I'm not just making this up. It goes along with the 1966 research by Diane Baumrind that's still regarded as the best. More importantly, it goes along with what I've seen over the last 43+ years working in early childhood and parent education.
More than my bachelor's degree in education (1986 Northern Illinois University) or my master's in human development (2010 Pacific Oaks College), my experience has led me to believe the following is true.
Great parents watch their children carefully and lovingly trying to understand their motivations. When they need to correct behavior they do so with words and actions but they also do something else. They actually take the time to teach their children a better way of going about getting what they want. They teach them what to do instead of just focussing on what not to do.
Mediocre parents make sure to notice when their child does something wrong. They use words, consequences, and punishments to correct behavior. They don't spend as much time noticing what their child's doing that's right and building on it as the great parents do.
Bad parents either ignore their children to the point of neglect and/or punish (abuse) them severely and inconsistently when they perceive something is wrong.
Great parents get a lot more happiness and satisfaction out of parenting, don't you think? It's never easy though, and we all need a lot more than a few wise words to get us through.
How about 22 pages of the right words to use. Although these words are written by a child development expert, they address everyday concerns and back up the good parenting we're already engaging in.
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Nanci J Bradley is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, SELF-care facilitator, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning, and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI.