The 13 Steps To Becoming Effective Parents


Randy Brazzel MA, LPC, LMFT

Parenting is an awesome responsibility that doesn’t come with a clear set of rules. However, there are a number to steps that parents can take to become more effective.

  1. Nurture your children and let them know how much you care. Don’t just assume they know you love them. Tell them with your words and actions.
  2. Trust your instincts as a parent. If something doesn’t seem right, investigate.
  3. Teach your children the importance of values while they are young. Remember that kids don’t only hear what you say they also watch what you do.
  4. Do not rely on the police or the school to parent for you. No one loves your children like you do so be proactive with parenting.
  5. Set clear, consistent, predictable rules for your children and then be willing to enforce them. This is the best way to prepare them to function effectively as adults.
  6. Be in charge. Kids feel safest and function best when they know that there is an adult who will guide them through life. Too much freedom can lead kids to destructive behaviors.
  7. Let your kids make their own mistakes and suffer the natural consequences that come from those mistakes. Kids will learn quickly if you let them.
  8. Make sure that your home is a safe, secure, and positive environment.
  9. Maintain your own supportive relationships. Your children should not be expected to meet your emotional needs.
  10. Remember it is not your job to make your kids happy. It is their job. Your job is to help prepare them to effectively cope with life as an adult. Teach them the skills they need so they can deal with the many ups and downs of life.
  11. Spend individual time with your kids and get interested in them and what they do.
  12. Know who your kids’ friends are and the activities they are involved in. Peer influence matters, so stay involved.
  13. Be a role model.

Remember that your role as a parent is to provide your kids the foundation they need to build a healthy productive life. That foundation is strongest when built with love, direction, and respect.

Randy Brazzel is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is President of New Dimensions Day Hospital. The hospital provides psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment for adults and adolescents in the Clear Lake area. For more information call 281-333-2284.