them; most parents feel guilty for being away from their children. Because everyone needs their own time, downtime from work and chores, time to get enough sleep, and even time to get a meal in or ready for the family. All of these are necessary from time to time, and all will require a parent to know their limits and take a step back when everything feels like it’s too much.

6. Be Present

little girl and her beautiful parents are smiling while cooking in kitchen at home

Following parenting rules like be present are important because there’s never enough time in the day to do everything, including spending time with the people we love the most. As a result, the time that we do get with them should be spent totally engaged in the conversation or activity, allowing for a deeper connection to form.

7. Say Yes to Exploration

Children in forest looking at leaves as a researcher together with the magnifying glass.

Although always saying yes isn’t an option, regarding toys or material possessions, it’s important to say yes when possible. Therefore, saying yes to things like a walk somewhere outdoors, a few rainy-day science experiments, or taking the long way home just to have a few extra minutes of their favorite music are small and cost-effective examples of a great way to build sweet, long-lasting memories together.

Read: “I Should Love My Wife the Same Way I Want My Daughter to Be Loved.” Things Every Father of a Girl Needs to Remember

8. Parenting Rules Call for Household Items

kids having fun playing on kitchen pans at home

While countless baby and child products out there promise to be fun, engaging, educational, and so on, you’ll be amazed to find that kids have the most fun exploring everyday household items. For example, pots and pans are fun to make music with, and water is a great playtime activity. Combine that to water and add a small amount of bath or dish soap pots and pans, you’ve just created a whole new kind of activity that keeps kids happy for a while. Or at least make them forget they were just on the brink of a tantrum. Another fun thing for kids is boxes, empty cereal boxes, tissue boxes, or package boxes. They can become spaceships, treasure maps, or a hiding place so babies can rediscover their toys.

9. Seek Out the Positive

mother talk comfort unhappy sad teenage daughter suffering from school bullying or psychological problems, loving mom support make peace with depressed introvert teen girl child

Because life is so hard for everyone, the world has its share of pessimism. Although it’s important to be realistic, it’s equally beneficial to teach kids to find happiness in little moments every day, like how the world comes to life again in spring or how the air smells when it rains or snows.

10. Parenting Rules Call for Acceptance

Teenage girl hugging her mother at home.

It’s important for kids to feel seen and heard, to be loved and accepted unconditionally. Although there are times when boundaries or limits are called for, children are harmlessly exploring the world around them and who they want to be in most cases. This may look like defying societal gender norms. It may be trying some new hobbies or activities. Or it may be a mistake that was made amongst friends or in the classroom. Regardless, learning about life is a never-ending journey, and kids should be met with grace, then educated, but never shamed for their interests and hobbies, so long as they aren’t causing anyone harm.

Read: ‘My Boyfriend and I Were Falling in Love. Then He Hit Me with a Deal Breaker I Never Saw Coming’

11. Give Grace and Get Grace

Little Girl resting on her father's shoulder

Being a parent is incredibly hard, but so is being a child. No one is perfect, and everyone has a bad day every now and then. Therefore, as previously mentioned, it’s important to treat your children with grace, but it’s equally important to treat yourself with the same consideration. Learn to forgive yourself and your children for the mistakes that have been made and use them as a teachable moment in which everyone has an opportunity to grow.

12. Remember They’re Still Young

Side view of handsome father and his cute son looking at each other and smiling while spending time together at home

Children are tiny human beings, but not small adults. It’s a little confusing, but basically, another important item on the list of parenting rules is to remember that children don’t have the capacity to self-regulate, and that means that outbursts and confusion about the reason for said outbursts are normal and, therefore should be responded to with patience and guidance, and in some cases a few moments without attention to take a look inside and reflect.

13. Take Note of the Good in Their Actions

Close up of beautiful daughter kissing mother on cheek at home. African little girl giving kiss to happy mother. Lovely black female child kissing cheerful and proud woman on cheek for mother's day.

Kids generally have loving, giving, adventurous hearts and are open to experiencing life’s joys. As such, there are bound to be plenty of moments throughout the day in which they show kindness to others, like sharing without being prompted, throwing their garbage away properly, or helping out a fellow student in need. Acts like these should be celebrated to reinforce and continue the behavior.

14. Parenting Rules Call for Education

Young female school psychologist having serious conversation with smart little boy at her office

Take the time to teach children about their emotions and why things feel the way they do or why we address those feelings the way we do. It’s also a great idea to teach them that other people have feelings, too. This way, they learn empathy and how to interact with others effectively. Teach them the answers to as many of their questions as possible. Encourage their curiosity as it will help them be happier and more well-rounded and successful adults.

15. Parenting Rules Call for Fun

African black ethnicity family having fun with happy children together in playground, greeting each other after school

Adults, rightly so, tend to take life too seriously, but it’s advantageous for both kids and adults to have a little fun sometimes. Laugh at silly things, make funny faces or voices, dance like no one is watching, and so on. Following parenting rules like these is great for the soul because laughter is a wonderful medicine. Not to mention the wonderful memories you’ll be creating for years to come.

Keep Reading: Gay Couple is Given 24 Hours to Adopt Girl with Health Risks – They Agree as She Needs to be Loved No Matter What


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