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parenting tips

10 Tips for Parenting Pre-teens

It’s typically between the ages of nine and twelve that our cute, cuddly little children, once so willing to climb into our laps and share their secrets, suddenly want little or nothing to do with us. A child in preadolescence is not the same person he was just a year or two ago. 


4. Don’t be overly judgmental. “At this age your children are watching you very astutely to hear how judgmental you are,” advises Dr. Steiner-Adair. “They are taking their cues on how you talk about other people’s children, especially children that get into trouble — how that girl dresses, or that boy has good manners or bad manners. And they are watching and deciding whether you are harsh or critical or judgmental.”

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mom in chair

It’s tax filing season and if you are expecting or just had a new baby, there are some expenses related to your journey to parenthood that you may or may not know about.

The fact of the matter is that babies do in fact change your tax situation and here are a few tax tax deductions and credits available to families this year.

Before Baby

Pregnancy Test Kits. Birth Control Pills. Fertility Enhancement. These count as medical expense deductions. For medical expenses to be deductible, you’ll have to itemize your tax deductions, and your medical expenses must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Expecting Baby

Nursing moms can include the cost of breast pumps and supplies in their medical expense deductions. Lactation expenses are also deductible as are laboratory fees that may be a part of your medical care.

The New Arrival

The tax deduction that comes with your new arrival can’t match the joy, but this still should make you happy.

Under the new tax law, the child tax credit has doubled to $2,000 per qualifying child. And, unlike a tax deduction, which reduces the amount of your income subject to tax, a tax credit reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar.

Planning for Baby’s Future

The new tax law lets parents save tax-free for their child’s education. Under the law you can use up to $10,000 per child from a 529 plan to pay qualified expenses for elementary and secondary school and home school.

The 529 plans can also be used to pay for college.

Speaking of college, if you want to think that far ahead, two tax credits are available to help with qualified educational expenses. Those credits are the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a credit of up to $2,500 for qualified tuition and expenses for the first four years of college, and the Lifetime Learning Credit, which provides up to $2,000 per return.

I apologize if I’ve gotten too far ahead of you by talking about schooling and college and all those things. I’ll bring it back to the here and now by reminding you that whether your bundle of joy is born on January 1 or December 31 of the year, you can take a full $2,000 child tax credit.

tax saving

And remember, as your child grows, the tax code is bound to change. You’ll want to make sure you get all the tax deductions to which your family is entitled. The best way to do that is to talk with a tax professional. It’s their job to keep up with the tax code. And, because they do their job, you can do yours, enjoying life with your new addition

Children’s Author’s 10 Tips For Managing Quarantine Life with Kids



Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels


We are heading into yet another week of being on lock down in the states and many nations around the world as we all try desperately to try to flatten the curve and growth of the deadly coronavirus.

Dan Pegram, children’s author of Pop-Pop  Airplane, How Do You Fly?, has developed a great list of activities that will bring the whole family together and keep everyone sane at the same time.

Here are Dan’s top 10 ways to keep the kids from driving you insane during quarantine:

1. Schoolwork: Continue your children’s assigned schoolwork. Most schools are providing guidance and lessons via the Internet. Just like the classroom environment, make this time structured and devoted to accomplishing their daily assignments. Also, create a workspace for the school age kids equipped with a chair, lamp, pencil holder, crayons, etc.

2. Engage Without Electronics: Limit their time in front of the television, video games, computers and iPad type devices. This may prove difficult at first but if you’re creative this could turn into a blessing in disguise. Assign them simple chores to do so they can earn time on these devices. We have all become increasing addicted to our cell phones and computers. Spending more time engaged with your children during this uncertain period is comforting and lets them know how much you care.

3. Go Outside: Plan activities outside and show your children how we used to entertain ourselves before the Internet and social media. Go for hikes in your neighborhood or on local trails and look for birds and other wildlife. Look up bird species in your area and then see how many you can spot. This could turn into a lifelong hobby. It did for me.

