1. Find a wonderful mate
2. Fall in love (not infatuation)
3. Marry this loved one (highly preferred)
4. Really WANT to have a child!
5. Have intimate relations with your mate (you are on your own here)
6. Be mentally ready (If you are fortunate, you will have a healthy child which will change your life)
7. Keep them safe! (this includes a proper car seat)
8. Hold the baby, feed the baby, and talk to the baby!
9. Change the baby’s diapers! (If you don’t, you’re a wimp!)
10. Read to the baby! (The baby will associate snuggling, comfort, and love with books)
11. Continue to help the mother in all aspects of parenting!
12. Watch closely as your toddler will be adventurous! (Stairs, small objects, sharp objects are all dangerous)
13. Read to your toddler! (Always very important)
14. Love and comfort your toddler (but don’t pick them up at every whimper)
15. Assist them in standing and walking (make them work at it a bit)
16. As they get a little older, talk to them about potty training (maybe show-time will help)
17. Don’t push them too hard in getting out of diapers (but don’t be lazy about it)
Pre-school to Tween
18. Some things get easier and other things get tougher as a parent (e.g. no diapers, but more attitude)
19. Buckle their seat belt
20. When you get home, ask them how they’re doing (and listen!)
21. Check school work (help them learn but don’t solve problems for them)
22. Take them with you on errands (it may take twice as long but it will make memories and connections)
23. Experience stuff together (fishing, ballgames, camping, swimming, whatever creates memories together)
24. Praise their efforts, especially their persistence
25. Challenge them with tasks just beyond their perceived capability (give them enough help that they don’t give up)
26. Buckle your seatbelt! (You know what I mean)
27. Be a good example (you can no longer fool them)
28. Continue to do stuff together as much as possible! (It may be tough but not so much if you have developed traditions)
29. Give them some space and show them trust (but verify, verify, verify)
30. At some reasonable point in time, talk about bird and bees and real life. (You might learn something!)
31. Be willing to be “hated” for doing the right thing for your teens.
32. Be conscious of likely peer pressure. (As a teen, impressing their friends trumps being straight with you)
33. Help them when it makes them stronger. Don’t help them if it makes them weaker.
34. Expect solid contributions from them to maintain the household.
35. Teach goals, integrity, and education
They are the person they will most likely be the rest of their life. Some life experiences will change them, but your influence on their childhood will be significant influence on who they are. Remain involved and give advice when asked.
Be involved, be knowledgeable, be loving, be consistent, be fun, and have principles! Read about parenting. There is always something to learn. You will always be influential in your children’s lives. Be sure it is the right kind of influence.