Read on, Parents!
- Effective Parenting Tips for Different Age Groups
Infants (0-1 Year)
Toddlers (1-2 Years)
Toddlers (2-3 Years)
Preschoolers (3-5 Years)
Middle Childhood (6-8 Years)
Middle Childhood (9-11 Years)
Young Teens (12-14 Years)
Teenagers (15-17 Years)
- Positive Parenting Tips for all Age Groups
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Beginning of the Parenting Journey
Raising kids is one of the most challenging task in the world. People often don’t realize this fact until they themselves experience parenthood. Ever since a child is born to a couple, the challenge of parenting begins in the form of an ongoing process.
No one goes into parenting knowing exactly how to handle everything that comes to them. But the best parents always look for ways to improve. If you find yourself in such a situation, you’ve already made the first step in becoming the best parent you can be.
How well you interact with and raise your child is likely to be the most important part of being a good parent. On the flip side, parents who struggle with their parenting responsibilities or simply don’t care to improve may end up negatively impacting their kids.
Have a look at these parenting tips to help your kids become good people and excel in life!
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Effective Parenting Tips for Different Age Groups
Parenting tips are broken down by the child’s age in order to address key developmental needs.
Infants (0-1 Year)
- Ensure safety by child-proofing your home and taking precautions in other key areas (i.e. cribs/sleeping, car seat installation, choking hazards and vaccinations)
- Provide necessary nutrients (i.e. breast milk if possible)
- Engage your baby in a variety of stimulating activities, including frequent reading
- Talk to your baby often
- Cuddle, hold and give your baby tons of affection
Toddlers (1-2 Years)
- Ensure safety in areas such as drowning dangers, poisons, fire hazards and sharp objects
- Read to your toddler every day
- Encourage exploration and attempting new things
- Respond positively to desirable behaviors
- Engage in fun and interesting outings together
Related Reading: Child Struggling in School? Tips on How to Help Your Kids
Toddlers (2-3 Years)
- Ensure safety in areas such as choking hazards, drowning dangers and car safety
- Teach your toddler simple songs and rhymes
- Encourage pretend play
- Read books together
- Reward positive behavior rather than attending to undesirable ones
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
- Ensure outside safety (i.e. traffic, playground equipment, strangers, drowning dangers and bicycle use)
- Allow your child to help with easy chores
- Use clear and consistent discipline
- Read to your child and let them choose books with you.
- Provide your child with opportunities to make choices.
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Middle Childhood (6-8 years)
- Ensure safety in areas such as traffic and drowning dangers, teach your child how to ask for help and supervise your child’s physical activities
- Communicate about school and other important things in your child’s life
- Engage in family activities
- Encourage extracurricular activities and hobbies
- Make consistent rules about screen use
Middle Childhood (9-11 years)
- Ensure safety in areas such as riding in the car; recreational activities such as bikes, skateboards and skates and rules about being home alone after school
- Make sure your child is getting proper sleep
- Teach your child about responsibilities, such as saving money
- Get to know your child’s friends and their parents
- Talk to your child about puberty, pressures and risky behaviors
Young Teens (12-14 years)
- Ensure safety in areas such as peer pressure, seat belts, risky behaviors and healthy choices
- Respect your teen’s feelings, opinions and interests
- Know where your teen is and ensure adult supervision
- Openly discuss potentially risky behaviors such as sex, drinking and drugs
- Set clear goals and expectations.
Teenagers (15-17 years)
- Ensure safety in areas such as driving; sexual behavior and other risky activities; curfews and expectations; suicidal ideation and positive friendships
- Openly discuss sensitive topics such as risk behaviors and depression.
- Encourage your teen to make goals and plan ahead
- Show affection and spend time together
- Help your teen to make healthy decisions regarding technology and social media use
- Respect your teen’s opinions and need for privacy
- Encourage healthy self-care in the areas of sleep, exercise and food etc
Related Reading: How to Know What is Taught to Kids in 3rd Grade
Positive Parenting Tips for all Age Groups
If you want to consistently improve your parenting skills, we have compiled a list of things that can help.
Listen to your child
Sometimes, we are so busy in life that we don’t realize that our child needs our help. Make it a priority to know what your kids are hoping for, what they fear, and what they feel anxious about. Listen and ask questions, even if they ignore you or try to evade answering.
Make them understand the difference between right and wrong
It’s your job as a parent to teach your child the difference between right and wrong, which also means you need to follow the rules. So when you do something wrong, make a mistake or lose your cool, admit it.
Set an example for them
Kids learn a lot about how to act by watching their parents. So, don’t do anything in front of your child that you wouldn’t want the child to do. Model the traits you wish to see in your kids such as respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, tolerance. Exhibit unselfish behavior.
Show your kids how easy it is to care for the environment. Waste less, recycle, reuse and conserve each day. Spend an afternoon picking up trash around the neighborhood.
Do things for other people without expecting a reward. Express thanks and offer compliments. Above all, treat your kids the way you expect other people to treat you.
Boost your child’s self-esteem
Admire the accomplishments of your children, big or small. It will make them feel proud, capable, and strong. It will also encourage them to do things independently. Comments like “You made your bed without being asked; that’s terrific!” or “I was watching you play with your sister and you were very patient” will encourage good behavior.
In contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavorably with another will make kids feel worthless. Avoid making loaded statements or using words as weapons. Comments like “Are you stupid!” or “You act more like a baby than your little brother!” damages a child’s confidence.
Keep a check on your emotions
If you lose your cool in front of your kids, they may become fearful or anxious. Whether you’re arguing with a customer service representative on the phone or you’re having a disagreement with your spouse, don’t exhibit mean behavior in the presence of your children.
Support your spouse’s basic approach to raising kids. Criticizing or arguing with your partner will do more harm to your marriage and your child’s sense of security than if you accept standards that are different from your own.
