- Eating Pesticide free food: In 2012 AAP recommends that feed your children a healthy variety of fruits and vegetables. If you can’t afford to buy everything organic, consider the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen.” It lists the produce with the most pesticide residue—and thus the ones most worth getting organic whenever possible.
- Be strict about bedtime: kids aren’t getting enough sleep, which leads to trouble at school. Setting the limits that help them establish good sleep habits now will set them up for success. encourage a period of winding down prior to bed—for little kids that could be a bath and a story, while for older ones, it means turning off the stimulating TV shows or video games.
- Limit screen time: AAP discourages parents from allowing any screen time at all for children under 2 (in favor of more interactive play). But for older children, they are OK with no more than one to two hours a day of screen time—as long as the content is non-violent and educational in nature.
- Allow some snacking between meals: with obesity rates on the rise, even among toddlers, you need to be careful what you give your kids to snack on, and when they eat it. Think low-calorie, low-fat and in small portions. Don’t be afraid to offer a fruit or vegetable and say, ‘This is today’s snack, take it or leave it.’
- 5 second rule: The San Diego State University study found that the most germ-laden surface was the kitchen counter, followed by tile floors and then carpets. So if you’re worried about bacteria, start by disinfecting your kitchen surfaces, then work on the floors.
- Complaining: Kids of all ages take in more than you may think. And if what they’re hearing constantly how much weight you need to lose don’t be surprised when your 10-year-old daughter tells you she’s going on a diet.
- Helicopter parenting: Hovering over your children every minute doesn’t allow them the space they need to develop independence and other important skills. Of course you want to protect your kids, but allowing them to fall down or make some mistakes can be a valuable learning experience. Just be ready with a kiss and Band-Aid to make it all better.
- Social Media: Sharing specific details about your children—including their full names, photos and any identifying information about where you live or where they attend school—could give potential Internet predators too much information. Also, remember that things posted online tend to live forever.
- Eating or Sipping Milk in Bed: If your child still downs a bottle or sippy cup of milk prior to bed, help prevent cavities by brushing or wiping off his teeth before putting him into the crib.
- Beware of BPA: The evidence against this chemical—found in many plastics as well as the linings of food cans—continues to pile up, and much of it relates to the hazards of babies and children being exposed to it. Possible health risks may include disruption of hormones, behavioral problems, heart disease and even cancer. And while the chemical was removed from many baby products—like bottles and sippy cups—try to limit the number of plastic toys and other things that your kids usually chew on.
- Positive Feedback: Children do best when they receive calm and consistent feedback and assertive discipline that’s based on reasonable expectations – with significantly more encouragement and positive feedback than criticism.
- Five steps to Positive Parenting:
Also remember to praise specific effort rather than results.