Parenting Help Tips

Read these 49 Parenting Help Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Mom tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do you start toilet training?

Potty Training Trick

Gather together 3 or 4 toys that can be water toys. They will become special "potty" toys that can only be played with while the child is sitting on the potty! Once the child is sitting on the potty fill a large bowl or small bucket with lukewarm or tepid water, place the new "potty" toys in the bowl and set the bowl of water in front of the child. When the child places his/her hands in the lukewarm water to play with the toys, if the child needs to go potty, the warm water will help to speed up the process.

   
Do teens ever listen to their parents?

Help Your Teenager Handle Money

This is especially important for teenagers who will be heading off to college: If your child doesn't have a checking account, open one now and help her learn how to write checks, use ATMs, and balance her account. Be sure to talk to your child about credit cards, since credit card companies target college students. Help them to understand interest, minimum monthly payments and the ramifications of a poor credit record.

   
How can I help my child make good decisions?

Arguments: When to Intervene

Stay out of school age children's arguments as much as you can. By all means interrupt if their words deteriorate into actions that may harm themselves or others.

   
Are routines good for myself and my children?

The Importance of Routines

Staying in a routine is the best way to keep things orderly, and to get everyone working together.

   
How do I cope with his tantrums?

Temper Tantrums

Tantrums are a normal part of your child's development and are often caused because they are frustrated at not being able to do something. You can't prevent all tantrums, so don't feel guilty about them. Often children have tantrums as a way of getting attention, but if you give in, it will only be an incentive for them to continue!

   
How can I raise my kids to be honest and responsible?

Backyard Play

Week after week I watch my daughter and the neighbor girl playing with numerous toys scattered throughout the yard. Week after week this little girl would go home leaving the toys for my daughter to pick up. I finally had to set some ground rules...if you want to play with all the toys, you must also help put them away. Otherwise you will not get to play with them next time you come over. It has worked like a charm.

   
Can I prevent sibling rivalry?

New Baby

Let your toddler help with the new baby as much as possible. This helps the older child feel less jealous, and is rewarding for the whole family!

   
When can my daughter start dating?

Letting Go

A balancing act must be practiced by parents ... willingness to let them try and fail, and a non-judgmental, supportive environment. Next year at college, you won't be there beside them. Let them learn while they are still under your roof.

   
Is there an easy way to teach my child about unacceptable behaviour?

Enforce One rule

Make discipline rules "generic" so you can use in different settings. e.g. "Keep your feet off the furniture" Now if they jump on a bed, climb up on a counter, or stand on a chair or table, you have one rule to enforce.

   
How can I identify positive role models for my teens?

Peer Pressure

Since peer pressure is so powerful, find organizations and groups that have healthy peers to influence your teenager. Take teens to church youth groups, community recreation programs, and police-sponsored activity leagues. (If you don't have one in your area start one up!)

   
Why won´t my child use a toilet to pee?

Stimulating sensations

There are other things to consider, as well. Perhaps the "rubbing" or stimulation of her external genitalia ('private parts') by the texture of a diaper is what she requires to stimulate, relax and start a stream. Try having her wear a smaller size of underwear to reproduce the sensation. If this issue is not dealt with, you could run the risk of over-extending the bladder beyond its normal capacity. She may need to be taught other exercises similar to those you learned in prenatal classes... start a stream, stop and hold, release and repeat. Again, this would help her identify the muscles needed for passing water and how to help relax them.

   
How can I raise my kids to be honest and responsible?

Making Decisions Based on Values

To help your children make good decisions, talk with them about why values such as honesty, self-reliance, and responsibility are important. Teach your child how each decision builds on previous decisions as one's character is formed, and how a good decision makes the next decision easier.

   
How do you start toilet training?

When to Go

Most people (kids included) wake up with a very full bladder in the morning. When potty training your child, make sure the first thing they do in the morning is to sit on the potty. They'll get accustomed to using it, and will develop a habit of going when they wake up.

   
Is there a best time to talk with teens?

The Birds & The Bees Talk

Research what you don't know or are unsure about. Be open to questions from your teen. Try not to come across in an authoritarian manner. Try to talk with your teen in a place where you won't be disturbed and where they feel comfortable.

   
Is there a best time to talk with teens?

Getting Teens to Talk

Be completely accessible even though it is hard -- be ready to listen anytime and anywhere. Teens want to talk at odd times. Also, use questions sparingly.

   
How can I make the ´punishment´ fit the ´crime´?