Anytime you lose control, yell or argue with someone, you’re showing your children this is how people react when times get tough. Instead, demonstrate how you can keep your cool and resolve problems in a calm manner. When you do, you’re showing them what emotional intelligence looks like.
If you do lose your cool, be sure to apologize and take responsibility for your anger. Doing so is another way to model healthy behavior.
Be flexible in approach towards expectations from your child
Sometimes parents struggle with unrealistic expectations and goals for both their kids and for themselves. When this happens, parenting can suddenly feel troublesome.
Being a perfectionist parent is stressful. Not only do such parents fear “messing their kids up for life,” but they also put extreme pressure on their kids to perform in flawless ways.
For instance, you might feel that your toddler isn’t potty training fast enough or you might feel that your school-age kids aren’t doing well enough in school. But this kind of pressure can backfire, especially if your expectations set your child up to feel like a failure if they don’t meet your expectations. For this reason, it’s important to take a step back and reevaluate whether or not your expectations are realistic.
Likewise, learn to be more flexible and let things go that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Both you and your kids will benefit from a more “go-with-the-flow” attitude.
Show care for your child
When you demonstrate care for your children, you show them that you love them. Shower your children with kisses and hugs as often as you can. Remember, embracing your child will make them feel safe and loved, so will holding their hand, stroking their hair, and kissing their cheek.
Even reaching out and gently touching their arm or holding their hand when they’re upset communicates not only that they have your full attention, but that you empathize with what they’re feeling.
Related Reading: Kindergarten Curriculum: What is Taught to Kids in Kindergarten
Another way to show love is to spend time together. This is a great way to show kids that they are a priority to you. Just don’t forget to actively engage with them. This means putting down your phone and interacting with your child.
Also, initiate interactive activities, such as playing old-fashioned board games, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply talking with your children to make the most of the time you have together.
Showing interest in things that they are passionate about is another great way to show your kids that you love and “get them.” So, if your child loves cricket, watch a match together. Likewise, if your child likes painting, consider spending an hour painting with them or taking them to the art museum or an arts and crafts festival.
But don’t try to fix everything yourself. Give your child a chance to find solutions. If the child is capable of putting toys away, clearing plates from the table, and dressing, let them do so. Giving a child responsibility is good for their self-esteem.
Be consistent with your discipline
You also need to be sure that your discipline is consistent but flexible. For instance, there will be times when you’ll say no to your kids and mean it. Then there will be other times when you realize you’ve made a mistake or perhaps responded too harshly. If you do change your rules, be sure you say, “I was wrong,” and explain why you changed your mind. Also, remember that we all make mistakes. So don’t be afraid to admit that.
Remember that discipline is not punishment. Enforcing limits is really about teaching kids how to behave in the world and helping them to become competent, caring, and in control.
Kids notice inconsistencies and will use them in their favor. Remember, rules must be enforced after they are made. And whatever rules are set in your house, you need to follow them as well, unless you have a really good reason why you’re excluded. Forget to argue over little stuff like fashion choices and occasional dirty language. Focus on the things that really matter such as rude talk or lying.
Besides, a common mistake parents make is that they fail to follow through with the consequences. You can’t discipline kids for talking back one day and ignore it the next. Being consistent teaches what you expect.
Watch this to know more about disciplining your child:
In a Nutshell
Whether you are the parent of a newborn, a toddler, or a teenager about to go to college, your child needs you to ensure their safety; provide warmth and affection; communicate openly; engage in plenty of quality and stimulating time together; provide praise and encouragement, and respect their individuality.
And remember, there’s a difference between being a good parent and being a perfectionist. While it’s important to improve your parenting skills and strive to be a good parent, don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes. No one is the perfect parent.
With SplashLearn, you can help your child get all the support they need to increase and better their learning curve.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much should parents actively engage with the child?
Children are innately curious; they want to explore their environment. Parents should not try and structure the child too much, but ensure the child is in a safe environment. There are many learning opportunities, for example, singing to the child, reading to the child, taking the child for a walk down the street.
How should parents encourage language learning among children?
When the young infant and toddler starts developing language, parents can reinforce simple words such as ‘dog’, ‘bye bye’, ‘ta ta’ etc. Young children love repetition, so after hearing the same song, again and again and reading the same book, again and again, they’ll start to see what the patterns of language are. But don’t dominate the conversation, instead, take turns. Often mirroring what the child says is very important.
What is the right way to discipline a child?
Discipline is an important and necessary part of parenting. As parents, it is our job to socialize our children so that they are able to successfully participate in our society. Apart from that, set boundaries for your children and enforce them consistently. Show the child which behaviors are acceptable and which are not.
However, boundaries can be flexible or rigid. How flexible or rigid the right boundaries are for your child depends on your child’s needs for predictability and security. It also depends on your needs and your child’s developmental level. It is important to find the right balance between rigidity and flexibility for your child.
What is the best way to deal with a teen’s moody behavior?
When a teen is angry, it means they are trying to tell you something. Sometimes, teenagers are simply frustrated with the rules and limits of parents. Other times their anger reflects underlying fear, sadness, confusion, or feelings of rejection. Whatever the reason for your child’s anger, don’t let it drive you apart.
The first guideline for dealing with an angry teen is to keep the lines of communication open. Consider planning an outing where you can talk with your teen about their anger. Start a conversation with something like, “I’ve noticed that you’re yelling and arguing more than in the past. What’s going on?” Then listen, ask questions to understand, and avoid giving any instruction or directions unless your child asks.
In some cases, extreme anger or irritability can indicate the presence of more serious concerns like depression or reaction to a trauma. Some youths need outside help to learn to express anger appropriately. In these situations, consider seeking the advice of a psychologist or counselor.