A parent's relationship with his or her child will be reflected in the child's actions -- including child behavior problems, "If you don't have a good relationship with your child, they're not going to listen to you. Think how you relate to other adults. If you have a good relationship with them, you tend to trust them more, listen to their opinions, and agree with them. If it's someone we just don't like, we will ignore their opinion."
Principles that hold true for anyone who deals with children...
1. What you do matters. "This is one of the most important principles," "What you do makes a difference. Your kids are watching you. Don't just react on the spur of the moment. Ask yourself, 'What do I want to accomplish, and is this likely to produce that result?'"
2. You cannot be too loving. "It is simply not possible to spoil a child with love," "What we often think of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child things in place of love -- things like leniency, lowered expectations, or material possessions."
3. Be involved in your child's life. "Being an involved parent takes time and is hard work, and it often means rethinking and rearranging your priorities. It frequently means sacrificing what you want to do for what your child needs to do. Be there mentally as well as physically." Being involved does not mean doing a child's homework -- or reading it over or correcting it. "Homework is a tool for teachers to know whether the child is learning or not." "If you do the homework, you're not letting the teacher know what the child is learning."
4. Adapt your parenting to fit your child. Keep pace with your child's development. Your child is growing up. Consider how age is affecting the child's behavior. "The same drive for independence that is making your three-year-old say 'no' all the time is what's motivating him to be toilet trained." "The same intellectual growth spurt that is making your 13-year-old curious and inquisitive in the classroom also is making her argumentative at the dinner table."
5. Establish and set rules. "If you don't manage your child's behavior when he is young, he will have a hard time learning how to manage himself when he is older and you aren't around. Any time of the day or night, you should always be able to answer these three questions: Where is my child? Who is with my child? What is my child doing? The rules your child has learned from you are going to shape the rules he applies to himself." "But you can't micromanage your child." "Once they're in middle school, you need let the child do their own homework, make their own choices, and not intervene."
6. Foster your child's independence. "Setting limits helps your child develop a sense of self-control. Encouraging independence helps her develop a sense of self-direction. To be successful in life, she's going to need both." It is normal for children to push for autonomy. "Many parents mistakenly equate their child's independence with rebelliousness or disobedience. Children push for independence because it is part of human nature to want to feel in control rather than to feel controlled by someone else."
7. Be consistent. "If your rules vary from day to day in an unpredictable fashion or if you enforce them only intermittently, your child's misbehavior is your fault, not his. Your most important disciplinary tool is consistency. Identify your non-negotiables. The more your authority is based on wisdom and not on power, the less your child will challenge it." Many parents have problems being consistent. "When parents aren't consistent, children get confused. You have to force yourself to be more consistent."