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Skipper L Harvey, PsyD
December 17, 2013

Six Tips For Successful Parenting

It’s no secret that being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world! While the role of a parent can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be incredibly challenging. It truly often feels like a roller coaster ride. Following are six tips to help make your parenting job a little easier and more rewarding.

Understand Your Child’s Personality

Taking the time to understand your child’s personality, also known as temperament, is at the core of being a good parent. This allows you to work the components of your child’s personality into your own parenting style. Even though each child in a family may be from the same biological parents, their personalities can be very different. This can make the job of parenting even more challenging at times because to be effective you have to treat each child as the individual they are and not like another child in the family. The best way to lessen conflict is to learn to adapt to your child as much as is reasonably possible.

Be a Positive Role Model

As a parent, you are always on the stage. Your child is constantly looking to you for guidance and to provide an example of how to act in times of frustration, disappointment, anger, etc. It’s important to look closely at yourself as a parent to determine if you are modeling the behavior that you want to see in your child. When we see our child acting in inappropriate ways we will often find that this behavior has been modeled by a significant person in our child’s life. As parents, we are sometimes guilty of saying one thing to our child and turning around and doing another. We may expect for our child to speak to us respectfully with no yelling, but are we doing the same when we communicate with them? This is not to say that we have to be a perfect parent, but do we go to our child when we handle a situation inappropriately and have a discussion about the choices that should have made to manage the situation? Our own mistakes can make for some great teachable moments if we’re willing to be accountable and do things differently.

Set Clear Limits

Children thrive when they grow up in an environment that has structure, limits, and rules. Setting limits provides a child with guidelines for their behavior while teaching them that not all choices will be acceptable or be an effective way to solve a problem. Setting limits also teaches a child the valuable skill of self-discipline as they learn to make healthy choices. Placing limits on children’s behavior will help them have less stress, gain confidence in their judgment, and find pleasure in cooperation.


Encouragement helps a child develop a healthy self-esteem as they feel empowered to grow, learn, and try new things. Encouragement helps children learn to believe in themselves and also shows  a child that he/she is accepted as an individual. With a parent’s encouragement, children learn to please themselves and not to depend on pleasing other people to feel good about their efforts. Encouragement helps children feel loved, appreciated, and accepted.

Family Meeting

Family meetings are a weekly scheduled time when all family members get together to talk about what’s going well in the family and make decisions about family issues and areas that need improvement. This is a great time to talk about household rules, chores, curfews, settle conflicts, etc. For consistency purposes, it’s important to have the family meeting on the same weekday and at the same time. Make it a time for fun by ordering a pizza, having ice-cream, popping popcorn, or anything else family members enjoy. Family meetings should last no more than twenty or thirty minutes unless the family wants to continue. 

Create Family Traditions

Family traditions are special customs that you share with your child. These moments can offer you and your child a great opportunity to connect and bond with each other because they’re focused on fun, quality time together. Examples of this sacred time include making Sunday dinner together, decorating for the holidays, having a family game night, or reading a story before bedtime. Anything that your child enjoys doing with you should be on the list. It’s important that this time together is not dependent on your child’s behavior. Choose another consequence to deal with behavioral issues that does not include taking away family time.  

About Dr. Skipper
Dr. Skipper is a Florida Licensed Clinical Psychologist who works extensively with children, adolescents, and families to provide therapy and psychoeducational assessment services.

She received her doctorate degree from the Florida School of Professional Psychology.  Dr. Skipper has worked with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings which include mental health clinics, residential settings, drug treatment facilities, and schools.

Through the integration of a variety of empirically-based treatment approaches, Dr. Skipper assists her clients by providing new skills and empowering strategies to build distress tolerance, enhance awareness and communication, facilitate insight, and challenge maladaptive relationship and thinking patterns. She employs an active therapeutic stance to facilitate long-lasting, positive change. 

Dr. Skipper’s background also includes a B.A. in Elementary Education with 11 years of experience in primary education. 


Disclaimer: The above information is not intended to provide professional advice or diagnostic service. If you have any concerns about Successful Parenting or other health issues, please consult a qualified health care professional in your community.