Parenting is defined as, “The rearing of a child, or children, especially the care, love and guidance given by a parent.”
There is no manual when it comes to parenting. Everything is not black and white. Some decisions can prove to be tough, such as discipline, dating, school choices, and more. However, there are some decisions that are just a matter of good old-fashioned common sense.
Here are just a few things that can be perceived as universal rules among parents regardless of economic, social, or religious circumstances or beliefs.
1) Clean your child’s nose – If your son or daughter is too young to clean their own nose then this is something moms and dads should take care of. I think all of us have been out and about and seen a child whose nose we wanted to clean for them. This also applies to changing diapers regularly. This is a matter of your child’s health and not a matter of whether or not the parent feels up to it at the time.
2) Don’t let them play outside alone – There are some who feel that it is alright to let a young child play alone outside as long as they are in a certain type of neighborhood. We no longer live in a day where it is safe for children, especially younger children, to be left alone to play outside. These days we even have to watch our children inside the house to monitor what they are watching on TV and doing on the computer. If children have to be watched inside the house, they certainly should be watched outside.
3) Stop letting them eat what they want, when they want – I remember watching a talk show years ago where a mother was suing McDonald’s for her young daughter being overweight. What is wrong with this picture? Since young children do not drive themselves places or have their own money it is safe to assume that the child’s mother or another adult was taking her to McDonald’s. Children will eat unhealthy food all day long if we let them. It is the parent’s responsibility to take care of their child’s health by monitoring what they eat and learning to say “no.”
4) Check their homework – Most children are honest and responsible because they are taught to be such. However, all children will push the limits to see if they can get away with something. Instead of asking your child if their homework is finished, you should tell them to show you their homework. This teaches accountability and ensures that you are invested in their education.
5) Hold them responsible for behavior that is out of line – No parent is doing their child a favor by not correcting certain behaviors such as lying, stealing, hitting, etc. While there are many different ways to discipline a child, the main key is to take some sort of action that will help the child see the problem and the importance of correcting it. Parents often struggle with this because they do not want to discipline in any way. Think of it this way….if you do not correct your child’s action now, life will correct it for them later.
Parenting is not an easy thing by any stretch of the imagination. There are tough decisions that must be made in our children’s best interests. None of us are perfect parents and mistakes will be made along the way. Judgment calls must be made based on the child and the circumstance. We can all, however, be the best parents we possibly can by exercising common sense parenting and putting our children’s interests ahead of our own.