Thursday, December 1, 2022

7 Parenting Dos and Don’ts for Happy, Healthy Children


Jennifer Bishop, a licensed mental health counselor in Boca Raton who discussed “The Price of Affluence” in our September/October 2017 issue, shares these Dos and Don’ts when it comes to parenting healthy and happy children:

DO: Make time with your child every day. Put the phone down and give your child some face-to-face attention.

DON’T: Protect kids from failure. Allow your children to make their own mistakes so they can learn from them. This will help them prepare for situations and learn to accept life’s realities, conflicts and consequences.

DO: Offer selective praise. For example. If your child received a 95 percent on a spelling test, you say, “I’m glad you worked so hard. Keep up the good work,” rather than “You are so smart!” It is better to praise for an action than for a result.

DON’T: Criticize and compare. Ignore things you don’t want to continue, and praise kids when they do things you want them to do.

DO: Show gratitude. Help your children show appreciation for nonmaterial things.

DON’T: Hide the negative. While it is great to share positive stories, negative ones are equally as important, because these illustrate perseverance and triumph.

DO: Prioritize your own friendships. Happy children have friends, so help your child develop his or her friendships. You can set a good example through interactions with your own friends.

Jennifer Bishop can be reached at

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