4. Arts and Crafts: Arts and crafts are perfect for promoting creativity and learning new skills. My granddaughters and I try to build something out of balsa wood every time we visit. I do the cutting and they do the building. There are numerous sites online for arts and crafts projects. YouTube art classes are great and age appropriate. Pick a few and get started. It’s a great way to spend time together and be creative. Our grandson and his friends are coloring pictures for each other and putting them in each other’s mailboxes to keep busy and stay in touch with their nearby friends. I recently built three birdhouses and mailed two to our granddaughters. I kept one and we’re decorating them as a project and plan to share our finished products. Putting puzzles together is also a great way to pass the time.

5. Cook Something Together: There’s no better way to teach your kids a valuable skill than by cooking. Dust off your cookbooks, pick a couple of simple recipes and let the magic begin. Your children will learn about ingredients and through measuring will learn a little about fractions. Plan your meals together and let them do some of the simple things like measuring the ingredients, greasing a pan or setting the table. Spending time together at the dinner table talking about the days events, discussing this quarantine situation at their level and planning for tomorrow can’t be over-emphasized. This may be new to some but you will find this time very enriching.

6. Read Books: Reading is a skill that opens the world to youngsters. It’s also a perishable skill that needs continuous practice. During this time away from school would be a great time to introduce your children to some of your old favorite books and discovering some new titles. My new book entitled Pop-Pop Airplane, How Do You Fly? teaches children, ages 3 -7, how airplanes fly and is a great book for stimulating inquisitive young minds. For the more advanced readers, chapter books like Elephant & Piggie by Mo Willems are quite popular. There are also a couple of apps used by schools called EPIC! and Raz-Kids that offer unlimited access to 35,000 of the best children’s books and learning videos so your child can read and learn anytime.

7. Write: As an author I’ve been asked many times, “How do you start writing a book?” My answer is simple – “It’s just like having a conversation with someone and you’re telling them a story or relating some event in your life.” If your children aren’t familiar with journaling, this might be a great time to introduce them to this wonderful writing exercise. Journals don’t have to be formal. Any small notebook is a great place to start. Google search “journaling” for some useful ideas and benefits. Another wonderful app is Teachers Pay Teachers. This app contains printables and worksheets to help youngsters with simple writing projects.

8. Look at Old Photos: One of our children’s, and now grandchildren’s, favorite things to do is drag out the old photo albums and have us tell about each photo. Children are very interested in what life was like back when we were children. They also enjoy learning about grandparents, aunts and uncles and places we have visited. It is so much fun laughing at the old photos, the retro clothing and hairstyles and reliving fun times in our lives.

9. Make Some Noise: If you play a musical instrument or sing, this would be a great time to explore your children’s interest in music. I dabble at playing the guitar and love to sing. The jury is still out on the quality of the noise coming from my office from time to time! Impromptu singing with a wooden spoon or microphone to Lights by Journey with my audio amplifier entertains our granddaughters for hours. YouTube has an endless assortment of lessons for any instrument including vocals. Again, casting inhibition aside, jump in and have some family fun.

10. Stay Calm: This is an unprecedented time for all of us. Remain calm, stay informed and educate your children as to why we are practicing social distancing and staying at home. Emphasize to them how important good hygiene habits are and why most everything we used to do has been curtailed (including play dates).  Ensure your children these life-changing times will be over soon and things will go back to near normal. With the exception of being quarantined, try to make each day routine and spend as much quality time together as possible. I hope the above tips and ideas will help you and your children get through the next few weeks and come together as stronger families. By following the guidance given by national health officials and local authorities we all will be smarter individually and as a nation in regard to combating unexpected and dangerous health hazards and pandemics.

3 Basic Life Skills We Need To Teach Our Children

About 60% of parents worry their children are lacking essential life skills, such as time management, public speaking and managing their finances, according to a survey conducted on 1,000 parents of children aged 13 and above.

