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The first part of our ABC’s of Parenting Series is The letter A.

The letter “A” has a full range of words that relate to Parenting! Below is a small list that we think are important while dealing with our kids. We have included our thoughts, tips and tricks as related to the letter A.


Not only do you need to hold your children accountable but you also need to keep yourself in check. You need to be able to justify your actions and your decisions and so do your kids.

You also need to be in control of your decisions. Ask yourself or your child to explain why they did (or did not) do something.


Your words and actions as a parent define your children’s self esteem. As a parent, you are a leader. You want to be an incredible and strong force for them to look up to.

Another version of action is literally being active. Think about how much you move with your child. Getting down on the ground and playing. Being engaged is instrumental in teaching and encouraging imaginative play.


Being able to adjust and respond to situations with your child with a positive attitude teaches them to react to new situations in the same way. Modeling adaptable behavior in life is so important to the growth of your child.


Adventure is the lifeline of a child. They want to take risks and learn new skills. Kids need adventure and parents need to teach them how to be safe. Kids get bored with the same old routine so don’t be afraid to mix things up.

Encouraging kids to explore is a huge part of development. You can go on scavenger hunts as a family, take them camping, go for hikes or walks in new areas. Start small if you have to but start adventuring together.


Children love affection. Hugging, snuggling and giving praise. Give them your full attention as often as you can.

Make time for them by participating in their activities, the ones that give them joy. Anticipate their needs whenever possible. Make eye contact when they speak to you.


Find ways to be agreeable. Let them make decisions and choices for themselves. Show them that you trust them and that you respect their thoughts.

A great way to teach your children to be agreeable is to role model with you partner. Keeping teamwork at the forefront with help as well. When you work as a team, you teach compromise and putting others needs ahead of your own.


Be alert always. Think about what lies ahead and look for dangers so you can eliminate them before they become a problem. Look for drastic changes in behavior and watch for new behaviors to develop.

Listen to what your children say, especially their questions. The questions are often insight into what is confusing in life. When you can target things before they get out of control, you are more able to eliminate issues or to move your kids in the right direction.


Teaching your children to be appropriate is very important. One great way to teach them is with age appropriate life skills. For example a ten year old can do laundry, hammer nails, or write letters. A 2 year old can help put their toys in the toy box or clear their plate after dinner.

Another skill to teach is appropriate touch. Showing them boundaries and what is safe. Teach them body safety and use appropriate words for body parts.


Water and children is something we are very passionate about. Kids should always be watched when they are around water. Make sure you provide constant supervision and teach them to respect water.

Teaching children to swim is so very important, no matter where you live. Give them confidence in and around water. If you don’t know how to swim yourself, learn together by taking lessons.


There are so many ways to teach your child to be artistic and to spark creativity. Teach your child to let go of the feeling of needing to be perfect and show them how to have fun with whatever medium they choose. Give them an understanding that art is a universal form of expression and that it comes from the mind.

There are so many forms of art. They could choose painting/drawing, playing music, writing stories, performing in musicals or theater productions. Having a creative outlet throughout life is a great coping skill!


All kids need attention to thrive. When they are given attention, it will help them grow and gain confidence in themselves.

Kids who are given a lot of positive attention are less likely to have negative attention seeking behaviors.


Being available for your children shows them that they have support in you. It gives them a sense of safety.

There are so many ways to give your kids your attention. Let the dishes go after dinner and take the kids for a walk. Play a game of cards or dice. Look for ways to make yourself available. Your kids need you and need to know they can count on you.


What is your favorite parenting word that starts with the letter A? Feel free to share in the comments!

If you want, feel free to read our post about Raising Free Thinkers!

You may enjoy taking a quiz to find out your parenting style. Be sure to check out PsychCentral, if you have a moment.