Parenting 101: How to be a Good Parent
Being a parent is one of the most fulfilling experiences you will ever have. It’s not about being the perfect parent, what your child needs most is love. If you’re a new parent you can check out what to expect when you have a new baby, but read on if you’re looking at discovering how you can be an awesome parent for your kids.
Remember, the tips in this article are just that – tips! Every parents has a different style, and as long as your child is healthy and happy, that is all that matters.
Expressing Your Affection
You can greatly boost the self confidence of your child with a warm cuddle, a little encouragement, and deserved appreciation with just a smile. You need to let them know you’ll love them no matter what, and make sure your actions also demonstrate you love them unconditionally. For a new baby in your house there’s a certain art in how you hold them to calm them in an instant, you can learn these magical skills right in this course.
If you have more than one child be sure to split your time between your kids, and make sure you also spend quality time with them one on one. Your children grow up fast, so take every opportunity to be a part of their life, but be careful not to smother them. Being a good parent is about finding the balance and loving your kids with all of your heart.
Show Your Praise
Every child is unique, so you need to be very careful when you are comparing them to other children, especially their brothers and sisters. Celebrate and support them no matter what their interests are, and build in them a desire to achieve their dreams.
You need to encourage your children and let them realize that it’s okay to be different, and to make their own judgments instead of following the crowd. It’s up to you to teach them the difference between right and wrong when they are young, and they’ll grow up with the common sense to be able to make their own decisions. You have to remember that your child is not a mini you. They’re an individual with their own likes, dislikes and sense of the world, so don’t try to relive your life through them. Let them forge their own path, and encourage them as they do so.
You need to be very careful about being judgmental, especially when your child is young. Negative statements need to be focused on the incorrect behaviors, and not directed at your child. This is very difficult to do, especially when you are in the heat of the moment. Explain to them that their behavior is wrong, and try to never say an absolute like “you’re a bad child.” This kind of statement will have a lasting impact on your child, and not in a good way.
Be assertive when you are pointing out a wrong behavior. You need a stern and serious attitude, because if you act mean this will cause your child to shut down and get emotional – instead of learning and listening to what they’ve done that wrong. In public you should never humiliate them for a wrong behavior. When you do need to criticize them simply take them aside and address the problem. Don’t put them down in front of their peers or even strangers – it needs to be a calm and sensible discussion that states their behavior will not be tolerated.
Your best example to guide your children’s behavior is you. You need to be acting the part, modeling both the behaviors and characteristics you hope to instill in your family. Telling them right from wrong is immediately undermined if you don’t live by the rules you have set, as children have a tendency to adopt and align with the actions they see around them. Expect that your kid will happily point out you’re “being a hypocrite” as soon as you do something that’s different to what you have said.
You need to enforce personal characteristics that are reasonable, not a dreamed up image of what makes the ideal person. In line with this you’re going to see constant attempts from your little one to force you into making exceptions to your rules, “just this one time” but you need to be the one in charge and resist their attempts.
Control your temper at all times and never lose your cool. Throwing a tantrum teaches your kids that it’s ok to act in such a way, which is not acceptable. You need to be the role model for your kids, because as said before – they notice everything. Be very careful about what you say and do around your kids, and always think about the example you are setting. You can teach them almost anything this way, whether you want them to learn about charity by volunteering at a local animal shelter, or to learn to share their toys by sharing some of your most precious items. To learn more about teaching your kids this way the law of attraction offers a very insightful course on parenting, which you can discover here.
Your vices are also noticed by your kids, and in addition to setting a bad example if you’re always out gambling, drinking or smoking – they can create problems financially. On top of this the health hazards of second-hand smoke are real, and have been linked to several respiratory problems in young children. Set the right example and get your vices under control.
When you are punishing your children make sure they clearly understand the reasons for the punishment, and that your punishments are consistent. When they understand the consequences of their actions your kids will be in a better position to make decisions on what they will and won’t do – as well as what constitutes the right and wrong behaviors.
You need to understand that life is a great teacher, and you can’t protect your kids from everything. Don’t rush in to rescue your child from the consequences of every action they take, or they’ll never learn anything. Of course, never let them get in serious harm’s way, but let them experience life – it’s the best teacher out there. If they can learn the results of their actions and take responsibility for them, they are on their way to being a well-adjusted member of society. It’s best if they can start learning this under your own supervision, especially if you can encourage them to think for themselves.