As parents who want to do everything in our power to help our children become strong individuals who can handle anything life throws at them, this should be a wake-up call to stop doing everything for them, and make sure we’re teaching them the skills they need to become independent and confident young adults.

How to prepare a meal 

Nutrition is a vital part of life. Everyone needs to eat a healthy and balanced meal every day to provide the body with sufficient energy and vital nutrients to stay healthy. Sadly, not everyone knows how to prepare a meal properly. In fact, many parents in the US opt for fast food, lacking either the time or skills to prepare home-cooked meals for their families.

Do not let your children fall into the fast-food trap. Teach them how to cook tasty meals that incorporate all the vital nutrients they need. This will help them live healthier lives, and also save them a lot of money.

How to sew 

One of the biggest problems with the current generation is that when something is broken, they would rather replace it than fix it. The same applies to clothes. When a piece of clothing gets even the slightest tear, most people throw it away or banish it to the dark corners of their closets that they never visit.

This is very wasteful, and isn’t the mentality we want our kids to have when they grow up. Instead, you can teach them how to sew, showing them basic hand stitches, and teaching them how to use a machine so that they are able to repair their clothes or even make their own.

How to drive 

Driving is another important life skill that parents should teach their kids during their childhood years; not just when they are old enough to drive. Many parents mistakenly think that they should start teaching their kids how to drive when preparing them for their driving test, but this is not the case.

Children start learning how to drive through observation when they are still in their car seats. They see how you behave on the road, how you treat others, and whether or not you follow traffic laws. Parents should teach their kids not only how to control a vehicle on the road, but also how to behave while driving.

For centuries, humans have survived by passing on essential life skills to the next generations.

Unfortunately, many of them are not taught in schools, and it is up to us as parents to teach your kids all the skills they need to be healthy, happy and independent adults.

10 Ways to Keep Baby Cool When You Have No AC

Staying cool during the summer isn’t just a desire for babies, it’s a necessity. Babies who become overheated can suffer terrible consequences, ranging from heat exhaustion to heatstroke. While babies can’t exactly tell you when they are hot, there are signs that can indicate your baby is overheating. Some signs that indicate overheating include your baby being extremely thirsty, tired, and having skin that is cool and moist.

Overheating is one of the leading causes of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) according to the National Sleep Foundation. When babies are too warm they sleep deeper, which can lead to trouble. For this reason, it’s important not to overdress your baby for sleep. When she is sleeping in her crib and there is no air conditioning in her room, putting her in a onesie or a pair of light pajamas is best. You’ll also want to have a fan running in her room to circulate the air, but make sure that the fan isn’t blowing directly on her. To cool the air that the fan is blowing you can put a pan of ice water in front of it.

A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby like you are comfortably dressed, plus one layer. If you are comfortable wearing shorts and a T-shirt then put her in that as well, plus a onesie underneath. If you’re burning up and have a pair of shorts on, leaving your baby just in her diaper may be appropriate. Try to avoid synthetic fabrics when dressing her as they tend to trap the heat and moisture in instead of allowing her skin to breathe.

If you are going to be going outside with your baby then dress her in lightweight cotton long pants, long sleeves, and a floppy hat. Keep her in the shade and preferably somewhere she can feel a breeze. It’s better to keep her skin covered than to use sunscreen on a very young infant. If you must use sunscreen, apply it conservatively and only to the areas of skin that are exposed. You’ll also want to avoid being outside between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m because the sun’s rays are the most damaging during these times.

On hot days holding your baby can cause her to become too hot. Your body is warm against hers and she can overheat from being held close to you. If you must use a baby carrier, make sure it’s a lightweight nylon or mesh one and not something heavy like denim. You want to use breathable fabrics wherever possible.

