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How can I be a more effective parent to my child?

Divorce can complicate a parent's job quite a bit. This is especially true if there is a lot of animosity between you and your ex, which often results in squabbles and disputes on the best way to raise a healthy and happy child. If you're looking for ways to be a more loving and effective parent to your children, KidsHealth.org offers the following advice.  

While discipline is important, make time to praise your child for things she does right. For instance, if your child performs a chore without your repeated urging, be sure to offer ample praise if you wish to see the process repeated again and again. Negative feedback is discouraging and may lead to more behavioral issues if that's all your child is ever privy to. Conversely, positive praise is highly motivating and is bound to increase your child's self-esteem quite a bit. 

When your child does have behavioral issues, make sure you're explaining why a specific action is ill-advised. While you're the authority in the household, you must still properly communicate with your kids so they understand the rules they're subjected to. When a problem occurs, make sure your child understands what exactly he did wrong and which consequences are associated with this behavior. Rules should also be consistent to prevent your child from becoming confused. 

Most importantly, make sure your child knows that he or she is loved unconditionally. It's natural to become angry at your kids from their actions but never indulge in name-calling or cruel language. Emphasize how much you love them and that these feelings will be a constant in their lives no matter what.  

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