Raising kids isn’t easy. Every child is different, and naturally, that comes with its own set of challenges. But that’s not what’s the trickiest part- what’s even tougher is overcoming the self-doubt that comes along with it.
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You might find yourself plagued with thoughts of confusion, and if you ever find yourself wondering what are the qualities of a good parent, and how you fit in, here’s a bit of help.
Read on to discover more about good parenting, and how you can be one.
What Are the Most Important Qualities of a Good Parent?
Social media is plagued with images and ideas of perfect children. Ones who are extremely well behaved, finish all their puzzles and read voraciously. Those that eat everything on their plate, and get perfect scores in school. Naturally, these children are raised by good parents. Right?
While it might be tempting to assume that everything you come across on social media is real or at least a portion of it- it is, in most cases, not always the case.
And contrary to the popular belief, they are not automatically considered a good parent just because their child ticks all these boxes and appears to be that golden, perfect child everyone’s doting on.
Truth is, the qualities of patience, love, healthy communication, empathy, supportiveness, consistency, problem-solving skills, good judgment, and a sense of humor are just some of the many traits that makes one a good parent.
Why Are We Always So Hard On Ourselves As Parents?
As parents, we often set unrealistic expectations for ourselves, that we usually fail to meet, and then end up feeling like bad parents. On such days, it is important to remember that one parent may excel at some qualities while being weak in others, and that’s completely okay.
Patience is one crucial aspect of parenting that all parents should work on. Patience is key- whether your kids are acting up or constantly asking you questions, or it is your teenager feeling too many emotions at once.
Love is another constant. You may not always like everything your child does but as a parent, show him all the love and support you can. It really goes a long way in influencing your relationship with your child.
Being able to put yourself in another's shoes is an important quality for any relationship – especially parent-child relationships. While it's tough being a kid sometimes, try looking at the situation from your child's perspective before making decisions that might affect your child.
Whether it's cheering up your child after a fight with friends or helping him study hard for that big test, showing that you're there for your child makes all the difference in his development as an individual.
Being consistent is one of the most important qualities of good parenting because children thrive on knowing what to expect day-to-day.
What Does Society Tell Us About Being a Good Parent?
The recent years have changed the way we look at the world. With all the information and ideas available to us now, even the simplest aspects of life have now become an overwhelming challenge to decode.
Society tells us that parenthood is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding things to do. It also tells us that there are many different ways to be a good parent. Each family can have their own culture, patterns, and rituals. Some parents tend to be overprotective or feel they must always correct their children's mistakes, while others don't seem to care enough about what happens in their children's lives.
Many people view children as a product of their environment and the society they were raised in, but there are other factors that must be considered such as genetics and mental health.
What is Effective Parenting?
Employing effective and conscious parenting techniques can be a game-changer for parents in the current age. With the world around us changing fast, we need to take steps to evolve and put ourselves in a position where we are able to give the best to our children, but at the same time, not put ourselves in a position where we start to focus more on the negatives of our parenting journey.
So what is effective parenting really all about? Here’s a quick rundown.
- Focus on loving your child. Some of the most toxic parenting behaviors such as neglect, favoritism, and abuse that all stem from lack-of-love. Show your child that you care about him and love him every day in small ways. It does not have to be extravagant or done perfectly; just keep showing up! Hug your children every time you see them and tell them they are loved unconditionally.
- Keep your calm- yelling or screaming back doesn’t just affect your current relationship with your child, but also has lasting effects into adulthood . A TED talk by Dr. Daniel Siegel explains how stress and emotions affect our body and brain chemistry in ways we don't realize. If you find yourself getting too upset or angry over small things, take a moment to calm down before interacting with them!
- Have fun with your children. The most significant predictor of a child doing well in life is whether or not their parent was fun . It doesn't matter if you helped them with homework or taught them to read; if they don't look back on childhood as a happy time, you've missed the mark. There are so many benefits of playing- this includes stress relief and enhanced cognitive functioning!
