Dos And Don'ts

Don't take "NO" for an answer:
We always think it is pretty cute when an infant begins talking. We really get excited when he or she replies to a question with a reasonable response. If you want your young one to learn to respect authority and practice good manners do not allow him or her to answer an instruction with the word "no."

You should take immediate action to let the little one know that they do not have the option of using that word when given a command or instruction. Do whatever it takes to remove that response.

It is alright for a child to answer "No" when given the option of choosing one response over another. For instance: "Do you want a glass of milk with that cookie?" "No thank you" would be the proper response if the child wants no milk. But "No." is acceptable.
Do share with your child:
There's nothing more likely to strengthen the bond between you and your child than to share something special with him or her. For instance, if you have just opened a package of snack cookies and your child asks for one, make it a time of sharing. Too many times I have seen a parent tell their child that they cannot have any of Mommy's snack. Train your child to share by sharing with your child.
Don't sleep with your child:
If the child wakes up crying in the night you should promptly attend to his or her needs. Whatever the problem may be, the reason they are crying is because they wanted your presence. It is too easy to take the child to bed with yourself and fall back to sleep together. But, that starts a bad habit that is not healthy for either of you.

If the child needs you in the middle of the night be sure to stay by his or her side until they feel safe or fall asleep, then you return to your bed.

If it is the week-end and your child comes running into your bedroom for hugs and kisses, that's a good time to cuddle in the bed.
Do touch your child often:
It's sad, but many children go through day after day without being held or hugged. From the day your child is born he or she should know the warmth and comfort of a hug from Dad and Mom
Don't ignore your child:
If your child is excitedly trying to tell you something and you're busy doing something else, stop, bend down, and find out what is so interesting to the child. If you do this often you child will feel important in your life and continue to share the exciting things that happen in his or hers.

If you ignore your child's exciting moments you will soon find that they are no longer shared with you and your child will feel less important in this world.
Do take your child to church:
Your child is important to God. It's important that your child learns this fact. By attending Sunday School and church weekly, your child will not only learn right from wrong, but, will also realize how important they are to God as well as discovering the hope of eternal life.
Don't yell at your child:
If you are outside and having fun, that's a good time to raise your voice and shout. If you are frustrated with your child's behavior, that's NOT the time to raise your voice. That's the time to think about applying the sound principles of child-raising.

Yelling at a child only causes the child to lose respect for you as well as learning to do the same thing in return.
Do play on the floor:
Take time, often, to get down on the level of your child's world and play games. Rolling a ball back and forth is an excellent way to spend time with your child. Building blocks, doll houses, etc. are all important to your child.

Your child needs the comfort of knowing that his or her world is as important to you.
Don't spend enormous amounts of money on toys:
There are many toys available that make sounds and move around. These kinds of toys generally cost several dollars more than the simple toys. If you are going to spend money on toys, purchase toys that interact with your child.
Do read to your child:
Children love to hear stories. If you can make up stories on a daily basis your children will be begging to hear the next episode. If you can't come up with your own stories, go to the thrift store or Goodwill and purchase lots of books which you can read to your child.
Don't allow your child to scream:
A child will scream. Children love the feeling they get from making loud noises. When playing outside, they make plenty of noise. But, you should not allow your child to scream in order to get attention - indoors or out. There are plenty of ways to teach your child how to get your attention, other than screaming.

Reinforce the attention-getting behaviors that are proper and acceptable. When your child screams to get attention be sure NOT to provide whatever it is he or she is trying to receive. If, after several sessions, the screaming continues, apply a mild form of punishment.
Do talk to your child:
Before your child has even learned his or her first word, be sure to talk to them. Watch their eyes as you talk. They will brighten up and look back at you. From the first day a child is born, he or she begins learning. They learn more, faster, during each day at that age than they will ever learn as time passes. A newborn child is learning more per hour than a one-year-old child. A one-year-old child is learning more per hour than a two-year-old child, etc.

