Think back to when you were younger and you received that perfect score on your Spelling test. How did your parents look and react? Or what about the time when you first learned how to tie your shoes (without tying both your feet together), how did your parents react? Or maybe that time when you got your first real job (that may not have been long ago). How did your parents react? There are plenty of things that you did as a child, teenager, or adult that were likely to make your parents proud. Seeing their genuine smiles and being enveloped in their embraces of victory would make you want to do it all over again, wouldn’t it? Now that you are older and have families of your own, or thinking about starting one, how do you become “that parent” that raises their kids to make them proud? Well, there are plenty of ways and things that you can do to be a good parent – not limited to making delicious crust less PB & J’s if your child so desires! We have a handy dandy list of things for you to work on to be that parent that every child wants to make proud. Get your “#1 Parent” shirt on and let’s get started!
There are things that every good parents should do when raising a successful child:
Love: This might sound simple and obvious, but even if you love your child, you must know how to express your love for them properly. If you are not a hugger, tell your child each day how much you appreciate and love them. Do not have them think that they need to fit a certain mold to gain your love and attention. If you happen to be a hugging family, take time to hug or cuddle your child each day. Even a little shoulder squeeze is an act of encouragement that can go a long way. A lot of children who do not receive love and affection in their home can go looking for it elsewhere, which can prove detrimental in the long run.
Praise: A common thing that parents can do is to compare their children to others. Although they probably mean well, this can hurt your child’s ability to grow into a unique person comfortable in their own individuality. Instead of telling little Lisa or Bob that their cousin “just passed his piano final, so why shouldn’t you?” – express to your child that everyone is different and help them find their own individual talents. Also, parents can get into the habit of making their child an extension of themselves. Again, this is not going to help you become a proud parent. Your child is their own person, even though you are responsible for them.
Criticism: Because you are dealing with a younger person, it can be tough to sometimes not criticize their decisions or their actions. While a lot (or everything) they do might not be things that you would have done at their age – that does not necessarily mean that they are always the wrong things. Here are some ways that you can work to help your child focus on their behavior instead of having them feel like you are putting them down:
- Talk to them about any behavior that they exhibit that is unacceptable. Do not simply tell them to go to their room or that they are bad. This will only make them act up more.
- Be assertive if they have done wrong, but do not be demeaning or mean to them.
- Do not publicly humiliate your child if they have done something wrong.
- Always be a good example for your child. If you are proud of your behavior, you will eventually turn that positive energy onto your child.
Rules: With any rules that you make for your child and in your home, make sure that they are consistently followed and enforced. With rules, you should remember to:
- Not let your child manipulate you into changing or eliminating any rules.
- Develop consequences for your child if the rules are not followed.
- Have your child learn the consequences of their actions if the rules are not followed.
- Communicate with your child and talk about the rules periodically to make sure that they know and understand that the rules are there for a reason.
Listen: If you child has any ideas or suggestions, allow them to express their opinion. Show that you are interested in your child, and allow them to come to you with any concerns or problems that they might have. Facilitating proper communication in a household is a good way to always be involved in your child’s life. Being an involved parent will ultimately make you proud of your parenting skills and your child will reap the benefits of your involvement.
Role Model for Your Child
Being a good role model for your child is important into helping mold their personality and shape their values and beliefs. Here are some things that you can do to make yourself a proud parent through being a proper role model for your child:
- Always pay attention to what you do or say when you are around your child. Even if you are interacting with someone else, they are likely to be paying attention!
- Set up a schedule for your child, just as you might have your own to-do list, and have them follow it. This helps teach them structure, following directions, and allows them to help you out.
- If your child is old enough, do some volunteering work with them to show them the importance of giving back to others.
- Set good examples of sharing in the home, even if it is something as simple as sharing good at the dinner table.
- If you want your child to listen to you, listen to them as well. Ask them how they feel about certain situations, about their day, or what they would like to do next.
Helping you child feel safe and respected in their own home is important in allowing them the openness to do things to make you proud. Here are some little things that you can do to make sure that you are respecting your children. Remember, even if they are not yet teenagers, they are already beginning to understand the idea of personal space.
- Respect their privacy and boundaries. If they have their own drawers or toys, clothes, or belongings, let them take care of that space by keeping it clean and tidy, and let them know that no one is going to invade their belongings.
- Show them that you are proud of them and that they belong by putting up family pictures around the house, or some of their achievements on the refrigerator.
- Do not argue with anyone in front of your child. This shows that you do not respect the other person.
- If you have more than one child, never play favorites or choose sides.
Allowing your child the opportunity to let you feel proud of them can be something as simple as spending quality time with them. Even if you have your own busy schedule, set aside time each week to spend the day with your child. It will show them that they are special and deserving of your time.
- Choose to do activities together based on both of your interests, or let your child choose.
- Always make time to attend your child’s school functions. This is a great opportunity to be proud of them! And, to let them show you what they are capable of.
Never be afraid to be a parent, but do not be afraid to connect with your child at a level of mutual understanding. Open communication will give your child the opportunity to do things to make you proud. However, things that you never thought of could also make you a proud parent, so get out there and spend time with your child to see all the interesting and amazing things that their personality and individualism has to offer!