10 Tips for Stress-Less Parenting

    1. Take time to do something for yourself each day.  Exercise, stretching, and reading are some proven ways to reduce stress.
    2. If you're feeling overwhelmed, arrange for some outside help so you can manage all aspects of your life more effectively.
    3. Keep your sense of humor when things don't go as planned.  No one is a perfect parent, or a perfect child.
    4. Accept that children sometimes make mistakes, are inconsistent, and act thoughtlessly - this is part of being a child.
    5. Count to 10 before you react when you get angry.
    6. Ease tension with a human touch - share a hug, hold hands, or give a pat on the back.
    7. Listen to your child and show you value your conversations.  Good communication can prevent conflict and stress.
    8. Schedule in family fun and fitness.  Laughter and physical activity are great stress reducers.
    9. Talk with friends about your parenting concerns.  Also share your reflections on the joys of parenting.
    10. Learn how children mature so your expectations for your child's behavior is realistic.

10 Tips for Positive Discipline

    1. Show respect, and focus on the behavior, not the child.
    2. Be firm, fair, and consistent.  Discipline with love.
    3. Never use physical punishment.  It teaches children that violence is OK.
    4. Fit the consequences to the behavior.  For example, if your child paints on the wall, the punishment should be to clean it off.
    5. Act as soon as possible so your child associates misbehaviors with their consequences.
    6. If you are very upset, cool down before you use discipline.
    7. Try "time-outs."  This allows younger children to think about their actions.  The best place for a time-out is an area that isn't pleasurable for a child.
    8. Keep in mind that no one is perfect.  We all make mistakes.
    9. Decide what behaviors you must take a stand on and which you can be more flexible about.
    10. Give praise often for your child's positive actions and qualities.  This will encourage your child to continue the behavior you want.