Your child's vocabulary will be much larger if you talk to the child. A child with a larger vocabulary is sooner able to reason and think logically.
Don't torment your child:
There is a line between teasing and tormenting. Children love to be teased and laughed with. When the teasing reaches a point where the child becomes frustrated and is helpless to escape the frustration you have reached the point of torment.

Tormenting a child is cruel. A child which is tormented will learn to torment others out of frustration.
Do look into your child's eyes when speaking:
As often as possible, look into your child's eyes when you speak to him or her. Eye contact is a powerful force. It strengthens the bond you need as a parent. Looking into one's eyes when speaking is probably as powerful as calling the person by name.
Don't use training wheels:
You may wonder why this is important. The principle is what is important. Did you know that young children have a well-developed sense of balance? I taught my children to ride a bicycle by running along-side and holding on to the back of the seat. The child could feel the presence of my arm against their back. After several minutes of me holding the seat while they peddled the bicycle I could detect that they had learned to keep their own balance.

Once I knew they had the balance conquered I just held my arm against their back with my hand loosely on the seat. Then, I would announce that they were balancing on their own and I would ask if they wanted me to let go for a second (I had already been letting go by now without their knowledge). They would usually argue a bit but I would reply that I had already let go a couple of times and they were riding on their own.

After a few more minutes they would discover that Dad wasn't holding on and they really were balancing on their own. At that point their self-confidence and pride practically exploded. From then on they were able to ride without my help. The whole process usually took around 20 minutes.

The important principle here is this: You need to spend time helping your children learn new challenges. In the process they need to learn two things; Dad or Mom is there when needed, and, if I try, I can teach myself new things.
Do verbally reward good deeds:
Your child needs to hear positive things about himself. Many children are only spoken to by adults when they have done something they shouldn't have done. Be alert to positive behaviors. When you observe something good, tell your child about it. Tell them you are very proud of them. Everybody likes to hear those words.
Don't compare your child with others:
Parents can fall into the trap of telling a child how bad he or she is compared to their little brother. Of course, this may be true, especially if the little brother is three months old and the older child is two-and-a-half. But a child has no ability to reason well. By comparing the two you are setting a standard in the child's mind that causes many problems.

A child who is compared to another on a continuing basis will most likely develop permanent feelings about himself. He or she will always feel less important than others. The opportunity to succeed and apply all of his or her abilities may be lost forever.
Do forgive spilled milk:
Accidents happen. Young children have less control over their muscles than they will as they grow older. They often drop food off their spoon and even spill a glass of milk.

Almost every time a child spills food it is the result of an accident. The child probably already feels bad about the accident. The best way to handle the incident is to love the child - let him or her know you love them and then let them help you clean up the mess.
Don't laugh at rude comments:
If you love your child you will have a wonderful time watching as his or her vocabulary develops. There will be many times when he or she will say something that will keep you laughing for many minutes. There will be times when the child will say something that makes you want to laugh, but, which is not appropriate. That's when you hold your laughter and make sure the child knows that kind of comment is not acceptable.
Do go to the park:
If you have a park somewhere nearby, take your child there often. Let them play on the swings, slides, merry-go-rounds, etc. It will be good for the child as well as yourself.

Children need physical exercise and activities. Running and playing at a park provides the opportunity to run off all of that excess energy. Without that release you will find your child wanting to run in the house, which is not good for the child or the house.

After returning from the exercise in the park you will notice how much more easy it is to sit quietly. You will then be able to spend time in activities like reading or drawing. This would be an excellent time to teach the child how to count, etc.
Don't be anxious for your child to grow up:
Parents tend to wish their child was already grown out of the stage they happen to be in at the time. What they often find is that the next stage is more difficult to manage than the previous stage. Your child will grow faster than you expect. Time will fly by and he or she will be leaving the nest soon enough. At that time you will wonder where all those years went. Enjoy each moment you have while you have it.