The Don't Parenting List

Leadership begins with the parent. By setting an example, parents establish a guideline for their children that will last a lifetime.
09/12/2012 11:15am ET | Updated November 12, 2012
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Everyone talks about the do's for parenting, but let's not forget about the don'ts. The don'ts that deserve parental attention on your parenting list are often more compelling than the do's. That's largely because parents today usually think more deeply about the cause and effect factors that determine rules governing their children's lives.

Leadership begins with the parent. By setting an example, parents establish a guideline for their children that will last a lifetime. But it's important to note that these "don't rules" are not just for the kids to follow. They are for the parents to live by as well! Here are seven don'ts to consider as a new parent or a seasoned veteran with many kids.

*Don't Worry About the Things You Can't Control: What's out of your control you can't put too much thought into. You can only keep track of your own actions or thoughts. So focus on what is possible.

*Don't Forget to Pee: This is one of those sayings that rings true for parents. We are so focused on the kids that we completely forget about ourselves. All of a sudden, five years go by and you wonder what happened. It's important to have balance and not forget about what you need in the wake of your children's needs.

*Don't Follow Anyone Else's Lead: Everybody will have their own take on what good parenting is. Don't follow anybody else's lead. It's important to hear people out and see what may work and not work for them as a parent, but listen to your own gut and follow your own path. Being a leader will take you far as a parent.

*Don't Be Complacent: Mix things up for you and your kids as much as you can. When we get too comfortable is when things get boring. Try your best to keep things exciting on all levels for everyone.

*Don't Miss Out On Daily Meditation: It is vital to keep a calm state of mind as a parent. One way to do this is to get re-centered on a daily basis. I suggest doing some soul-searching meditation every day. This will get you through the rest of your day.

*Don't Underestimate the Influence of Other Kids: A bad apple has been known to spoil the bunch. As your kids get older, keep a watchful eye on who they are hanging out with. If your child is acting up all of a sudden, look to see what may be the cause. If it's due to the influence of a buddy, try to cool that relationship off.

*Don't Carry Guilt: It's important not to carry guilt as a parent. Whether it's an argument with your spouse, picking up your child late from soccer practice or sleeping in on a Saturday morning, don't feel guilty. No parent is perfect. Let go of the guilt and make tomorrow a new day.