The ABCs of Parenting

I wrote this list a few years back as I prepared to give a parenting workshop at a neighboring school. Click here to download a handout that you can share with your parents. You might even find a suggestion that you can use with your class family. After reading my ABCs, what might you add, delete, or change?

A. Affirm and appreciate your children.
B. Be firm, fair, and consistent.
C. Choose logical and natural consequences - positive or negative.
D. Decide together on your family's values and mission statement.
E. Encourage your children to follow their dreams.
F. Forgive mistakes.
G. Give your children a secure environment.
H. Handle conflict with love - CAREfront your children.
I. Initiate "I" messages: I feel ______ when you ______. I need _______.
J. Join (and enJOY) one another around the dinner table.
K. Keep your promises.
L. Love unconditionally.
M. Model good character.
N. Negotiate when you can to empower your children.
O. Open your mind to consider all of your options.
P. Pick your battles!
Q. Quit yelling and lecturing.
R. Read with your children every day.
S. Say you're sorry when you mess up.
T. Treat your children with respect.
U. Understand that kids are a work in progress.
V. Voice your opinion, then listen to theirs.
W. Wait for your children to respond before repeating what you said.
X. Xplore eXtra-curriculars, but be careful not to over-eXtend your youngsters.
Y. Yearn to learn something new with your children, every day.
Z. Zero in on the needs of each child individually and the group collectively.


  1. I love this! Something I might add would be

    B . Be a parent not their buddy
    D. Don't rescue your child unless it is a safety issue; kids need to learn to struggle and then deal with consequences of their actions
    K. kids tune out threats, say what you mean and mean what you say

  2. Barbara,
    I would be honored to do a guest post:) Very nervous...lol but super honored:) Just let me know when:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  3. BArbara, I love this! Thank you for sharing! I downloaded it and am going to add it to my school counselor webpage!! Thanks again!!


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