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Rules to Remember

6 golden rules for raising amazing children.

1. Always have your child's when talking to them, and give them all the     information necessary to do what is expected, appropriate to their level     of understanding. If you give them less information, they will be     confused and will mess up the task, with the result that you will get     annoyed, and their confidence in their abilities will decrease. So if you     want your elder child to iron a shirt for you, make sure you tell them     that the iron should not be very hot or the shirt will burn, or that they     should iron it upside down so any embroidery or print on it does not get     damaged. There is no point in giving your child half-baked instructions     and then yelling at him when things go wrong.

2. Every time your child does something, always provide feedback. In fact,     you should provide your child with a steady stream of feedback to let     him know that he is on the right track. This will encourage him to     repeat desired behaviour. So if your child takes the initiative to dust his     bedroom without being told, instead of telling him that he missed a     spot, praise him for his behaviour. This will encourage him to repeat it,     and gradually he will improve.

3. Praise is necessary but not sufficient. Don't just praise a certain task     and leave it at that. Be more descriptive and let your child know     exactly what you have liked about his behaviour. For example, if your     child willingly shared his chocolates with a friend, don't just praise him     by vaguely saying "What a good boy." Instead, tell him that you were     very happy to see him being so generous. Go on to talk about how     generosity is an admirable and desirable quality and about how being     greedy is counter-productive. To facilitate healthy self-esteem provide     generous amounts of valuing, opportunities to develop competency,     opportunities for doing good deeds, and structure.

4. You don't have to hit your child when he does something wrong, but     you must make sure that he is punished so he does not repeat such     behaviour. It is OK for children to pay for behaviour that is     unacceptable, potentially dangerous or harmful.

5. Negotiating offers a process where both sides can come away winners.     Parents shouldn't always feel that "No means no" unless of course it is     something they feel strongly about. Sometimes however it is always     good to strike a bargain with children. If they want to stay up late to     watch a much loved and eagerly anticipated show on television, make     them promise to finish their homework early or sleep an additional hour     in the afternoon. Sometimes parents have to remember to let go a     little.

6. Be aware of how you are interacting with others in the home. Children     are more aware than we sometimes realize. If you shout at the     servants, your children will follow your cue and will also shout at them.     If you want to teach your child to be civil to others, you need to be     civil to them too. Never make fun of relatives in front of your children,     or they will grow up disrespecting all relatives, and distancing     themselves from family.

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