10 Simple Tips to Positively Impact Your Parenting


  1. When you want your child to listen, be sure to maintain eye contact.Since 80% of communication is nonverbal you want to be sure that your child is getting the message you are sending.


  1. Be firm and consistent. This means you say it like you mean it and follow through with what you If you are making empty threats your child will soon tune you out.


  1. Don’t ask. When it’s time to go or time to move onto the next phase of the day don’t say,”Are you ready to go home?” Instead say, “In five minutes it will be time to……….”


  1. Allow for “transition time.” Saying “Five more minutes and it’s time to clean up for dinner.” Or “We have just about five minutes left to be here in the park. Is there one more thing you’d like to do before we leave?” Don’t keep negotiating more time. Don’t count down more than once.


  1. Use a timer. Your child’s sense of time is just developing and often your call to move on feels arbitrary to them. You can use the timer for transitions but also to encourage involvement in cleaning up. Setting it for 10 minutes and having the whole family pitch in to clean up at the end of the day is a good “community” routine that encourages responsibility


  1. Allocate chores in the early years when interest is high. Research tells us that children that do chores on a regular basis have higher self esteem and connection to the family. Since chores are life skills, you are preparing your child for independence in the years ahead. Be positive about them.


  1. Deal with emotionally charged issues in a period of calm. Children can be highly expressive emotionally and it doesn’t help the situation if you match their energy. Say something like, “I think we both need a time out before we get this situation figured out. Let’s work on this a little later.” Detach and come back at it later when the tears and anger have subsided. Timing makes a huge difference.


  1. Apologize when you’ve made a mistake. After all you are human and you won’t always respond and parent perfectly. When we can acknowledge our mistakes as adults, we are setting a positive example for learning. When you apologize, no BUTS allowed as in “I’m sorry but you should be listening to me!”


  1. Support your child through big changes with dialog and involvement. Big changes will have less impact to upset your child if they are able to ask questions and play a part. In preparing for the birth of a sibling your child could help pick out some of the items for the baby. Books from the library will address some of the issues that may arise and will be a comfort. In the case of a move, starting a new school, a death or divorce the same is true . Be compassionate knowing that even if you are handling it well your child may still show regressive behavior like bed wetting or fear of the dark. Remember that this is temporary and supply emotional comfort and support.

 10.Say what you want to see. We often focus on the negative and then send negative messages. “Don’t run in the house” can be better understood by your child if you say, “Please slow down and walk when you’re inside.”




About The Author

Lois Olson

Founder of The Montessori Children's House Inc. Laramie, Wyoming Montessori Primary Certification 1973
Systematic Training for Effective Parenting facilitator certification
Thirty eight years of experience working with children ages 3-6
Twenty five years facilitating parenting groups
Ten years facilitating teacher training
B.A In Psychology