• #1 Parent/Child Relationship

    We put this one at the top of the list because all of the others are dependent upon it. Basically, if you have not established a solid attachment between you and your child that is characterized primarily by positive regard (on your part), you do not have the foundation necessary from which to successfully manage behavior. Children do what their parents say primarily because they care what their parents think of them or how they feel about them.

    #2 Spending Time

    This one goes along with the one above. You must spend time with your child on a regular basis.

    #3 Developmental Knowledge

    Be sure that you know what your child is actually capable of doing depending on his or her age.

    #4 Clear Delineation of Rules

    This may seem like a given, but it is very easy to find yourself in the position of waffling on rules you have set. Likewise, it is equally problematic if you do not state every part of the rule in a clear and concise way.

    #5 Positive Reinforcement

    Use positive reinforcement whenever possible.

    #6 Providing Consequences

    For rules that don't seem to be followed using positive reinforcement, the parent must establish consequences for failure to comply. These must be realistic, match the nature of the infraction, and teach something if at all possible.

    #7 Repetition

    Repetition is an integral part of all learning and mastery. "If at first, you don't succeed, try again." Decide how many times you will repeat a command before acting on it.

    #8 Consistency

    This is another given, but perhaps the most difficult to facilitate. Consistency in rules and consistency in following through with consequences are both extremely important. Children naturally look for loopholes such as trying your patience when you're tired, but these are the times consistency is most important and effective.

    #9 Parental Accord

    If two parents are involved, they must be in accord with what the rules are, what the consequences are, and what the procedures are for carrying out these consequences.

    #10 Model Behavior

    As always, who you are and how you act is the most potent guide and teacher for your child. Treat him/her with respect in all situations, and strive to manage his/her behavior with a calm attitude that comes from your understanding that self-control is ultimately necessary and good for your child.