Effective Use of Consequences

When natural consequences don't seem to work for your child it's probably because the "consequence" is not important. For example, if you tell your adolescent, "I won't wash any of your clothes that aren't in the clothes hamper," will not work effectively for a child who doesn't care whether he wears clean or dirty clothes. Use whatever your child nags you about (staying up later, for example) to your advantage.

   
How can I be sure my kids have the right values?

Testing Their Values

Parents assume, sometimes mistakenly, that children have "absorbed" values even though they may be rarely or never discussed. You can test your child's understanding by discussing some common situations; for example, "What would you do if the person ahead of you in line at the theater dropped a dollar bill?"

   
How can I best organize my time to include everybody?

One on One

Every member of your family needs a relationship with you. It is important to spend time with each member separately. Get to know your children as individuals. That may mean taking your daughter to the mall, or your son on a fishing trip. Remember to take your spouse on a date, too!

   
Why is my newborn yellow?

Newborn Jaundice

Yellow/jaundiced baby? Newborn's livers are not fully functioning when born. Give your baby his own photo therapy (what hospitals do with fancy machines) by stripping him, covering his eyes, placing him beside a sunny window and let him "sunbathe" for 10 - 20 minutes. Watch for sunburn if it is mid-afternoon.

   
How do you start toilet training?

Snacks after dinner

Don't sabotage your own efforts at nighttime toilet training. Stop all drinks and food at least one hour before bedtime. If bedwetting or wet diapers result, try limiting snacks 1-1/2 hours before bed.

   
Why won´t my child use a toilet to pee?

Is Control really the issue?

A spastic bladder is a phrase given when there is interference with the nerve messages from the spinal cord to the neck of the bladder. Because your daughter will urinate in a diaper, then I suspect that the nerves do, indeed, work. She is consciously and/or deliberately exerting control over this bodily function. The whole concept of "control" may be one to step back and take a look at.

   
Is there a best time to talk with teens?

Talking with Teens

For effective communication with teenagers, you should be totally honest, even if this means self-disclosure. (Teens will realize that parents are not perfect and that being human means self acceptance.)

   
Can I prevent sibling rivalry?

Leave Them Alone ... Literally

Don't pressure your children to play together, go places together, be affectionate together, etc. Allow them the opportunity to find their own activities and interests away from their sibling. Children who are given the freedom NOT to interact with their siblings, generally enjoy their sibling relations much more when they ARE together.

   
Is there an easy way to teach my child about unacceptable behaviour?

Time Out: How Long?

"Time Outs" work. Try 1 minute for every year old the child is e.g. 10 yrs, 10 min.

   
How can I prevent resentment in my child?

Emotions

Never belittle your children for they will learn to resent you.

   
Why is my child so clingy?

Why is my child so clingy?

Clinginess and separation anxiety first shows around seven months of age. Talk calmly and quietly to the child using terms of reference that they will understand. For example, saying "I'll be back in 2 hours" is meaningless to them, but "I'll be back after you wake up from your nap" may strike a familiar chord.

   
How can I raise my kids to be honest and responsible?

Honesty - Set a Good Example

Often without even realizing it, parents send signals by their actions that it's all right to duck unpleasant duties or to be dishonest. Telling your child to say that you are not at home because a phone call comes at an inconvenient time is, in effect, teaching your child that it is all right to be dishonest.

   
Is there an easy way to teach my child about unacceptable behaviour?

Watch What You Say

When disciplining your child, try to tell them what you DO want and expect of them rather than what you DON'T want. This increases the feelings of cooperation and respect, and reduces the number of power struggles you may have.

   
Is there an easy way to teach my child about unacceptable behaviour?

Short List Rules

Keep your house rules to a minimum. This way you can enforce them without fail.

   
Why does my child always walk on tiptoes?

Learning to walk

Babies often tiptoe as they are mastering the skill of walking. As your child gets stronger and better at walking you will notice that he/she no longer needs to do this.

   
Why is my child so clingy?

Why is my child so clingy?

Wariness of strangers and fear of being abandoned combine to make children overly anxious (separation anxiety), even if it is a relative caring for them in your absence. Calmly say your farewells, promise to return after a familiar activity, like naptime or the completion of a regular T.V. program, give a reassuring hug and kiss, and GO. The alternate caregiver then has the responsibility for the child's well being. Leave him or her to perform the tasks without your interference.

   
How can I get more cooperation from my children?

Look Before You Leap

Stop, think, then go... This is what I have always taught my son. I now realize that if we, as parents, stop before we get angry, think before we react, and then go, this world would be happier place to live in.

   
Why won´t my child use a toilet to pee?

