Parent as a Pro!

As someone who has devoted an entire professional life to unlocking the code of parenting, I am proud to present to you this month the “essence” of parenting. It comes in the form of “100 Parenting Tips.” These are all based on well-researched information that is available to every mom or dad so that he or she can be at the top of their game as “the expert” of their own child.

While many think that parenting concepts are a matter of opinion and that much is trial and error, the truth is that there is an “essence of parenting;” and you can now find that “essence” available on Parenting Tips with Dr. Sally in a section called “100 Parenting Tips.” All 100 contain that code which I was able to uncover throughout the years. Here are the first five.

1.  Take care of yourself before you start your baby or childcare. You will do a much better job if you are not tired, hungry, or overworked.

2.  Always be on the lookout for conditions and circumstances that will cause your baby or child difficulty. Sometimes you will get all your clues from what is going on at the moment. Other times you can use past experiences to help you. Whenever something goes wrong, learn from it so that you will be able to prevent it from happening in the future.

3.  Continually keep explaining to your child what you expect. You are your child’s first and most important teacher. You may know exactly how you want your child to act in a particular circumstance, but he or she may not know as much as you think.

4.  Use praise and encouragement appropriately. Reserve praise for major accomplishments. You encourage when you acknowledge specifics. Phrases like, “pretty colors” and “sturdy tower” generate your child’s self-praise with inner thoughts like, “Good for me” and “I did that well.” This process reduces the dependency on adult praise and helps build child self-esteem.

5.  Parenting is about building a positive relationship with your child. The more time you spend building it, the less time your child will have to seek negative attention.

Check in next Wednesday on Wednesday Evening Wine for five more tips.


~ Dr. Sally


  • Subscribe to Tips



  1. As the airline attendant announces before each flight, “If you are with a child, place the oxygen mask on you first. Then your child.”

    Placing you and the marriage first is not a selfish act. I repeat, “It is not a selfish act.” Stop with the guilt and people who tell you otherwise.

    A parent deserves time to reenergize his/her battery and the marriage.

    If a parent is not healthy, he she cannot take care of the very foundation of the family – the marriage. If the marriage fails, there will be no family.

    What is the number one reason married couples divorce? NEGLECT! Not giving yourself permission to have alone time and spend time with your spouse is a form of neglect to yourself and your spouse.

    Marriage first, then the children.

    If you don’t have a handle on #1 of Dr. Sally’s list, then a spouse will either stumble and/or not succeed with #’s 2-5.

    The positive attention and encouragement a spouse gives to him/herself and spouse will spill over into relationships with the children and provide the positive nourishment a child needs from both parents.

    Healthy spouses make for healthy children! Together they become a Healthy Family!

  2. A mom and a dad were husband and wife before they were parents. Keep the romance going and date at least once a month. One rule you must follow. No conversations about the children.

    Another fact to support Dr. Sally’s #1 point. Article about the increasing divorce rate for married couples over 50. –

    Chattanooga psychologist Les Kertay explains that marriage as a lifelong institution has become a “weakening norm” in the United States. Today, marriage is much more about individual fulfillment and satisfaction, he says. “I think that as older adults experience other life transitions, whether it be retirement or an empty nest, it’s a chance to pause and reflect and think about: ‘Is this the person I want to spend another 20 or 30 years with?’

    An important question to ask is “If spouses neglect the marriage for twenty plus years and focus on the children first, what will happen to the marriage when the children leave the nest?”

    • Hogan that is a great question. I have seen many couples who hate each other but say, “I am staying because of the kids.” These relationships produce a lot of maladjusted adults. It is healthier for a child to live with one parent and live in peace than live with two parents in a toxic environment.

  3. It’s so easy to take parenting for granted. Sometimes we miss the little, subtle things and special moments because we’re so busy jugging the challenges of parenting. So step back and take a minute to really “see” your children and make a mental note of who they are and how they are experiencing this day at this age. They’ll never be this age again. Don’t let it slip by without appreciating your time together. Note their achievements. Acknowledge them for their kindness and affection. Be patient with their behavior flaws. The more “present” we are as parents, the more good parenting we can share with our children. They can’t thank you for it today — but your attention and love will mold a happier future for you all. Just wait and see!

  4. Hi Rosalind and Hogan,

    Your comments are extremely insightful and very helpful. Thank you very much for your contributions.

    In the best of circumstances, parenting is difficult; but today’s times represent the worst of circumstances for many parents–two parents working, stressful jobs, fast food diets as a survival way of life, no grandparents or other family members living nearby to help, rampant disabilities and difficulties with many children and/or other family members, divorce, etc. The list goes on.

    It is with all of this in mind that I have now created for this “Wednesday” thread “Parent as a Pro.” The idea is to teach parents tricks of the trade to make their lives run smoothly with each other and with their children. The “Monday” thread of the “15 Pillars of Parenting” is part of this design, and the Q & A on the “Tuesday” thread will always be available to troubleshoot individual situations..

  5. One good guideline for parents is to ask yourself “Is this the best decision on behalf of my child, or am I being influenced by revenge, resentment, guilt, shame or other emotions regarding my spouse or ex that are clouding my vision?” Get clear about your intentions first and you’re more likely to make better parenting decisions.

  6. Rosalind I agree that babies do not come with a book. In fact that would be near impossible as all babies are born with a different temperament, and some babies have a combination of the nine traits. However, with the new research on brain development caregivers of infants/toddles can now do intentional teaching. Caregivers can now be empowered with vital information that will allow them to create spaces for infants and toddlers that are stimulating and will allow infants/toddlers to explore and discover. Caregivers now have research at their fingertips.

    As a single mom I had to learn quickly not to take out my frustration on my little ones as they did not request to be here. I feel that regardless of the parenting situation that you are in you must understand that your are the mirror to the world and your behavior reflects on your child/children. You are responsible for guiding this human to becoming a contributing citizen of the world.

    Today before you become a parent you should do some classes on brain development during the early years 0-3.

  7. Sally: As always, you offer sage advice. Thank you for the sound parenting tips! I also agree that we need to focus on a happy marriage and allow our kids to witness a healthy relationship.

    I fully believe, as you mentioned in the last tip, that when we spend time on building a positive relationship (with child or spouse), it lowers the rate of negative behaviors.

    Thanks, Sally! xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *