Adults looking for parenting tips have no shortage of sources. Relatives, neighbors, books, parenting classes, teachers, and online experts all believe they have the answers you so desperately need to raise a healthy child. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to separate good advice from unproven opinions.

Below are some tips that are based on more than old wive’s tales and well-intentioned speculation borne of gossip.

1. Employ an authoritative approach instead of an authoritarian posture with your children.

If your goal is to raise a confident child who exudes high-self esteem, then you don’t want them hovering in the corner because they are afraid of you. The New York Times reports that being consistent and firm with children is definitely important, but only if you deliver your message with love. While children are likely to test your resolve to see if you are serious, they will respect and trust you if they feel like you are trying to protect them out of love instead of some misunderstood need to overpower them.

2. Acceptance and understanding is critical for encouraging a shy child to try new things.

There is a big difference between a bashful child and one that is so shy that they fear all things new. Live Science advises parents to be careful and not to become guilty of over-sheltering a child from experiencing life. Parents should coax children in a positive and supportive way to be open to new experiences without seeming critical of who they are as a person. Essentially, the child needs to always feel accepted for who they are by their parents, even if they are a bit shyer than their peers.

3. Be the role model your child needs.

Children are sure to notice if you tell them to do something that you aren’t willing to do. The “Do as I say, not as I do” advice given by many parents rings hollow if you aren’t willing to follow your own advice. Parenting for Brain reminds parents to remember that children notice every little thing you do as their parent. Simply, be the role model they need by diligently practicing what you preach.

father reading to son

4. Don’t enforce rigid sleep schedules.

One struggle that many parents dread all too often is bedtime. It can be a time of tears and anger for both parents and their children. Understandably, parents are simply trying to ensure that their kids get enough sleep based on the belief that all kids need a certain number of hours of sleep every night. PBS reports that a Johnson & Johnson study refutes these rigid beliefs. Based on their findings, some children need more sleep than others. It varies radically between children.

Takeaways

People look for parenting tips to raise healthy adults and survive the experience. Parenting classes and books do not hold all the answers. It is important to selectively evaluate advice given. The tips above offer insights backed by science.