- Be flexible. Although it's important to provide structure during formative years, too much rigidity can actually stifle creativity. This is why we should follow Dan Pink's advice in his TED talk on motivation and replace punishments with tasks. If your child uses their allowance to buy candy, instead of taking away the allowance, make them do a task- maybe clean their room. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense because our brains release dopamine when imagining future goals.
How Do I Establish Discipline With My Child?
This is one aspect of parenting that a lot of parents struggle with.
The truth is, it can be difficult to discipline children because they are small compared to adults, and their brains are still developing. Whether you are trying to teach your 3-year-old not to touch the TV screen or your 16-year-old not to stay out past her curfew, here are some tips on establishing discipline with your child.
Why Do You Need To Establish Discipline?
Just like rules, children need to understand boundaries set by others so that they are aware of what is and isn't allowed. Discipline teaches children to be aware of their actions and behaviors, and how those actions affect others. Being disciplined can help your child make better future decisions about his or her behavior.
The young minds can sometimes find it difficult to comprehend the consequences of their actions, parents need to step in as disciplinarians early on so they can learn healthy, safe behaviors without having to suffer negative consequences first-hand. Most importantly, establishing discipline with your child now will help him or her feel secure later in life since he or she will have an understanding of right from wrong based on the boundaries you have set within the family structure.
How To Establish Discipline With Your Child – Parental Guidelines
In its essence, discipline with your child should not be a power struggle; it should be more about teaching and learning. If you find yourself frustrated and constantly losing the argument, take a step back and come at things from another angle. Remember that you don't want to damage the relationship you have with your child.
It is also important to discipline children in developmentally appropriate ways that match their age, needs, and understanding.
Here are some tips on how to discipline your child in a way that is gentle and impactful.
- Remember that the main purpose of discipline is to make sure that your child learns from his or her actions. It should not be carried out for revenge purposes, but rather as a means to teach important lessons.
- Think about when to discipline your child in order to get the desired effect. It is not necessary to win all the battles. There are certain times where you would need to go through a different route than usual.
- Understand that children usually behave as they do because of some underlying motivation. In order to establish discipline with children, parents need to understand those motivations instead of just punishing them for their behavior.
- Avoid introducing new behaviors too early- they will not be effective; if they are introduced too late, they may cause frustration. Focus on establishing discipline with children at the appropriate age.
How Do I Handle My Rebellious Child?
If your child is acting out or showing signs of rebellion, don't despair. Many kids go through a rebellious phase- it is all a part of growing up.
But what if the behavior continues despite your best efforts to correct it? Here are some guidelines for dealing with a difficult child.
Create consequences- if your child breaks curfew, and does not call to let you know he's going to be late, follow through on consequences that you've discussed ahead of time. Being firm does not mean being punitive. It means giving your child a clear explanation of why the rule is in place and making sure he knows he'll face consequences when he breaks it. If you want to be flexible, say so upfront—you may find that your child will come to appreciate the chance to make choices within reasonable boundaries.
Don't give in once you've set rules for behavior, don't let one violation slide. Be especially wary of making compromises with seemingly simple requests. Reinforce the ideas that some rules cannot be tweaked with- no matter what. If you’re being too easy with everything, you will have more trouble enforcing limits later on.
Your child's moods and attitudes may seem directed at you personally, especially when she acts angry or calls you names, but don’t take it to heart. Remember that your child is really struggling with his own feelings, his emerging identity, his shifting role in the family. In time, he'll get a better handle on her emotions and turn to less destructive ways of dealing with them.
Focus on strengths- even the most troubled kids have qualities you can build on. Try to find activities that bring out whatever talents your child may have—whether it's being a good listener, spending time with younger children, or working well on a team. If your child is willing—and responds well to praise—let him know when he does things right.
Don't let guilt stop you- most parents feel guilty when their child is acting out—and the more misbehavior you have to deal with, the more guilty you'll feel about failing to handle it perfectly. Feeling guilty isn’t going to help anyone; in fact, it might undermine your resolve to enforce limits.
If you find someone else criticizing your child-rearing skills, defend yourself by focusing on what works rather than what doesn't—and then get back to the business of helping your child behave better, making a mental note to distance yourself from such people.
Am I a Bad Parent?
Often, when your child misbehaves or behaves in a way that is unacceptable to you, you might direct your anger and frustration inward, automatically assuming you are a bad parent.
This is why, it is important to understand normal childhood behaviors and think of them as a phase, not evidence of bad parenting. Remember, every child will act out at some point for one reason or another – usually, because he/she wants attention from their parents even if it's negative attention (a way to get noticed).
From acting out and throwing a tantrum to flat out lying and getting into fights at home- more often than not, it is a part of your child’s growth, and is in no way, a signal that you’re failing as a parent.
You might come across people who judge the way you parent your child, and this might too, influence the way you think about yourself as a parent. Remember that it is you who can best understand how to deal with your child, and it is only you and not anyone else, you can turn things around in your relationship with him.
Can I Say No?
As parents, we want our kids to feel loved and taken care of at all times; however, there are some occasions when we also need to say no. This can be difficult for both- the parent and the child. So what can you do?
Offer your child options to choose from. Kids don't always need to get what they want, and By giving them options you can pacify them enough so that you won't be dealing with any mood swings or tantrums. This can be like a good temporary fix to deal with a situation where your child doesn't want to accept a ‘no.’
Examine the situation and understand why your child is asking for this in the first place. Is there something that they're trying to accomplish? If it's not a big deal, say yes. Sometimes parents overanalyze things when their children make requests like these; however, by saying no you're just going to make your child feel even more upset. Instead, try saying yes because it's not a big deal and move on.
What Are the Traits That Make You a Good Parent?
Parenthood is all about evolving constantly and trying to be the best possible parent you can be to your child. But what are the traits that are really important, and how do they make you a good parent?
How Can I Improve My Parenting Skills?
Improving your parenting skills doesn’t need you to put in a lot of effort. Focus on strengthening your relationship with your child, and putting the best you can into your parenting journey with him.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation that’s confusing, stick to the middle ground and avoid going to either of the extremes. Don’t expect too much from yourself- remember that you don’t need to be a super parent- you just need to be a good one to your child.
How Can I Improve My Relationship With My Child?
Practically every parent can relate to this- sometimes it is difficult to relate to your child. There are many ways that parents and their children fail to connect with each other or end up making each other unhappy.
A clever way to get over this situation is by spending some time together- it can be simple things like going out for a bike ride, walking through the park, or playing catch in the backyard. Engaging in a light activity together can allow you to connect with your child and also help open up the doors of conversation.
Another way to improve your relationship with your child is to be open and honest with him and to listen and respect your child's opinions, ideas and needs. You may not always agree with him and that’s fine.
A crucial part of parenting that a lot of parents tend to ignore or underestimate is that they need to spend some time with their children, not to offer advice or give lessons or judge, but just listen. Occasionally, sit down with your child and talk- just so you can get a better understanding of what's going on in her life at the moment. Let your child know that he is always welcome to talk to you- this will go a long way toward strengthening your relationship.
If your child wants to do something that you don't approve of, then tell him why you think it's not a good idea without making him feel like he is doing something wrong. It's okay for them to know that they are free to come up with their own ideas and opinions even if they are different from yours.
While it's important to set boundaries in any relationship, restricting too much has been known to backfire when it comes to parenting. If your child feels hemmed in by everything you enforce on him, he’s more likely to rebel in an attempt to feel free again—which will just cause more problems for both of you.
Finally, try being more affectionate with kids. Pamper your child with all the hugs and kisses, and spend some time cuddling together, displaying your love. It works in ways you can’t comprehend.
Remember that each family has its own culture, traditions, and rituals and every child is unique and requires a different style of parenting to make them successful. Regardless of what society tells you, as long as you put your best foot forward and try your best, no matter how you do it, you will definitely be a good parent.