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THE PARENTING MANIFESTO PROJECTFrom Sue Mort:
1. Children are not lumps of clay that we mold or blank slates that we write upon. Do not try to change or eliminate your child's negative qualities which are inherent. Help him or her to learn how to deal with those characteristics in a positive way.
2. Believe in your child and he will believe in himself. This is not something that can be faked. Kids can spot phoniness a mile away.
3. Do not project your fears about your child's safety on to the child. Your child should believe that most people are good and the world is a wonderful place. Teach her how to be safe, but don't make her fearful.
4. Be consistent. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Your child should always know what to expect from you.
5. Keep your word. If you promise to take your child to the movies, then only your death should prevent you from doing so. Make your promises very carefully. Never threaten a harsh punishment. If you say a particular consequence will take place due to misbehavior, make sure it does.
6. Don't raise your voice. Speak quietly, kindly and calmly to your child even when you reprimand her. Don't yell to get her attention; get her attention first, then speak to her.
7. Don't make fun of your child. He may be small, but he deserves to be treated with dignity.
8. Understand that children misrepresent the truth for various reasons. At a young age, the line between reality and fantasy is often blurred. Don't accuse the child of lying when all he is doing is using his imagination. Older children will lie to avoid punishment. If your child is lying, it may be because you are too harsh and demanding.
9. Your child may be acting out because she is tired, thirsty, hungry or overstimulated.
10. Make it easy for your child to be "good." Make the rules few and very simple.