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How strict should I be with my child?

Michele Borba
Psychology
A University of California at Davis study followed 7,500 tweens for seven years and found those with the highest self-esteems were raised in homes that were warm but also less permissive. Translation: they lived in a household that had structure, clear rules and a parent who was not afraid to say no. Even more convincing? In a study by the University of Minnesota it was discovered that the more materialistic a child is, the less happy and appreciative he is, which actually increases his risk for depression.

My first advice to parents is to take an honest assessment of their parenting by using what I call the Wall-Mart Test. How does your child respond to being told ‘no’ in the toy and candy aisle?  And how often do you have to repeat yourself before she knows you are serious? The average kid whines nine times before getting her way. So don’t give in.

If you are prone to saying yes too easily, use stall tactics like telling your child ‘maybe’ or that you plan to think about it. It will give you time so you can say no a bit more fervently because you know it’s the right thing to do. When you do say no, make sure you mean it. And if your kid asks why, simply tell them that ‘no’ builds their character and raises their self- esteem.”
The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

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The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

Today show's Michele Borba's cures for difficult childhood behaviors In this down-to-earth guide, parenting expert Michele Borba offers advice for dealing with children's difficult behavior and hot...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.