- As a parent, you're supposed to help your children learn to take care of themselves. We're all born with a certain 'blueprint' in our personalities, and we all fall short in some area (as we also have strengths in another area). Even if it takes after you, keep in mind that essentially the child is still an autonomous person.
- If the child is talented, invest in that while keeping in mind/accepting that it might be temporary - but that it is still essential for the child's development to express itself, or else it gets frustrated. Don't worry about being a pushy exploitative parent; it's not about you.
- If one of your children has special needs, try to meet these but not at the cost of the other ones. Make sure the child with special needs does not feel like a burden, an outcast or a saint solely due to their condition.
- If you are not capable of meeting the child's needs or it comes at the cost of others, allow yourself to accept the fact that it might be better off in the hands of others. Not because you as a parent are bad, but because the conditions are inadequate.
- Don't confuse your children with your parents.
- As a parent, it's actually okay to take sides in a fight between siblings. Just make sure they don't feel like you're systematically choosing the same side, based on feeling rather than reasoning.
- Parents usually have a child that is "their favorite", which actually means that they find it easier to communicate with this child compared to their sibling. There are many reasons for this; gender, age (toddler vs. teen), intelligence and appearance.
- If you have a feud with your own siblings or parents, keep in mind that your children still have the right to see their aunts, uncles and grandparents. It hurts when they all seem to get along when you can't, but meeting relatives plays an important part in their upbringing.
- If you have reason to believe that the relationship within the family is abusive or dangerous, protect your children from history repeating itself. This is admittedly easier said than done.
- Don't rely too much on society to help you raise your child, but don't deny yourself any help, either. People should understand that every child is an 'orthodontist in the making'; exclusively keeping to your own family is unbeneficial in the longterm.
- Make time
- Make priorities/prioritize
- Drugs should be forbidden, but even more important than not taking drugs is not taking drugs to cure unhappiness (most teens are curious or are sensitive to peer pressure and fear social rejection; using drugs to feel good is usually done by adults, so don't punish them for that) as it might backfire/worsen the mood or mental state (bad trip).
- Don't act awkward when suddenly a sexualized scene or music video is broadcasted on tv when the child is still young. Like death, sex is a part of life. Take control (of the remote), be calm, explain to the child that it is too young (or something better along those lines) and complain to the broadcasting channel afterwards (don't make the child a spectator of this conversation as it might feel guilty or curious). Don't worry about being overly moralistic or a bother to society; it is your right as a consumer and only shows how involved you are.
- Death is everywhere. You don't need to take your children to a funeral to show them that it exists. You do need to take them to a funeral to say goodbye.
- Teach the child to handle painful accidents. Don't overdramatize or play down feelings. Save room for individual differences concerning sensitivity, but don't use a double standard.
- Teach the child to be critical of the news while at the same time allowing them to be involved in societal matters. If they aren't interested in global/local issues, check what else they might be interested in.
- When you're fighting with your spouse, try to keep the children out of it. An important aspect of the relationship (which is ideally settled before conceiving) is being honest, defending bounderies and personal interests, quarreling about that (in a way that is acceptable to both - and also third - parties) and making up. The quality of your future family-in-law will reflect the number of used curse words uttered at the dinner table several decades ago.
- Don't expect a prince(ss) when you treat your offspring like garbage. It's tiresome and unfair.
- The child is supposed to learn more and learn faster than you. You don't want the human race to decline just because you can't handle the fact that there weren't (m)any Universities back in your day.
- Try to have a personal life outside of the family. Not necessarily a group of friends, just something that makes you happy and keeps things in perspective. It's nice to stay in touch with society and with yourself without having to depend on your kids for that.
- Make time for your spouse and have fun. It's important to be a good parent, and that's easier when you're happy.