1. Be the role model your children deserve.
Children learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do.
2. Fess up when you blow it.
This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.
3. Live a little greener.
Show your kids how easy it is to care for the environment. Waste less, recycle, reuse, and conserve each day. Spend an afternoon picking up trash around the neighborhood.
4. Always tell the truth.
It's how you want your child to behave, right?
5. Kiss and hug your spouse or partner in front of the children.
Your partnership is the only example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels, and sounds like. So it's your job to set a great standard.
6. Respect parenting differences.
Support your partner's basic approach to raising children--unless it's way out of line. Criticizing or arguing with your partner will do more harm to your relationship and your child's sense of security than if you accept standards that are different from your own.
Know the Best Ways to Praise
7. Give appropriate praise.
Instead of simply saying, "You're great," try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, "Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was hard, and I really liked your patience."
8. Cheer the good stuff.
When you notice your child doing something helpful or nice, let him know how you feel. It's a great way to reinforce good behavior so he's more likely to keep doing it.
9. Gossip about your children.
Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective be letting your child "catch" you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.