Raising children is both exhilarating and exhausting. There are times when even the seasoned veterans need a little parenting advice. Many parents lack the self esteem to trust their own judgment when it come to raising their children. They just need a little backup. With all the parenting books, videos and classes available, parents have a plethora of parenting resources available. The question is, which type of parenting resource works for me and for my child?

We are all different, every child as well as every parent. With this in mind, you should choose your sources for parenting advice carefully keeping your childs needs, your familys needs and your needs in sight. The best thing you can do is review all the solutions to find what may work for you. It may involve some trial and error at first, but you can find parenting resources that are right for you.

There are some basic parenting tips that apply to most any situation and most families. You may want to start here.

Tell your children that you love them. Dont just buy them things and hope that they get the message. “Stuff” does not replace the love of a parent. Tell them and show them with lots of hugs.

Get involved in your childrens lives. Know where they go, who they go with, what they do. Know their friends, know what they like and dislike. Attend their concerts, sporting event, plays and other activities. Show your children that you are interested in them.

Get your children involved in family discussions. Allow them to offer input on family decisions, help find solutions to family problems and offer suggestions for family activities and rules. This will make you child feel like a valued family member and increase their self esteem.

Dont fall into the “because I said so” or “because I am the parent” trap. Explain to your children why you set certain rules or make certain decisions. This will allow your children to understand and they will be more likely to comply. It will also aid them in developing their own reasoning skills.

Actively participate in activities with your children that extend outside of the home. Go places with them, have family nights which may involve dinner and a movie. Also, schedule some one-on-one time with each child. This will enrich your relationship with your children and is a great esteem builder for the child.

Watch how you phrase your directions to your children. Dont ask, tell. There are ways to handle giving directions that dont make you sound like a dictator, bossing them to “do this” and “do that.” You should begin your instruction in such as way that is firm but not offensive. Instead of “take out the trash,” try, “Jimmy, I need you to take out the trash before you go outside, please.” You have instructed what must be done, set a boundary and said please. The child feels more respected. And dont forget to say thank you when he does the task per your specifications. If he does it, but it was done poorly or he missed something, deliver the criticism using the “sandwich method.” Begin with something positive about the job he did, “You took out the trash in the kitchen and even picked up the trash that had fallen on the floor. Thanks!” Follow that with the criticism, “But I needed you to get the trash in the bathroom as well. Go ahead and grab that now, please.” Then follow with another positive comment, “I really appreciate that you are so cooperative when I ask you to do something.” It is an old management technique that works great with kids.

Network with other parents and you will likely be surprised to find that they too share many of your joys and frustrations as a parent with their own children. Other parents can be great parenting resources and can direct you to parenting books, videos or other resources to help you become a better parent.