In the challenging journey of parenting, it's crucial to start with the right mindset. The late Steve Covey wisely advised, "Start with the end in mind." As parents, we often find ourselves grappling with attention-seeking behaviors from our children, inadvertently reinforcing negative attention. The key is to understand that all kids crave attention, but it's the quality of attention that matters.

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Redirecting Temper Tantrums

Children, particularly the younger ones, often employ temper tantrums as a means to capture attention. In the process, they inadvertently develop a pattern of seeking negative attention, which can have long-term consequences on their behavior and emotional well-being.

Instead of responding harshly to tantrums, the key is to approach these situations with emotional intelligence. Dr. Leman advises parents to take a step back and resist the urge to exacerbate the turmoil. Stepping over the child, both metaphorically and physically, sends a powerful message that their attention-seeking behavior won't yield the desired results.

The temptation to buy them off or placate them temporarily might arise, especially in public settings where parents might feel pressure to control the situation swiftly. However, it's crucial to recognize that such quick fixes have lasting implications. Children learn that misbehaving can lead to immediate rewards, reinforcing negative patterns of behavior.

By redirecting temper tantrums, parents not only diffuse immediate tension but also lay the groundwork for emotional resilience in their children. This approach teaches kids healthier ways to express their emotions and seek attention positively. It's a valuable lesson in self-regulation, a skill that proves vital as they navigate various challenges in life.

Strategic Conversations

Parents frequently find themselves entangled in power struggles with their children, resulting in scenarios where everyone loses. The essence of successful parenting lies in adhering to the biblical counsel of training up a child in the right way. Unfortunately, many parents unknowingly engage in talking down to their children, inadvertently impeding the development of healthy communication.

A tangible example illustrates the importance of strategic conversations. Imagine a scenario where a mother enters a store with her eleven and nine-year-olds. Instead of resorting to dictatorial orders, she opts for a strategic approach by setting clear expectations. She emphasizes the significance of staying close and refraining from asking for treats, laying the foundation for a potential conflict-free shopping experience.

By choosing strategic conversations over authoritative commands, parents create an atmosphere where children feel heard and understood. This approach involves explaining the reasons behind expectations rather than merely enforcing rules. In the given example, the mother sets the stage for a positive shopping experience by providing context to her expectations, steering away from a potentially adversarial situation.

A couple with their child.
A couple with their child.

Respond, Don't React

In the pursuit of raising successful children, every parenting tip plays a pivotal role in shaping their character and future success. Let's delve further into Tip 3: Respond, Don't React.

Analogous to handling children, this tip is equally applicable in managing moments of perplexity in spousal communication. When a spouse says something that may seem confounding, the advice remains consistent – respond with curiosity rather than criticism. This mindful approach fosters an environment of understanding, open communication, and mutual respect within the family.

By choosing to respond thoughtfully, parents model emotional intelligence and self-regulation for their children. This not only aids in defusing potential conflicts but also teaches children the importance of measured responses in their own interactions. The long-term impact is profound, contributing to the development of emotionally resilient individuals capable of navigating life's complexities.

Encouraging Open Communication

In the quest to raise successful children, it's essential to recognize that traditional questioning might not always elicit insightful responses from your child. Instead, fostering an environment of open communication involves encouraging them to share more by employing phrases like "Tell me more about that" or actively seeking their opinion.

This approach goes beyond the routine inquiries that often result in one-word responses. By adopting a more engaging and open-ended communication style, parents create an atmosphere where children feel valued and heard. The simple act of saying, "Tell me more about that" invites them to elaborate on their thoughts and experiences, contributing to more meaningful and genuine conversations.

Parents who embrace this tip avoid the common pitfall of receiving brief, uninformative answers when attempting to connect with their children. The invitation to share more allows children to express themselves more freely, providing parents with deeper insights into their emotions, interests, and concerns. We recommend you read these books on Amazon:

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How to Make Your Kids Mind With Positive Discipline.

Understanding Unique Personalities

Recognizing the distinct personalities of your children is a fundamental aspect of successful parenting. Dr. Leman, drawing on his experience as a seasoned parent of five, emphasizes the significance of adopting a role akin to a mini-shrink – understanding the unique temperaments and differences in your children.

Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; each child is an individual with their own set of traits, preferences, and temperaments. Adjusting parenting strategies to accommodate these individual differences can significantly contribute to a harmonious family dynamic. Dr. Leman's advice extends beyond mere recognition to proactive adaptation, particularly in crucial aspects such as bedtimes and allowances.

For instance, varying bedtimes based on a child's age and individual preferences aligns with their natural circadian rhythms, ensuring they get adequate rest for optimal development. Likewise, adjusting allowances based on individual needs and responsibilities fosters a sense of fairness and personal responsibility. These seemingly small adjustments cater to each child's uniqueness, creating an environment where they feel understood and supported.

A man playing soccer with his family.
A man playing soccer with his family.

Rules with Relationship

In the pursuit of raising successful children, the delicate balance between rules and relationship proves to be a crucial determinant of a child's overall well-being. Strict rules, when imposed without a foundation of a healthy relationship, can often result in rebellion and strained parent-child dynamics.

Rather than adopting an authoritarian stance, Tip 6 advocates for a nuanced approach – being a decisive, action-oriented figure who combines authority with a profound understanding of the child. The focus shifts from merely dictating behavior to a more comprehensive goal of understanding and shaping the child's character.

The key lies in building a strong and positive relationship with the child, which forms the bedrock for effective discipline and guidance. When children feel connected to their parents, they are more likely to internalize the values and principles being imparted. This connection acts as a safeguard against rebellion, as the child understands that rules are not arbitrary impositions but guidelines rooted in a caring and supportive relationship.

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Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

How can I instill important values like responsibility and resilience in my child?

You can instill values like responsibility by assigning age-appropriate chores and tasks, encouraging them to take ownership of their actions, and modeling responsible behavior yourself. To promote resilience, allow your child to face and overcome challenges, provide a supportive environment, and teach them coping skills to manage setbacks.

What role do positive reinforcement and encouragement play in raising successful children?

Positive reinforcement and encouragement are essential in building a child's self-esteem and confidence. By acknowledging and praising their efforts and achievements, you help boost their motivation and willingness to try new things. This positive reinforcement can lead to a greater sense of accomplishment and success in the long run.

How can I strike a balance between supporting my child and allowing them to develop independence and self-reliance?

Striking a balance involves providing guidance and support while also allowing your child to make decisions and learn from their experiences. Encourage independence by giving them age-appropriate responsibilities and opportunities to make choices. Offer guidance and support when needed, but allow them to learn from their mistakes and develop problem-solving skills independently.


Raising successful kids involves a delicate balance of discipline, communication, and understanding. By starting with the end goal in mind, redirecting negative behaviors, fostering open communication, and adapting parenting strategies to individual personalities, parents can create an environment where their children flourish. Embracing a rule-with-relationship approach, backed by genuine interest and encouragement, lays the foundation for children to grow into well-rounded individuals.