It’s also essential to keep babies hydrated when it’s hot outside. Babies sweat too, and in warmer weather you need to make sure that you are giving her plenty of fluids. Infants over six months of age can be given water to help keep them hydrated.

Water play can be a good option for those babies that are able to sit up on their own. Never leave your baby unattended during water play or a bath. Babies love to splash in the water. Taking her to a covered baby pool will also help to keep her cool. If these things are not an option, putting a cool wash cloth on your baby from time to time throughout the day will help keep her cool.

If it just seems too hot both in your home and outside and you fear that your baby is too warm it’s a good idea to go hang out in a public place with air conditioning. The library or the mall can offer convenient, cool choices.

If you feel like your baby is becoming sick from the heat, contact her healthcare provider. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are serious conditions that warrant medical attention.

10 Reasons You Never Realized Why Dad-Son Fishing Is Gold

The iconic image of a father and son fishing trip is one that’s ingrained into the collective cultural consciousness. Even the classic sitcom images of Andy and Opie sharing a heart-to-heart over a fishing creel cements the American idea of fishing as a male-bonding activity.

As a father, spending time with your son is an important part of his emotional development, as well as a contributing factor to your filial bond.

Here are ten of the reasons why you should take your son fishing, and understand that you’re actually doing something far more important.

  1. The Opportunity for Quality Father-Son Time – In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s not easy to set aside a significant amount of time to spend one-on-one with your son. Taking a fishing trip, whether it’s an extensive one that will require an overnight stay or just an afternoon affair, allows you to focus all of your energy and attention on your son.
  2. Fostering Conversations You Wouldn’t Have at Home – The quiet stillness of a lake and the relaxing nature of waiting for fish to bite fosters plenty of conversation, some of which would be awkward to broach over the dinner table. The natural evolution of your talks can lead to more than one subject you probably wouldn’t discuss under other circumstances.
  3. Passing Along a New Skill Set– In a world where youngsters teach their parents the intricacies of new technology, it can feel like there isn’t much left in terms of skills that fathers pass on to their sons. The age-old art of baiting a hook to catch fish is a real skill, and it’s one that your child can’t fully learn from a YouTube video.
  4. Making Memories You’ll Cherish Forever – As your son gets older and becomes less inclined to spend time with his parents, you’ll have the memories of your shared fishing trips. When he becomes an adult himself, those memories will become fodder for pleasant reminiscence.
  5. Encouraging Independence Under a Watchful Eye – You can encourage your son to bait his own hook and cast his own line while you’re there to watch, allowing him to explore some independence as you look on to ensure his safety.
  6. Instilling a Love of Outdoor Activity – For outdoorsy fathers, the opportunity to share a love of nature with a son is a valuable one. Instilling a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for fresh air, sunshine and screen-free entertainment is a great way to combat the effects of technologically-advanced, indoor-based living.
  7. Temporarily Cutting the Electronic Cord – There are no video games, televisions or computers on the lake, which means that for at least one afternoon your son will be enjoying a completely low-tech good time. What better way to limit your son’s screen time than to take him somewhere that screens aren’t welcome, but fun is still on the menu?
  8. Investing in Your Collective Emotional Future – In order to have a strong father-son relationship, you have to forge a strong emotional bond with your son while he’s still young. Fishing together allows the two of you to get to know one another as individuals, to talk openly and enjoy one another’s company.
  9. Teaching Environmental Stewardship – When you’re on the lake enjoying an outdoor activity, you’re perfectly positioned to pass along the basic tenets of environmental stewardship without seeming like you’re lecturing or preaching. In fact, you can guide your son in the right direction simply by modeling earth-friendly habits.
  10. Establishing a Shared Hobby – A shared hobby allows you and your son a bit of common ground, something that will become even more important as he gets older and looks for ways to assert his independence. The love of fishing that the two of you share during his formative years may be one of the few ways you’re able to effectively communicate during the turbulent times of adolescence.

