AMID the changes in social dynamics brought by a multitude of factors, we have lost sight of "what we need to do to" and "what we need to do for" our children. This has led to many children going astray. Thus, it is time to bring the focus back to parenting. It is time to bring the focus back to the kids.

One thing that parents must realize is that they are not their children's friends -- they are their parents! While it is good for parents to yearn to be close with their children, it is bad for parents to hope to become friends with their kids. Parents must realize that if they act as friends to their kids, they actually lose their sense of authority over them.

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Another important thing that parents must rediscover is that providing for their children is their responsibility but it is not their "only responsibility". It certainly is tough to go out there and work incredibly hard to earn money so that they can put food on the table. But parents cannot make this as an excuse to not even give a good effort in providing guidance to their children. Moreover, parents cannot rely solely on schools and the media to instill values to children.

Parents cannot say that they have worked so hard to provide their children what they need and what they want only for them to find their kids getting into trouble. Again, "providing for the kids" is not the same as "providing guidance to the kids."

If parents expect some things from or out of their children, then they must be explicit with their expectations. They should not assume that their children automatically know what are expected of them.

So parents must learn to set the rules -- they must learn to set the limits. Consequently, they must learn to set what consequences their children are going to face when they break the rules. They must also follow through with what they have set or else rules will lose their significance... even the consequences will just seem like empty threats.

Parents must then learn to reign in their kids when they're out of the line. It's high time that they recognize that they cannot always say "they're just kids" every time their child does something bad.

Parents must, however, realize that they cannot just lay every rule in a single minute, hour, or day. Providing guidance to children is a dynamic process. Certain lessons are best taught only when the need arises.

Parents must learn the importance of reinforcement. A pat on the back or a simple treat can do wonders to help reinforce something good that a child has done. Remember that a child's desire to do well can easily be extinguished by lack of attention from his or her parents.

Parents must rediscover the importance of role-modeling. It is one of the best ways, if not "the best way" of guiding their children.

It's high time that parents once again open up the lines of communication with their children. Parents must make an effort to learn more about what's happening with their kids without being too intrusive.

Parents must learn to understand their children. Sometimes, parents must learn to simply accept their children. They must learn to accept that children have different personalities. Some warm up more easily than others. Some follow rules more easily than others.

There are many more things that parents must learn or relearn to do to and for our children. Amid the chaos of modern-day living, parents must learn to once again be parents to their kids! Parents must do so if they ever want to help insure the proper growth and development of their children!