Feeling safe is critical to a happy life, because your child needs to feel safe when they are at home. You can build this by respecting their privacy, as much as you expect them to respect yours. Start by teaching them your room is out of bounds, and set a similar example by not going snooping through their drawers. You want them to feel like their room is theirs alone, which is especially important around the time your kids are graduating from primary school and getting older. They’ll have diaries and secrets, which they need to choose to share with you.
You need to let your kids make their own choices, especially as they mature. If you’ve done all the right things when they were young, they’ll be ideally placed to make the right decisions as they grow up – and they’ll love you even more for letting them take control of their own life. Building routines is part of this, and you should never over-do something they can do for themselves, otherwise they will never learn.
If you and your partner have a tendency to argue, never do it in front of your kids. It can cause your children to feel insecure and fearful when the two people they love most are fighting. They also take this as an example of the right way to do things, and they will learn to argue the same way. Show them through your actions that when two people disagree it doesn’t need to descend into a shouting match – they can discuss their differences peacefully. If you need help with this you can learn about how to manage parenting in a dysfunctional family in this course.
Do your best to avoid favoritism. There are many studies that have shown most parents have a favorite child, but from your children’s point of view they always believe they are the favorite. This is most evident when you’re breaking up an argument between siblings, be careful you don’t take sides and stay neutral to help resolve and conflicts.
Set the Rules
You need to establish bedtimes and curfews, so that your child is aware there are limitations and they don’t have the freedom to do whatever they like. They will (of course) rebel against the boundaries, but at the same time if you can do it right it creates a sense of being loved. The rules let your kids know you care about them..
Create a rewards and consequences scheme to help build their sense of responsibility. You can’t expect the world to hand everything to your child on a silver platter, so don’t let them think that this is how it operates by doing this yourself. Find a set of chores that your kids can do for a reward, whether its money, longer play time or an extended curfew, and if they neglect to do it simply revoke the privilege. Even your youngest will fast learn the link between rewards and consequences, and as your child grows will come to learn the importance of being responsible. This teaches your kids to be independent, as well as being able to charge of their own decisions.
One of the most overlooked aspects of parenting is not promoting a healthy way of life for their family. It’s easier to order take out than cook at home, but you’re setting the wrong example for your kids. Once you get them started on a habit of unhealthy eating, it is very difficult to break.
Forcing your child to “eat their greens” or any other food they’ve deemed unpleasant is not going to give you any progress. You’ll do better by offering two separate options, and leaving the choice up to your child which they prefer. If you’re continually telling your kids to change their eating habits this will have a negative impact on their development. Instead of criticizing altogether perhaps you can suggest a smaller portion, or an alternative from the same restaurant that’s a bit healthier. It’s also clear that if they have a favorite unhealthy meal in a particular restaurant, just don’t take them there so often!
When you’re over-telling your kids about their bad eating habits you’re going in the wrong direction. There’s a big chance they’ll take it the wrong way and begin to feel like you’re insulting them with your comments, and they’ll no longer want to eat with you. Your kids may also feel bad about eating around you, which means you’ll have the problem of them sneaking and hiding food in their room. Telling kids they can’t have something usually only makes them want it more.
Your best bet to enforce healthy eating habits is to start at a young age. Try to avoid giving candy as a treat because it builds a connection between being rewarded and a sugary snack. As they get older and start to decide they need to reward themselves, they already have the habit of reaching for the candy. Instead try giving them grapes, or slices of an apple instead and start building a positive connection with the right food.
You should never force your kids to finish everything on their plate if they say they are no longer hungry. Doing so will cause them to subconsciously finish everything on their plate – even as they grow older, which can lead to additional obesity problems.
Follow these pointers and you’ll be well on your way to being a great parent. It doesn’t matter if you have a massive family or are a single parent, the theory behind all of this is the same. If you are a single parent, you will benefit from this course which goes into the detail of how you can achieve success when there’s only one of you. Ultimately, it isn’t difficult to do the right thing, and most of us know what is right. The hard part is actually practicing what you preach – to be the role model your children deserve.
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