No matter how many lessons and exciting experiences you share with your son on a fishing trip, it’s important to remember that young children have a finite supply of patience with any activity that requires them to be relatively still. You might be thrilled to stay on the lake from dawn till dusk, but your little man will probably only be able to handle one or two hour sessions scattered throughout the day. Remember to take plenty of breaks, and to be patient when your own fishing time is interrupted by an active little boy’s need to explore.

3 Things To Do To Be More Actively Involved Next School Year

We are at the end of another school year and I’m sure there are things you wish you would have done differently as it relates to coordinating with your child’s school.

If you are a parent then you will know how important it is for you to make sure that your child is happy at school. You will also know how important it is for you to make sure that they are doing well and that they are meeting all of their grades as well. If you are not sure if your child is happy at school or not, then there are a couple of things that you can do to try and find out more. Here are three ways to have an even better school year next year.


One way that you can find out if your child is happy at school or not is to volunteer. You can also get them to attend school events with you so you can find out if they are motivated or not. If your child is not interested in attending extra classes, school events or anything else of the sort then this may be a clear sign that they are not happy and this is something that you will want to watch out for. If you know that your child is struggling with school then it may be worth getting them to talk to someone who has an online masters in school counseling as this can really help you get to the root of the problem.

Ask Questions

If you ask your child how their day was then there is a high chance that they will shrug off your question with the same old answer. If you want to avoid this then one thing that you can do is try and ask them questions that require more of an answer, such as what made them laugh today or if they liked their lunch. You can also ask them what they would like to have in their lunch for the next day and even if there is anything that you can do to make their day better. This will provide you with the valuable insight you need to really make a difference to the way that they feel

Talk to Their Teacher

If you are finding it hard to get an answer out of your child then you can spend some time with

their teacher. A teacher will spend five days out of the week with your child so they will probably notice things more than you will. If your teacher hasn’t noticed anything about your child or if they think that they are happy then it’s important that you listen to them and that you take into account everything that they have to say. This will really help to put your mind at ease and it will also help you to know if you can support them in any other way as well.

Of course, if you are concerned about your child then there are things that you can do to try and give them the support that they need, and by working with them and their teachers, you can be sure to stay on top of any problems that may arise. Being a parent isn’t easy, but if you put the work in then your kids will always know that you are there for them.


What Successful Parents Do To Help Cultivate Their Child’s Development

Parenthood can be overwhelming, frustrating, and mystifying. Kids change so quickly, it feels like they’ve hit some new and incomprehensible stage every week. But at the same time, you know just how important it is to nurture their growth and help them succeed as healthy, stable adults.

There are many resources for understanding how your child will develop and learn, perhaps too many. From parenting books to mommy influencers on Instagram, it can be hard to pick apart just what advice to take. You might be tempted to turn it over to the experts, but that opens up a whole new area of research and complexity.

Traumatic experiences in early childhood can stay with kids for a lifetime, and lessons learned early are similarly formative–but when they hit a new phase faster than you can keep up, it can be tough to know what will hurt and what will help.

One option is leapfrogging self-study and going for a more structured, professional approach. If you’re wanting to aid in development and fast-track and deepen your understanding of your child’s growth stages and associated needs, an early childhood education degree might be the right solution for you. It will give you the tools to understand and support your own child’s development, and it has the added benefit of equipping you to use your knowledge in a professional capacity at a later date if you so choose.

If you’d like to do some preliminary research on your own, studying the stages of child development is a good place to start. While every child is unique, knowing these stages ahead of time tend to help you prepare and make more informed responses to your child’s changing behavior and needs.

For instance, there are a number of points throughout childhood and adolescence during which children practice asserting their identities and forming an independent identity from their family and parents. These developmental stages can be traumatic and upsetting, frustrating both parents and children. But if you know roughly when it’s coming and are prepared, you’re better able to put frustrating changes in behavior into context and respond supportively instead of reactively.

