While your sister, best friend, neighbor or any other mom might seem to have the most idyllic family ever, chances are that, like you, they face issues with child-rearing. Although it's much easier to think of parenting as a smooth stream rather than a rocky whirl or white water, raising a child isn't always a snap.
Whether your preschooler is throwing a tantrum, your grade-schooler is talking back or your seventh-grader keeps slamming her door, discipline is a major issue when it comes to child-rearing. According to the child development experts at the Kids Health website, consistency is key when it comes to using effective discipline strategies with children of any age. This often translates into creating, and enforcing, age-appropriate rules that illustrate expected behavior as well as clear consequences. For example, instead of simply telling your fifth-grader to do her homework, tell her that the rule is as follows, "You must do your homework after school before you do anything else such as talk on the phone or go online. If you don't follow this rule you will lose your phone privileges for the rest of the day."
Unless you choose to home-school your child, you will have to deal with at least some issues when it comes to your little one's formal education. The American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website notes that parents should involve themselves in their child's education. This means that instead of leaving schooling to your child's teachers, you should acquaint yourself with what he is learning and ask the school what you can do to help the process. Raising a child often means communicating often with your child's teacher and ensuring that he is on the right track when it comes to his education.
Having a child might also equal having to deal with health issues. While most families might only have to handle the more typical types of health dilemmas such as the common cold or a sprained ankle, some parents and children might face more severe issues that range from developmental delays to major infections. Before breaking into a sweat over a possible illness or deciding that your own parental assessment is acceptable, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends consulting your child's pediatrician for advice if you have any worries about new or seemingly abnormal medical symptoms.
Many people have an effect on your child's behavior and actions. These include you, other family members, teachers and friends. Additionally, the media often plays a key role in shaping what your child thinks and does. In an effort to mitigate possible ill-effects from media exposure, the American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website recommends that parents set limits on screen time -- limiting it to only an hour or two each day, provide alternative activities to TV or the computer, and screen TV shows with and for your child.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images