19 Habits of Highly Effective Parents

Moms and dads from our Facebook community share the parenting routine or habit they feel most proud of when it comes to effectively raising happy, responsible kids.

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Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Jackie Zarnesky Williams

Highly Effective Habit

Despite daddy being deployed for nearly a year now, he is still part of our preschooler's bedtime routine. He recorded bedtime stories on the computer so they can still read together each night. And he traced his hands and put them on a string so he could give our son his bedtime hug (he has a set of our hands with him in Iraq). And he calls at bedtime nearly every single night to tell our son good night & that he loves him.

- Jackie Zarnesky Williams

2 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Amanda Eastman

Highly Effective Habit

I teach my children about organic gardening and learning to grow our own food and how to have a beautiful flower garden to share with our family and friends. We spend time preparing the Earth in spring and planting seeds and new plants from nurseries. We tend to the garden all summer long, and we harvest our veggies and flowers together. I think it's a great way to teach our children skills they may need in the future, how to live on the land, and how to be conscious of the environment.

- Amanda Eastman

3 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Amy Matthews

Highly Effective Habit

Prayer time every time we eat and before bed. I rock my 17 month old son to sleep every night and sing him a "Thank You God" song! I love that time together and love hearing him sing to God!

- Amy Matthews

4 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Angela Kinstner Griegel

Highly Effective Habit

Long story short: My ex and I share joint custody of our two children. We separated in 2006. From that moment on, we have always put our children first. We established a schedule immediately that has not changed from the point of separation to present. We do everything for our children. Not getting along is not an option. We still take family trips together, we share holidays, etc. Our children know they are loved; they are comfortable with our situation and are outstanding students that exhibit no troubled behavior due to their parents split. I'm proud of the way my relationship works with my ex for the benefit of our two children.

- Angela Kinstner Griegel

5 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Bri Scohier

Highly Effective Habit

Before nap time and bedtime we always read books with our son. After my daughter was born hard of hearing, I choked up every time I read to him thinking I could never read to her until she fell asleep. Then we got her hearing aids and one of her favorite things is to sit in her brother's bed and listen to our stories.

- Bri Scohier

6 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Chelsea May Antoniewicz

Highly Effective Habit

Since they were born, every year on their birthdays I write a letter to my kids about the year. I include things like weights, heights, funny stories and things they have said or learned over the past year. Then, from time to time we sit down and read them. The kids love it and I promised they can have them when they have their own kids -- but I don't think I'll be able to part with the letters, lol! I keep a journal during the year and jot down cute things that happen so I don't forget them.

- Chelsea May Antoniewicz

7 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Cheryl Rahaim

Highly Effective Habit

Our bedtime routine of "Thankful Fors." We all take turns naming five things we are thankful for on this day. Sometimes it's just the smallest of things!

- Cheryl Rahaim

8 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Cortney Kinyon

Highly Effective Habit

Since my son was a year old, we have gone on field trips to local children's spots each week. Some weeks it is only two while others are all five weekdays! We go to the zoo, Science City, Deanna Rose Children's farm, the police station, the local dairy, the orchard, berry patches, indoor parks, bowling alley, put-put golf, etc! They love it. I even took my son when I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter in the heat of summer -- but to the air conditioned places.

- Cortney Kinyon

9 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Courtney Kaffenberger

Highly Effective Habit

We make it a point to eat dinner every night together. Even with the hustle and bustle of a 9 year old in sports, a 6 year old in dance, and working around a 9 month olds bedtime, we still manage to sit down at the dinner table together and eat dinner... even if it is a grilled cheese and strawberries!

- Courtney Kaffenberger

10 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Elizabeth Urgell

Highly Effective Habit

We play together. My children love to be with my husband and me and we fish, kayak, and explore the outdoors together. By spending time together, I feel like we're giving our kids memories they'll cherish forever.

- Elizabeth Urgell

11 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Cassie Allen Photography

Highly Effective Habit

"Craft of the Day" is my claim to fame! While we don't actually do one every day, we spend a lot of time creating wonderful things (to look at or to eat!) together. My two sons are going to grow up appreciating art, food, and time together.

- Jamie Rabaduex Turnbull

12 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Jenifer Francis

Highly Effective Habit

My husband and I take turns doing the bedtime routine, which includes everything from my daughter's bath to singing her to sleep. She is 100% comfortable with both of us, and we all love that we get equal 1:1 time with her.

- Jenifer Francis

13 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Jennifer Adams

Highly Effective Habit

It's definitely church for us! I'm very proud, happy and thankful to be a parent, wife and a family that has church and God in our hearts and home!

- Jennifer Adams

14 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Lane Morris Buckman

Highly Effective Habit

We spend a lot of time in the car, commuting. I made up a finger puppet (literally my finger) who only speaks Spanish. "He" talks to my son in Spanish, and I translate, and then teach my son the proper Spanish to answer back. We have a lot of fun, and he doesn't even realize he is learning!

- Lane Morris Buckman

15 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Leila Key

Highly Effective Habit

One Friday a month, my kids, husband and I have a sleepover in our room. We setup the kids with their pillows and blankets on our bedroom floor and watch a family movie. We pop some popcorn, and I make a special desert like brownies or cake! It's a great time and the kids love it!

- Leila Key

16 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Lisa Rotili

Highly Effective Habit

My daughter (6), her father and I love to take advantage of everything that nature has to offer. Teaching her about the animals, plants, marine life, insects, weather, etc. and watching her absorb the information like a sponge is very exciting. Whether it's participating in nature walks or seine fishing, it's always fascinating to watch her learn and have us, as adults, learn from her perspective, as well. Just looking at the color combinations of a seashell gives her an appreciation of all the beauty that life can hold.

- Lisa Rotili

17 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Megan Gunter

Highly Effective Habit

Every year before both Christmas and birthdays, we help the kids go through their rooms and donate a garbage bag full of toys and clothes to kids in need. It teaches them to be grateful for what they have, reminds them that there are others who don't have as much, and frees up space for new toys and clothes.

- Megan Gunter

18 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Megan Kroes

Highly Effective Habit

I live a very crazy hectic life. I am a single mom to a 15 month old daughter and I work and go to graduate school full-time. I know that I can't control the chaos of the day, but when I get home with my baby girl I can take the few minutes to unwind and have "snuggle" time. No matter if I am coming home from class at 10pm or work at 4pm, we spend 5-10 minutes rocking on the glider and reading a book. I love taking those few moments of the day and reminding her how much I love her and how much she means to me... and telling her every sacrifice I make and every minute I am away is to give her the best possible life.

- Megan Kroes

19 of 19

Highly Effective Habit

Courtesy of Monica Diaz Bird

Highly Effective Habit

My family does a lot of volunteer work. We want to teach our kids to respect others and to give them a sense of pride in helping others. We volunteer with Special Olympics, participate in the MS Walk and Relay for Life, and donate each month to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We are going to start doing some volunteer work with our church this fall.

- Monica Diaz Bird

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