Parenting For Dummies
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Following some helpful advice about parenting will help you keep your cool and forge ahead with enthusiasm even when the going gets rough. In case of a family emergency, make sure you have a list handy of emergency phone numbers and that everyone in the house knows where it is. Parenting comes with a set of absolute rules, so get to know and consistently practice them. When you can't figure out why your baby is crying, go through a list of possible reasons and their remedies from top to bottom.

General parenting tips

Let’s face it, parenting is hard work, and any help you can get is great! Take a look at these parenting tips so you can be an effective and happy parent and do it consistently with enthusiasm:

  1. You’re not going to do everything right.

    When you find you’ve handled a situation wrong, correct the error, brush yourself off, and try again.

  2. Being a good parent takes time and patience.

  3. Parenting is a series of trials and errors.

    You learn from your mistakes. Aside from being consistent, following through, and communicating positively, there are very few definite rules on parenting. You have to find what works for yourself and your children.

  4. Don’t give up on your children. Be persistent and keep trying. Your kids need you to be strong.

  5. Have fun with your kids.

    The time when your kids just want to sit and play with you is relatively short. Don’t lose that time. Play with your kids as much as you can. One day they’ll be off running around with their own set of friends and you’ll be begging them for their time.

  6. Turn off the TV and read.

    Reading, talking, walking, and playing is so much more fun than the mesmerizing effects of the TV.

Important phone numbers to keep at hand

One thing you can do as a parent is to be prepared for an emergency before it happens. Fill out a list with these important phone numbers and post it in the house so it’s visible. Let your other family members (and babysitter) know where the list is located.






Poison Center:




Cell phone:


The 10 parenting commandments

Once you become a parent, your job has important duties (whether you want them or not): Take good care of your child, keep them safe, and develop a good relationship. A few basic rules apply and must be done as a parent:

  • Thou shalt not make anything more important than thy children.

  • Thou shalt work to have great patience during times of stress.

  • Thou shalt feed thy children healthy, nutritious food.

  • Thou shalt nurture and love thy children.

  • Thou shalt work to protect and keep thy children safe.

  • Thou shalt communicate openly and honestly with thy children.

  • Thou shalt make of thyself a good example at all times.

  • Thou shalt treat thy children with respect.

  • Thou shalt not shake nor physically try to hurt thy children.

  • Thou shalt be a good friend and supporter of thy co-parent.

What to do when the baby is crying

When rocking a crying baby doesn’t soothe and quiet the little one, what’s a parent to do? Use this easy flowchart to figure out your next move. You’ll notice that at one point it says that babies just need to cry. This concept is a tough one, but think of it like this: Newborns sometimes just need to exercise their lungs. Although it doesn’t happen too often and it’s tough on parents, you may find that nothing in this flowchart ever seems to work. Sorry!


About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Sandra Hardin Gookin serves as a parenting expert for Parents Magazine and Working Mother Magazine.

Dan Gookin wrote the international bestseller DOS For Dummies. They have four sons.

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