10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting – Part 1

Laurence Steinberg is a university professor of psychology who specializes in child and adolescent psychological development. He wrote a book entitled “The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting.” Here are the first two principles with the major concepts of those principles.dad with daughter on shoulders

1. What you do matters. “Tell yourself that every day. How you treat and respond to your child should come from a knowledgeable, deliberate sense of what you want to accomplish. Always ask yourself: What effect will my decision have on my child?”

  • Children are influenced by their genes. Parenting affects the way the genes are expressed.
  • Children learn by watching their parents and they are watching more closely than we realize. Be aware of what we are teaching them through our actions.
  • There are many other influences that have a role in your children’s lives. As a parent, we can manage the amount of time and impact that these other influences have on your children.
  • We are all going to make mistakes as a parent. Learn to say “I’m sorry” to your children when you were in the wrong, and learn from those mistakes.

2.  You cannot be too loving. “When it comes to genuine expressions of warmth and affection, you cannot love your child too much. It is simply not possible to spoil a child with love. What we often think of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child things in place of love—things like leniency, lowered expectations or material possessions.”

  • Children need physical affection throughout their lifetime. As children get older, parents should adjust the ways they express their affection to them in ways that are sensitive to the child’s desires.
  • Praise your children’s accomplishments.
    • Praise their specific accomplishment.
    • Link the praise to their effort, not some innate characteristic.
    • Tie the praise to the quality of the accomplishment not the grade or rating.
    • Don’t compare your child’s accomplishments to someone else’s.
  • Respond to your children’s emotional needs by striving to understand what exactly it is they need.
  • Make your home a safe haven from the world.

For more information see:


Steinberg, L. D. (2005). The ten basic principles of good parenting New York : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2005, c2004; 1st Simon & Schuster Paperbacks ed.

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