EP Story Contest: What’s the Best Parenting Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Posted November 8, 2012 by

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Hands down, I believe the best parenting advice I’ve ever received was from James Lehman, when he said, “Always ask yourself, ‘What does my child need from me right now?’ Sometimes he might need a hug, but sometimes what your child really needs is for you to set a limit and stick with it.” That advice has helped me stay on track countless times as a parent.

What about you? What’s the best parenting advice you’ve ever received — and how has it helped you and your family? Tell us in 250 words or less and win our top three parenting programs: The Total Transformation, Calm Parent AM & PM, and The ODD Lifeline. A team of judges from our EP Editorial Staff and our 1-on-1 Coaching team will choose 10 lucky winners. Winning entries will be posted on our blog and Facebook page.

Email your entry to us by midnight, November 27, 2012 at . Please be sure to include your entry in the body of the email you send us. Winning entries will be notified by December 11, 2012.

In the email, please include your name (or screen name, if you prefer) the age(s) of your child or children, and the person you received the advice from. (For example, grandmother, teacher, author, etc.)

We can’t wait to hear — and share — your words with our readers! Good luck.


Elisabeth Wilkins was the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of an 10-year-old son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood (Singapore), Hausfrau, The Bad Mother Chronicles, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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  1. Amanda Z. Report

    Tell you children what to do instead of what not to do. A funny one my mom told me was, “Don’t let them out number you!” I did…and now I am in trouble

  2. H. Hein Report

    My best parenting advice came from a friend who is not only a parent, but who is also a teacher, too, just like me. I use her advice in the classroom and at home as well. She says, “If you do it, own it. Make it right, and then move on.” This advice has come in handy in both locations for me, and it has really helped my 4 kids, and my students, be more accountable and responsible for their actions. It is amazing how it shuts down an argument or the blame game so quickly. Even the person who feels wronged by the incident, whatever it may have been, feels better after the wrong-doer takes these steps. The wrong-doer even seems to feel better, too, knowing they have taken responsibility for something, and then made it right. Knowing that everyone can move on once the incident is “made right” is liberating for everyone.

  3. corynng Report

    Parent the child you have, not the child you wish you had.

    Read it here on Empowering Parents and remind myself of it daily! One kid with ODD and the other with a brain injury can make for a lot of wishful thinking, but I need to be here and now to deal with the issues we have.

  4. Sally Kertes Report

    For parents of teens: If their friends are doing it SO ARE THEY! Don’t fool yourself that they are too smart for that…

  5. Jennifer Report

    Remember that kids are that – kids. They won’t be able to do the “jobs” you ask them to do to ‘your adult’ expectation, but let them try their hardest and after learning they will get better. So love them and praise them for everything they are doing right, instead of always reminding them of what they are doing wrong.

  6. Blake Report

    My children are 10 and 7, boy and girl respectively. The best parenting advice came from my grandmother who was truly a Christ-follower and unbelievable mother and grandmother. When my son was little, she would tell me to call his name or correct him only one time and then go to him to correct the behavior. She said if I continued to call out to him and did not take action (like removing him from a situation or making him look me in the eyes while I corrected him) he would learn NOT to listen until I had called his name numerous times before he would obey what I had said.

  7. Sue Report

    The best parenting advice we received, and often give to other new parents, is to let your infants learn how to go to sleep on their own. If babies are constantly held, rocked, or patted on the back to go to sleep, they don’t learn how to get back to sleep if they wake up in the night. They will forever cry until someone comes in to sooth them to sleep. Cuddle, pat them, sing, rock them before putting them in their crib for the night. Make sure they are safe and warm in their bed-no hazards, bottles, etc.—and then leave the room before they fall asleep. Children learn how to get back to sleep quickly and often sleep better on their own. Parents also sleep better as a result! Our daughter was a great sleeper. Now that she’s 13, we have a whole different set of issues, but with help we are learning how to effectively parent a teenager.

  8. Rachel Report

    When I was engaged in yet another battle of wills with my then 4 year old daughter, my childless, relaxed brother asked me if I always pulled when she pushed. Through that comment he made me realise I had a choice and I was making the wrong one. I’m much better at setting the boundaries and sticking to them. My daughter more or less understands that!

  9. Patricia Report

    Remember do not raise your children the same they all have different personalities. Also rember that some times your window is not always open. Let your children know when it is getting to hard to keep an open mind. They will learn to deal with feelings better when they know you have them to.

  10. Frustrated Single mom Report

    My Best Parenting advice!!!!!

    Relax, take a deep breath, and know that your not alone. It takes a village to raise a child so use the village that you have. I am a single parent of 3 and 2 of them have bipolar and if it wasnt for my village i would have not have servived. Thank God for the continual support from my village, I only have one left at home my 16 year old son. And I’m taking a deep breath, and calling my people every day when things get rough. Like right now!!! This advice came from my sons 4th grade school teacher. And he Is also a member of my village. For the past 7 years.



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