There is an overload of information about raising kids out there! I read a lot about how to parent and I listen to parents I admire. This is the best of what I have learned
  1. Don't hit
    There are so many studies out there about how hitting doesn't work. I promise, my kids are just as well behaved if not more behaved than the ones who get hit. Plus my kids don't think it's ok to hit other kids. We've never had a problem with hitting, pinching or biting.
  2. Redirection works best for toddlers
    I've tried time outs and still use them sometimes. But a barely 3 year old responds much better to redirection than anything else.
  3. Greet children enthusiastically
    No matter how much of a bad mood I'm in, I always make sure I appear really happy to see them.
  4. Be affectionate but respect boundaries
    I hug and kiss them often but if they aren't interested in physical affection at the moment, I pull back. It teaches boundaries, consent, and that their bodies belong to them. Hopefully this will help translate into young men who know that no means no.
  5. Children's grades belong to them. Stress that hard work and learning are more important than a grade.
    I praise when the grades are good by telling him I'm proud of how hard he worked. If the grade isn't good, I don't make a big deal of it. I tell him we all have off days and then we just go over it to make sure he isn't confused about something. Also I don't email or call his teacher constantly. His career in school belongs to him.
  6. Apologize for a bad temper or when you're wrong
    Mom is human and makes mistakes too!
  7. Understand and accept that kids have bad days and bad moods too
    This one I struggle with. I have to remind myself of this a lot! And try to put myself in their shoes.
  8. Answer all questions honestly but tailor the answer for their age and maturity
    My 7 year old knows the basic mechanics of sex and how a baby is made. But he doesn't have a lot of details yet and he doesn't want them.
  9. Don't have unrealistic expectations
    If they are hungry, tired and grumpy, a trip to the grocery store is not going to end well.
  10. Accept your children for who they are and make sure they know you love them for it.
    I think this is most important. No matter what, make sure they know you always love them and that they are always good enough.