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Have I ruined my child?

May 15, 2015

Here’s a great idea …

In his book, The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting, Laurence Steinberg says,  “When you’ve made a mistake as a parent, don’t beat yourself up over it … Children are much more affected by the enduring conditions of their home environment than by isolated events, even when those events are dramatic ones. What matters is the overall climate your child is exposed to over time” (p. 24).

In other words…

We all make mistakes in our parenting. When we make mistakes we can make things much worse by being mad at ourselves and getting discouraged. It is far better to figure out what we could have done differently and to be sure we’re doing lots of the things that improve the general atmosphere of our homes. That’s the way to be an effective parent.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

The best thing you can do to make a positive difference in your child’s life is to create a positive and supportive atmosphere in your home. You can do this by focusing on the positives in both your child and the relationship. As you make mistakes, don’t be afraid to apologize. But also, don’t be afraid to hold to reasonable limits. Sometimes your kids will be mad at you even when you’re doing a great job.

To find out more…

about parenting, check out Getting Our Hearts Right: Three Keys to Better Relationships, The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at uaex.edu/parent, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting.

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