A healthy, nurturing relationship with your child is built through countless interactions over the course of time. It requires a lot of energy and work, but the rewards are well worth it. When it comes to parenting, there are a few absolutes. These tips provide suggestions as you discover what works best in your family. Do not expect to be perfect; parenting is a difficult job.

Help Your Children Feel Loved and Secure

  • Make sure your children know you love them, even when they do something wrong.
  • Encourage your children. Praise their achievements and talents. Recognize the skills they are developing.
  • Spend time with your children. Do things together that you both enjoy. Listen to your children.
  • Learn how to use nonphysical options for discipline. Many alternatives exist.

Realize That Community Resources Add Value

  • Take children to libraries, museums, movies and sporting events.
  • Enroll children in youth enrichment programs, such as sports or music.
  • Use community services for family needs, such as parent education or respite care.
  • Communicate regularly with childcare or school staff.
  • Participate in religious or youth groups.

Seek Help if You Need It

  • Talk with someone. Tell a friend, healthcare provider or leader in your faith based group. Or join a support group for parents.
  • Seek respite if you need a break. Everyone needs time for themselves. Respite care provides a safe place for your children. Call Casa de los Niños at 520.624.5600 for information.
  • Call a helpline. Casa de los Niños has a parent help line called the Parent InfoLine at 520.624.9290. This phone line provides information on parent education and parenting advice.
  • Seek counseling. Individual, couple or family counseling can identify and reinforce healthy ways to communicate and parent.
  • Take a parenting class. No one is born knowing how to be a good parent. It is an acquired skill. Parenting classes can give you the skills you need to raise a healthy, happy child. Casa de los Niños offers free parenting classes in English and Spanish. Call 520.624.5600 X 309 for information or visit the website for the current schedule of classes.
  • Accept help. You do not have to do it all. Accept offers of help from trusted friends, family and neighbors. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you feel you need it.

Adapted from: US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Safe Children and Healthy Families are a Shared Responsibility.