Oops, I forgot to buy more diapers!

You've tried running out of diapers and making her wait for longer periods of time before taking her shopping for replacements. For my 4 year old son, I stored the jumbo packs in the trunk of my car, out of sight for a while, to get him used to the idea that he was old enough to use the facilities. I am glad you wrote and are ready for some assistance. Please try not to get stressed beyond your own limits. It is too difficult to hide the stress and not pass it on, unintentionally, to your daughter. Good luck. When you do succeed (and I'm sure you will) Please let me know what finally worked for you.

   
How do I cope with his tantrums?

Temper Tantrums

If you can't distract him, and you're sure that he's safe, then just ignore him until he's over it. Remember that children love to be with you, and they'll often end a tantrum so they can come and find you.

   
Is there an easy way to teach my child about unacceptable behaviour?

Sure Fire Way to Get Cooperation

When stating your expectations, avoid the use of fighting words -- those that start a battle even before the rest of the sentence is heard! They are words such as can't, don't, no, and stop!

   
Are routines good for myself and my children?

Life with kids

Do you remember how to be a kid? Making weird faces, dancing in the rain, and lots of laughter will always lighten the moment.

   
How do you start toilet training?

Protect Your Mattress

Invest in a plastic mattress cover for all beds that your toddler sleeps in. If a bedwetting incident happens and changing the linen is not an option, cover the area with a towel and change in the morning.

   
Why is my child so clingy?

Listen to Your Kids

Spend time listening to your child. That is all they really want. Not advice, not questions. They will tell you everything if you let them.

   
When should I start toilet training?

Encouraging successful Toilet Training

Remind yourself daily that your toddler is just learning a new skill. If an "accident" happens, it is NOT a mistake, just an inconvenience to you. Try to praise any little attempt your child made to avoid the situation.

   
How can I be sure my kids have the right values?

Promises, Promises

Start early with this basic discipline approach." Practice what you preach". "Make good on your promises". Never offer a deterring statement or action you are not willing to enforce.

   
Why is my child so clingy?

Why is my child so clingy?

Although parents first notice clinginess at around six to seven months, it can recur whenever your child is feeling insecure. Reassure them and guide them through the situation to help their confidence grow. Talk to them in a reassuring, quiet voice, and in language that they will understand.

   
How do I teach eye-hand coordination?

Improve eye - hand co-ordination

Summer is the best time to help improve your child's reaction time, visual acuity, accuracy, and speed all at once. How? Give him or her a fly swatter and point them to their first target. Hours... no, days of fun!

   
How can I identify positive role models for my teens?

Getting Teens to Cooperate

If your teenager complains that you are asking her to do too many things, then reply, "If I can't ask you to do things for me, you can't ask me to do things for you." After a while, the teen will become aware that she's getting the short end of the deal and that you do more for her than she realized. Be ready to cooperate once your teen becomes enlightened.

   
Why won´t my child use a toilet to pee?

Choosing between a diaper or the toilet

When you are 4 years old, there are really very few things in life that you have sole control over. Parental control over just about everything is foremost. Some children are ready for more control over their own lives, and bladder and bowel control are one way to show they can be responsible. What else is she expected to do, independently and daily, for which a lot of attention (good or bad) is paid? For example, is she allowed to choose her own clothes? Or do you as a concerned parent influence her decision by denying a plaid and floral combination, etc.?

   
When should I start toilet training?

Challenges of Potty Training

Potty training is hard. Hold your temper and do not push your child beyond his capabilities.

   
When can my daughter start dating?

Dating Dilemma

By the time your child has entered Grade 12, you probably have a pretty good idea of how responsible s/he is on a day to day basis. You also are familiar with their friends, and have even met their friend's parents through common activities like school, church and sports. Group dating is certainly an option to start breaking the protectiveness that is natural to parenting, and try to believe that your son or daughter will continue to act wisely and safely outside of your direct supervision.

   
How can I get more cooperation from my children?

Temper, temper!

Always make sure that your child is safe when he is having a tantrum, as some children will throw themselves about a lot. You may try to distract him by suggesting that you'll do something else, but don't offer material things like sweets, as this will be seen as a reward for the tantrum.

   
How do I cope with his tantrums?

Weaning Children Off the Bottle

No one likes to hear their one year old scream all night long because they can't have a bottle, but when your child's teeth start to rot out, you will wish you had tolerated the noise!

   
How can I be sure my kids have the right values?

Censored!

Learn how to block the channels on both your television and computer as the content becomes offensive to you.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace