Undue criticism can teach children to fail and they usually misbehave because they are bored or feel unwanted.
Praise and encouragement work better than punishment and criticism. Discipline is not punishment, but encouragement to develop good behaviour by providing care, teaching and rules.
Community Development and Family Minister Eric Ripper said today these were just some of the useful tips for parents, provided in a special information pamphlet 'Enjoying Your Children - A Guide for Parents' which was now available as part of the 'Grow Together' campaign.
'Grow Together' worked to encourage better communication between children and their parents.
Mr Ripper said the pamphlet provided information about children's development in the six to 12 years age group - a group about which there was generally less information available than for other ages.
"Parents can always become more effective and the key to this is increased knowledge," Mr Ripper said.
"This knowledge is readily available and parents under particular stress need to know that under 'Grow Together' a 24-hour telephone line is now operating on 272 1466, on which they can receive instant advice about dealing with their children.
"There is also a toll-free line (008 807 648) for country callers."
The 'Grow Together' campaign involves newspaper and television advertisements plus information packages for schools, libraries, doctors' surgeries and community centres. It provides grants up to $5,000 for community groups to enhance relationships between adults and children.
Mr Ripper said the Government's philosophy, underlined in 'The Social Advantage' and 'Grow Together' packages, was to help parents to help themselves.
"Research has indicated that improved family communication and understanding can have long-term benefits in reducing social difficulties such as truancy, youth homelessness and juvenile crime, and in promoting the optimum development of our children," he said.