Creating a safe, but structured space is another effective way to support child development. It sounds deceptively simple but can be challenging and high impact. Ideally, you want both physical and emotional spaces that offer your child the opportunity for freedom and exploration without significant risk. At the same time, strong boundaries are reassuring to children, though the type of boundary and ways you assert it will change depending on your child’s age. An effective boundary allows scope for imagination and freedom, but places guardrails between the child and actual danger.

You can support your child’s development by taking some time to understand the common developmental stages and average timelines, preparing for each new developmental stage, and creating safe spaces and appropriate boundaries in relation to the needs of that stage. Whether you self-study or pursue professional qualifications, greater understanding and the ability to prepare can transform your experience and help your child grow in a healthy, successful manner.

10 Reasons You Need to Quit Being A Mean Parent


Developmental specialists, medical professionals and psychological researchers alike have dedicated decades of energy and resources to exploring the mechanics of parenting.

Diana Blumberg Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist, is one of those researchers. Her studies led her to categorize parenting into four different styles; authoritarian, permissive, authoritative and uninvolved.

Theses have been criticized and accepted by many in the world of child psychology. An authoritative parent is firm and sets limits, but is not rigid. The authoritative parent is willing to make exceptions when appropriate, respond to certain demands of the child, but does not overindulge in them.

Permissive parents allow their children to dominate the household, while authoritarian parents are excessively strict and rigid in their thinking and uninvolved parents are exactly how they sound – uninvolved in their children’s lives. While all different types of parenting styles may yield different outcomes, here are 10 reasons why being a mean parent doesn’t work.

1. Fear – A driving factor of mean parenting is fear. Mean parents may use guilt-inducing strategies or physical force to instill a sense of fear in their children. A healthy dose of fear is appropriate at times and may even be necessary under certain circumstances. If your primary approach to parenting involves using fear as a tool, however, it can have a negative developmental impact.

2. Intimidation – Using fear to control a child’s behavior or humiliation to intimidate him into good behavior may work in the short term, but can have far-reaching implications. An intimidated child will usually embrace their role within the family as a victim and allow themselves to be victimized throughout adulthood, or rebel against it to become overly aggressive to compensate for the loss of power during their formative years.

3. Lack of Coping Skills – Many times mean parenting tactics don’t allow for children to express less than desirable emotions. If a child is crying and the parent cannot appease them quickly, they may use a loud or aggressive voice, demanding the child to stop. Unfortunately, this way of stifling emotions teaches children it is not okay to be upset or disappointed and, in turn, they are not shown ways to care for someone else without using forceful strategies.

Depression – In some cases, a mean parent might be struggling with a lack of emotional control or anger management issues. People who are incapable of handling conflict or have a constant need to control may become very emotionally and mentally distressed when they’re faced with a conflict or loss of control. Inadvertently modeling this behavior can teach your children to mimic it, affecting their own ability to handle negative emotions as they mature.


Emotional Instability – Being raised in an emotionally tumultuous or explosive environment can generate a lack of emotionalL stability in children. Anxiety, hypersensitivity and hyperactivity are all conditions that can afflict kids who are constantly exposed to aggressive or frightening behavior from their parents.

Lack of Respect – While a child may fear the wrath of an angry parent, fear and respect are not always synonymous. Children of mean parents can grow into young adults who lack respect for authority or view a lack of authority in others as a weakness. They may also lack respect for their own boundaries, thus paving the way for other destructive behavior, both physically and emotionally. This lack of respect for others and for themselves may manifest by the child engaging in harmful activities and aggressive or rebellious behavior, according to researchers at the University of New Hampshire.

Lack of Compassion – When a child is taught that crying or expressing frustration or disappointment is wrong, they are indirectly shown a lack of compassion. This will make it difficult for them to show compassion to others as well.

