What makes good parents so is their ability to love their kids and lead them by example. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say. So maybe being the best parent is really a call to be the best person you can be. (Although coping mechanisms are sure to come in handy during Sharpie-disaster moments, or impromptu chocolate-pudding-wars between siblings.)
Learn what the experts have to say about being a good parent, plus find advice from other moms about the trials and joys of raising a family in our collection of the best parenting articles, below.
Photo gallery: 5 tips for parenting after separation and divorce
Find out how to reduce conflict and increase consistency to help your child adapt.
When my husband and I separated, our son was just three years old. We had joint custody but decided it would be easier for Jonathan to have his main residence at my home and spend one weeknight and every Sunday at his dad's place. (Steve, his father, worked Saturdays, so every other weekend wasn't feasible.) Most of all we wanted to avoid mixed messages and problems such as one home being the "fun house" and the other the eat-your-peas-and-go-to-bed-early place. This was important to me because, above all, I desperately wanted Jonathan's life to be as consistent and stress-free as possible, no matter where he woke up each day.
10 ways to boost your parenting power
Establish your authority and teach your children about consequences and responsibility.
Maggie Mamen, a psychologist and author, offers 10 ways to establish (or re-establish) your parenting authority and put your child's needs first.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Parents should clearly state their expectations such as, "Homework needs to be finished before I allow you to turn the TV on." Yes, there will be occasional exceptions. But children trust parents who follow through with what they have promised, even if they throw a hissy fit.
Top parenting tips from moms
37 pieces of advice from moms, plus 8 funny parenting moments.
Enjoy your children when they are young. Take advantage of the times as youngsters when they want your attention and want to be with you. It seems to fade quickly as they get older.
– Kim, Kentucky
Respect: The critical tool for adolescent parenting
Learn how to get your child through the turbulent teen years without losing your mind.
If I could bottle it, I'd be on Oprah. If I could define it, I'd be on the Supreme Court. Like pornography, it's much easier to spot than to define, let alone teach. I can see it when it walks into my office with some families. I can also see the black hole it leaves when it's missing, sucking up all of the warmth, love, and hope in a family. Let me tell you what your kid says about respect.
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