- Children & Youth Services
- Parenting Topics
Basic Parenting Guidelines
- Be as consistent as possible.
- Listen to your children so they know what they say is important.
- Let your children know they're loved, even when their behavior is out of line.
- Acknowledge the behaviors children display that are important to you.
- When you and your children need to compromise, remember that parents always make the final decisions.
Guidelines for Children Left Alone
The following guidelines may be used if the child has no physical or mental disabilities, if the condition is not chronic and the environment is safe. Cultural differences, neighborhoods that have familiar arrangements, and other factors can be exceptions to these guidelines.
Pre-School (Including Infants, Babies & Toddlers)
Never left alone without adult supervision.
Grade School (Latchkey Children)
Can be left alone for approximately one or two hours during the day if he has access to a responsible adult, is not caring for younger children, and demonstrates the ability to be responsible and mature.
Could be left alone for periods of time, approximately four hours, during the daytime or evening hours, and can care for one or two younger children if there is constant access to a responsible adult.
Can be left alone and can care for younger children unless the responsibility is too great (such as four younger children), the length of time is too long (such as all night, every night), or the teenager is not reliable and mature.
10 Ways To Handle The Stress Of Parenting
- Take time out (preferably every day) to do something just for yourself.
- Keep your relationship with your spouse strong-you need each other's support. If you don't have a spouse, build a support system of friends and relatives.
- Experience the joys of seeing your children grow and develop.
- Remember that children will make mistakes, be inconsistent, act selfishly and be thoughtless-this is part of being an average child.
- If you feel overwhelmed, arrange for help to relieve you of some of your responsibilities so you can focus more on caring for your children.
- Accept the fact that parenting often involves putting the fulfillment of your own needs and desires on hold.
- Let yourself laugh when things you try don't go exactly as planned.
- Change your routine whenever possible-sameness can be wearing.
- Spend time with friends. Share your concerns about parenting with them.
- Let the "child" in you come out and play with your children.