There are a lot of fairly sophisticated parentingtechniques and ideas out there that are attractingattention. To be an effective father, you can skipmost of them and concentrate on common sense rulesthat have always worked. They won’t always makeyou the most popular Dad, but they’ll always beeffective:

Rule #1 Expect A Great Deal From Your Kids

If your kids know that you expect a lot from them,they’ll rise to the occasion. Everything fromsaying please and thank-you, to efforts in schoolor on the athletic field, if expectations are madeclear in a loving atmosphere your kids will knowthat you think a lot of them. When they know this,they’ll respond.

Rule #2 Always Be Willing To Be the Problem

It's easy to be convinced that someone in your familyis causing the problems, and it's easy to blame themfor it. Realize that this problem won’t get betteruntil you accept that you’re making it worse byblaming them. It may briefly feel good to blame,but it never improves anything. Loving andaccepting that person will make a positivedifference.

Rule #3 Know Your Child’s Life Intimately

Get to know all that you can about your kids. Knowwhat their favorite toys and colors are, who theirbest friends are, who their heroes are, etc. Byshowing interest, you’re showing you love them. Bynot asking, you show that they’re not thatimportant to you.

Rule #4 Say No To Your Kids

There’s an awful lot of stuff out there for kidsthese days...and of course they want to have itall. Kids who get almost everything they wanttypically don’t turn out to be very happy kids.Kids learn discipline, self-control, and how todelay gratification when they are told no by theirparents. It may be a difficult struggle, butsaying no and meaning it will help you to havehappy, healthy, and cooperative kids.

Rule #5 Hitting or Spanking Your Kids Doesn’t Work

There are plenty of studies showing that kids whoare spanked have lower self-esteem. Spanking yourkids will also be likely to increase the verykinds of behaviors that you are spanking them for.As a father, do you really want your child to beafraid of you?

Rule #6 Treat Your Wife Extremely Well

This is where your kids get their most importantinformation about relationships between men andwomen. Make a great effort not to fight in frontof the kids. Remember to be kind more often thantrying to be right.

Rule #7 Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Many parents spend time threatening their childrenwhen their kids aren’t cooperating. But if youdon’t follow through on the consequences, you canthreaten till the cows come home. Your childrenwill learn to ignore the threats. They’llunderstand action. If certain privileges are takenaway because of their lack of cooperation, they’lllearn very quickly that you mean business. Tryyour best to align the consequences with theaction. ( If you don’t clean your room in time,you won’t have time for stories before bed.)

Rule #8 Really Listen to Your Kids

Don’t just hear their words, but learn tounderstand the meaning behind what they say aswell. I’m picking my own clothes! might mean thatyour child wants more responsibility orindependence. Be able to reflect back what yourchild says to you. If you want your child tolisten to you, you absolutely must listen toher/him.

Rule #9 Give Your Kids Responsibility as They GrowOlder

When your kids are very young, maybe they justhelp make their beds in the morning and keep theirrooms clean. As they get older, add things totheir list. Tell them that this is how a familyworks…everybody has certain things that they do.If you do it when they’re young it’s more likelythey’ll do it when they’re older. Don’t rewardthem for things that should be expected of them.

Rule #10 Tell Your Kids They’re Great All the Time

It is especially important to tell them this whenthey’re not at their best. It’s easy to tell themwhen things are going well. Make it a point totell them specifically what you think is greatabout them. This will be more meaningful thangeneralized praise.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, coaches men to be better fathers and husbands. He is the author of “25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers” more great tips and action steps for fathers, sign up for his FREE bi-weekly newsletter, “Dads, Don’t Fix Your Kids,” at