The Rules of Parenting: A Personal Code for Bringing Up Happy, Confident Children

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November 2022

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The Rules of Parenting: A Personal Code for Bringing Up Happy, Confident Children


Get ready to experience the Rules effect. Begin to get more out of life, shrug off adversity more easily and generally be a happier, calmer, more fulfilled person. You'll feel the benefits, and so will everyone around you. 

Table of Contents

Rules for staying sane 
1 Relax 
2 No one is perfect 
3 Be content 
4 Know what you're good at 
5 Almost any rule can be broken occasionally 
6 Don't try to do everything 
7 You don't have to follow every piece of advice you get (including this one) 
8 It's normal to want to escape 
9 You're allowed to hide from your kids 
10 Parents are people too 
11 Don't ignore your relationship with your partner 
Attitude Rules 
12 Love is not enough 
13 Every recipe needs different ingredients 
14 Anything extreme is almost certainly wrong 
15 Look pleased to see them 
16 Treat your child with respect 
17 Enjoy their company 
18 It's not about you – it's about them 
19 Being tidy isn't as important as you think 
20 Good parenting is calculated risk taking 
21 Keep your worries to yourself 
22 See things from their point of view 
23 Parenting is not a competitive sport 
24 Never emotionally blackmail them 

Everyday Rules 
25 Let them get on with it 
26 Let them go (wild) 
27 Teach them to think for themselves 
28 Use praise wisely 
29 Make sure they know what's important 
30 Show them how to lose 
31 Know the value of boundaries 
32 Bribery doesn't have to be bad 
33 Moods are catching 
34 You're setting their eating patterns for life 
35 Communicate 
36 Set clear targets 
37 Don't be a nag 

Discipline Rules 
38 Present a united front 
39 Carrots beat sticks 
40 Be consistent 
41 Lighten up 
42 Focus on the problem, not the person 
43 Don't paint yourself into a corner 
44 If you lose your temper, you're the loser 
45 Apologise if you get it wrong 
46 Let them back in 
47 The right of expression 

Personality Rules 
48 Find what incentives work for your child 
49 Every child should have something they know they're good at 
50 Learn to appreciate the qualities that remind you of someone else 
51 Look for the similarities between you 
52 Find qualities to admire in them 
53 Let them be better than you 
54 Their attitude is as important as their achievements 
55 Keep your fears and insecurities to yourself 
56 Mind your programming 
57 Don't try to have a perfect child 
Sibling Rules 
58 Give them each other 
59 Recognize that squabbling is healthy (within reason) 
60 Teach them to sort out their own arguments 
61 Work as a team 
62 Let them entertain each other 
63 Never compare children with each other 
64 Different children need different rules 
65 Don't have a favourite 
66 Mix and match 
67 Find each child's strengths 
School Rules 
68 Schooling isn't the same as education 
69 School comes as a package 
70 Fight your child's corner 
71 Bullying is always serious 
72 Teach them to stand up for themselves 
73 Put up with friends of theirs you don't like 
74 Remember you're their parent, not their teacher 
75 Don't mollycoddle them 
76 Let up the pressure 
77 They have to live with their choices (and it's OK) 

Teenage Rules 
78 Don't panic 
79 Remember Newton's Third Law 
80 Give them a voice 
81 Don't look under the mattress 
82 Running round after them doesn't help anybody 
83 Don't stand in front of a speeding train 
84 Yelling isn't the answer 
85 Let them have the last word 
86 Everything comes with strings 
87 Show some respect for the things they care about 
88 Adopt a healthy attitude to sex 

Crisis Rules 
89 Don't use your kids as ammunition 
90 Let them cope in their own way 
91 Being younger doesn't necessarily speed everything up 
92 The aftershock can last forever 
93 Tell them what's going on 
94 Teach them to fail successfully 
95 It's better to agree than to be right 
96 All of your actions speak louder than any of your words 
97 Make sure they know they're priority no. 1 
98 You can't fix everything 
Grown-up Rules   
99 Back off 
100 Wait until they ask for advice 
101 Treat them as adults 
102 Don't try to be their best friend 
103 Encourage them regardless 
104 You can't choose who your children love 
105 Leave the strings off 
106 Don't guilt-trip them 
107 Remember they still need you 
108 It's not your fault 
109 Once a parent, always a parent 

Rules about your parents 
1 Don't put them on a pedestal 
2 Let them be grandparents 
3 Don't ask too much of them 
4 Don't guilt-trip them – even by mistake 
5 Learn to share 
6 They're new to this too 
7 Understand that they don't come from the same place as you 
8 Any grandparent is better than no grandparent 
9 Don't bad-mouth them in front of the kids 
10 They love you just like you love your kids 

Back Cover

A personal code for bringing up happy, confident children 

Some parents make it look easy. They always seem to know the right things to do and say, however tricky the situation. They have a seemingly instinctive ability to raise happy, confident, and well-balanced children. 

Is there something these parents know that the rest of us don't? Is it something we could all learn? The answer is a resounding yes. They know the Rules of parenting. 

The Rules of Parenting are the golden principles that will guide you smoothly through the everyday challenges of raising children. In this new edition, Richard Templar has added 10 new Rules to help you bring your whole family – across all the generations – even closer together. 

You'll get more out of being a parent, and your family will become all they can be. 


Richard Templar is the author of the international bestselling Rules books. Over 2 million people around the world have enjoyed and now play by Richard Templar's Rules. The complete list of titles is as follows: The Rules of Life, The Rules of Work, The Rules of Management, The Rules of Wealth, The Rules of Parenting, The Rules of Love, The Rules to Break, The Rules of People, The Rules of Thinking, and The Rules of Living Well.