Low Self-esteem – Fear can crush a child’s sense of security. Lack of emotional expression can suffocate her creativity. Controlling behavior can suppress his autonomy. When a child’s emotional development is arrested it restricts the love and compassion a child will have for herself. Parenting expert Dr. Laura Markham asserts that the kids of overly authoritarian parents will often use the same tactics to shame, intimidate and bully their inner being, lowering or destroying their self-esteem.

Bullies or Aggressive Demeanor – Children are like sponges. They absorb everything around them, negativity included. If all they are shown is negative or mean behavior, they are likely to mirror their home life in social settings. Bullying is a way of expressing internal frustration. Kids typically don’t bully other children or exude an aggressive demeanor if they feel loved, cared for and accepted as they are.

Abusive Relationships – Because being bullied or exposed to aggressive parenting styles shapes the way your child views the world, it can prompt her to seek out that same behavior in her adult relationships. When anger and fear are commonplace throughout the formative years, they become the baseline for normalcy in a child’s mind. If you want your child to be a reflection of love and kindness, take some time to evaluate your own relationship with them.

A rule of thumb in terms of being a good parent is to find balance in your parenting style. An extreme of any one method can lend itself to unfavorable results, not to mention all children are different, so one style won’t always work with all kids. Your first-born might be a naturally quiet and obedient kid, however your other children may be a bit more rambunctious. Expecting your second or third child to be just as perfectly mannered as the first is setting yourself up for frustration. Set limits, but be flexible in how discipline is doled out to each individual child.

To Raise Good Kids, Don’t Let Them Do These 5 Things


These days, parents  are often blamed for the behavior of their children.

Granted it is our jobs as parents to raise children to be good conscientious kids into responsible adults, so we have to make sure we instill certain rules and limitations on them from the beginning.

Here are 5 things we and our partners think you ought think twice about letting your kids do as they grow up:

1. Break the rules. Do you let your 12-year-old order off the kid’s menu even if it says it for children under 10? What about Facebook? Does your preteen have an account with Facebook even though their terms of use say he shouldn’t? When you let your children break these types of rules, you’re sending the message that the rules that apply to everyone else do not apply to them. Children who grow up thinking they are above the rules may grow up with an indifference to authority and perhaps even a blatant disrespect for it.

2. Get away with bad behavior. Find it hard to hold back the giggles when your toddler drops the F-bomb? Too tired to consistently enforce behavioral rules? Will you let your child do almost anything as long as you get five minutes of peace and quiet? When you let your child get away with bad behavior you’re reinforcing that the behavior is acceptable, especially if he knows you notice it. Behavior’s that are cute now won’t necessarily be cute when your little one grows up.

3. Be rude to others. While you may not think it’s a big deal if your child constantly interrupts you while you’re on the phone or refuses to look someone in the eye when they’re speaking, it is. This lack of manners, otherwise called social skills, will impact how your growing child will get along with others as an adolescent and adult. They are absolutely necessary skill to have to do well in school, work and life in general.

4. Think you’re their friend. When it comes to the parent and child relationship, you shouldn’t be your child’s friend, or let her think that you are. Friends are confidants and those who have similar ideas and outlooks on life. Parents shouldn’t confide in their children as children aren’t emotionally able to handle playing the role of confidant. Plus, children and parents often see things differently, like when it’s time to go home from the playground. Setting limits and guiding behavior is an important and functional part of parenting.

5. Develop a sense of entitlement. Children who have a sense of entitlement feel that everyone owes them everything. They tend to be selfish and think whenever something doesn’t go their way it’s not fair. As they grow up, these children expect people to do what they say and get what they want when they say it and when they want it. If this distorted sense isn’t corrected, it can be problematic in the children’s relationships and interactions with others. To deflate this sense of entitlement, parents can teach their children the value of hard work and giving back to others and by setting limits on what they give their kids.

While there are many things you can and should do as parents, these are some of the things you shouldn’t. If you keep your kids from doing these five things, you’re definitely heading down the right parenting path.

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