Raising kids today is arguably harder than ever before. But, there are some ways to help ease the stress and strain of raising your little ones and prevent behavior problems through good parenting.

Here is a list of things any parent can do to raise their children to be confident, successful individuals:

1.Establish “together time.” Establish a regular weekly routine for doing something special with your child –even if it’s just going out for ice cream.

2.Don’t be afraid to ask where your kids are going and who they’ll be with. Get to know your kid’s friends –and their parents –so you’re familiar with their activities.

3.Be a better listener. Ask and encourage questions. Ask your kid’s input about family decisions. Showing your willingness to listen will make your child feel more comfortable about opening up to you.

4.Be a living, day to day example of your value system. Show the compassion, honesty, generosity, and openness you want your child to have.

5.Reward good behavior consistently and immediately. Expressions of love, appreciation, and thanks go a long way –even for kids who think themselves too old for hugs.

6.Accentuate the positive. Emphasize what your kid does right. Restrain the urge to be-critical. Affection and respect will reinforce good (and change bad) behavior. Embarrassment or uneasiness won’t.

7.Create rules. Discuss in advance the consequences of breaking them. Don’t make empty threats or let the rule-breaker off easy. Don’t impose harsh or unexpected new punishments.

8.Get involved in your child’s school, your neighborhood, and your community. You, not the teachers and other authority figures in your child’s life, are responsible for parenting your child.

9.Set clear rules and limits for your children. Be flexible and adjust the rules and limits as they grow and are able to set them for themselves.

10.Be a guide for your children. Offer to help with homework, in social situations, and with concerns about the future. Be there to help them direct and redirect their energy and to understand and express their feelings.