2. But give yourself a break. Being a parent means making mistakes. Don't beat yourself up about them. Learn and move on. Teach your children to do the same.
3. Create rituals. Once a week, do something as a family: Take a walk in the park, have pancakes for dinner, play charades. Everyday customs and traditions strengthen family ties, which in turn nourish a sense of caring and respect.
4. Show your affection. Begin and end each day with "I love you," and give lots of hugs and kisses.
5. Learn to apologize. One of the most important things you can say to your child is "I'm sorry. I messed up." You'll teach her honesty, responsibility, and justice.
6. Foster responsibility. As soon as your child is old enough, give him small chores -- putting napkins on the table or matching socks in the laundry. He'll learn what it means to be part of a community.
7. Trust your gut. In 1946, Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote, "The more people have studied the different methods of bringing up children, the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is the best after all."
8. Practice patience. Don't watch the clock or tap your foot or constantly chide your child to hurry up. Instead, kick back, live in the moment, go with the flow, and soak it all up.
9. Let go of the guilt. From our April 1977 issue: "Bad or glad, mad or sad, proud or ashamed -- it's not the fact that Mommy works that accounts for a child's response, but how the parents feel and act about it themselves."
10. Seek support. In the words of an ancient Ashanti proverb: "It takes a whole village to raise a child."
11. Laugh a lot. If your guiding principle is to pick "laugh" over "cry," you've got the right attitude. Use humor to defuse power struggles, enforce rules, and impart life lessons.
12. Be a booster. "Make sure you praise your child for worthwhile accomplishments and encourage him to make his own decisions, even if he occasionally makes a wrong one," we told readers back in 1942. "And let him know that he has your complete confidence and backing." Good advice then -- and now.
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