So what makes a good parent?
I believe a good parent is someone who puts their child’s interests above their own and makes decisions that are best for the child. No one is perfect so it’s vital you stop striving to be, remembering this can help when you have one of those bad days and question your own abilities.
I’ve put together some tips on what I feel are good parenting skills to have. If you hit just a few of these I think you will be moving in the right direction.
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1. Be the role model your child needs
Children are like sponges, don’t just tell them what you want them to be – show them. Human beings tend to learn by imitating and children do this especially, they watch everything their parents do and pick up habits and what you say, so be very careful!
If you want your child to respect you, show them respect first, show them the behaviours you want them to exhibit and they will soon learn.
2. Don’t be afraid to show them love
No one has ever loved their child too much, this doesn’t mean spoiling them, loving your child could be as simple as telling them, giving them a hug when they are down or showing you take them seriously and listen to their problems.
Not only does this reinforce your relationship with the child, it will help ease their anxieties, keep them calm and help them develop their own emotions as they grow.
3. Provide a safe space for them
Let your child know you will always be there, always be available and will always listen to them. Watch out for signals they are distressed, pick up on the various ways a child communicates with you and remember it’s not just by talking – their moods, body language, are they sleeping well. These can all be signs of distress.
Children who have been taught to manage their emotions better tend to do better in social situations, schools, development and managing their mental health.
4. Talk to your child
Most parents talk to their children, but do they really listen to what they’re saying and respond appropriately? Keep an open line of communication and your child will be more inclined to talk to you when they have a problem, rather than seek help from other means, some worse than others.
Not only that, by openly communicating with your child you will be helping them learn and promoting good communication habits. All good parenting!
5. Look back at your own upbringing
Take time to look back how you were spoken to, or how you were parented and take note where you see similarities with your parents and you now. Is this what you want? Is it a good reflection of the parent you want to be? And do you want your child to pick up similar habits? Be mindful of how you behave in front of your children, they really are a mini you.
6. Don’t neglect your own wellbeing
I’ve covered this in other parts of my site (see the travel section) but will reiterate it here – It’s VITAL you look after yourself and don’t neglect your own health, wellbeing and take time to still have your own goals and hobbies.
Don’t be afraid to say when things get too much, or you’re struggling to cope. You not the first and you certainly won’t be the last.
Parenting can be hard, but it’s also very rewarding. Unfortunately the rewards are usually the results of hard work. Try your best, remember you’re not infallible and that’s it’s ok to have an off day and keep at, believe me you will reap those rewards sooner rather than later.
Good luck and happy parenting!