As parents it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We can be captured by a detailed and busy routine or feel lost in the chaos of unexpected challenges, obstacles, and mishaps. In the management of our everyday lives parenting our children is perhaps our most important and, frequently, our most challenging activity. Our children are beautiful, unique, and wonderful gifts. They make us better humans. Our children are also messy, maddening, crazy making. Sometimes, they decide to be the latter during the least opportune times. For those moments, I thought it might be helpful to share a few tips for positive parenting. Some of these tips feel as though they should be common sense. However, I have learned over the years that when we are feeling stretched and stressed as parents it can be easy to overreact and miss a prime opportunity to teach a valuable lesson or share a special moment. The benefits of these tips to you, your child, and your relationship with them are tangible, meaningful, and enduring. I hope you find them helpful. 1. Be a good role model. Your child learns from the example you set. In moments of maximum stress take a deep breath and remember the little eyes are watching. The path you choose in those moments paves the path your children will walk. 2. Give your child praise, lots of hugs and say, “I love you” often. 3. Set simple rules and consequences and enforce them consistently. Clarity, stability, and predictability are key. 4. Discipline fairly, firmly, and always with love. Never use violence or put-downs. Clear, calm, consistent communication of expectations and important for healthy discipline. 5. Always show respect for your child’s thoughts and feelings. Meet your child where they are in the moment. Their feelings are real and logical to them. Let them know you hear them and understand their feelings. 6. Spend as much time as you can with your child. Remember, you can never be too busy for your child. 7. Know what’s going on in your child’s life. You should absolutely know details about their social and school life. Your involvement and engagement matters. 8. Encourage daily learning that goes on outside of school. Read together, play together, learn together. 9. Make sure your child eats healthy foods, exercises, and gets plenty of sleep. All of these are critical to a healthy mind and growing body. 10. Keep a sense of humor and work to manage stress in healthy ways. Make time to have fun and laugh together, whether that is telling jokes at dinner, watching funny movies, or just being allowing yourself to be silly . Humor and play are keys to healthy stress management.