Parenting Tips and Information

Parenting Tips and Information

How to foster good emotional health in children


Love, security and acceptance should be at the heart of family life. Children need to know that your love does not depend on his or her accomplishments. Mistakes and/or defeats should be expected and accepted. Confidence grows in a home that is full of unconditional love and affection.


  • Provide Praise
  • Avoid Sarcasm
  • Set Realistic Goals
  • Encourage
  • Be Honest


  • Encourage Children to Play – To children, play is just fun. However, playtime is as important to their development as food and good care. Playtime helps children (elementary age and middle school age) be creative, learn problem-solving skills and learn self-control.
  • Children Need Playmates – By playing with others, children discover their strengths and weaknesses, develop a sense of belonging, and learn how to get along with others.
  • Parents Can Be Great Playmates – Join the fun! Playing games with a child gives you a great opportunity to share ideas and spend time together in a relaxed setting.
  • Play for Fun – Winning is not as important as being involved and enjoying the activity. One of the most important questions to ask children is “Did you have fun?’’ not “Did you win?
  • TV and Video Games Should Be Monitored – Try to set some guidelines with TV or video game usage and review them on a regular basis. 


  • Be firm, but kind and realistic with your expectations. Children’s development depends on your love and encouragement.
  • Set a good example. You cannot expect self-control and self-discipline from a child if you do not practice this behavior.
  • Criticize the behavior, not the child.  It is best to say, “That was a bad thing you did,” rather than “You are a bad kid”.
  • Avoid nagging, threats and bribery. Children will learn to ignore nagging. Threats and bribes are seldom effective.
  • Give children the reasons “why” you are disciplining them and what the potential consequences of their actions might be.
  • Talk about your feelings. We all lose our temper from time to time. If you do “blow your top,” it is important to talk about what happened and why you are angry.
  • Apologize if you were wrong!

Remember, the goal is not to control the child, but for him or her to learn self-control!


Parents and family members are usually the first to notice if a child has problems with emotions or behavior. Your observations, with those of teachers and other caregivers, may lead you to seek help for your child.


The following signs may indicate the need for professional assistance or evaluation:

  • Decline in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Regular worry or anxiety
  • Repeated refusal to go to school or take part in normal children’s activities
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Depression, sadness or irritability

If you are concerned about your child’s social, emotional, and behavioral health, you may contact:

  • School counselor or school psychologist
  • Pediatrician
  • Local mental health organizations
  • Mobile Mental Health (888-750-2266)