How to be a good parent
Essential advice on how to be a good parent
As a leading consultant for parenting I know there is nothing scarier than the first time it really sits on your mind that you are going to be a parent. The pressure begins as you select the right foods and right name for your precious package to enter the world. But it continues far beyond ensuring they have a quality education and can attend a good college and into whether they will be a decent parent and grandparent themselves. There are many components a good parent needs to mold a conscientious, respectful, intelligent, and polite child.
We are busy people as we work and then come home and immediately shift into our parent mode and provide dinner, homework time, and any required discipline to our child. We have become very adept at multi-tasking our way through the day. A good parent will take some time, it can be just ten minutes, and provide undivided attention to what their child has done during the day. This enables us to really hear what they are saying and perhaps notice subtle non-verbal clues that indicate more about what they are thinking and feeling. It also lets your child know that they are extremely important to you.
It is extremely important to a child’s development that they receive individual attention. They need to know they are valuable and important and what they want to say needs to be listened to. When you have a project or work deadline it helps to establish guidelines to let them know you need a certain amount of time to work and then you will be able to provide them with your attention. Children respond better when they know there is a time set aside for them. In addition, you are also being a good parent by teaching them the value of a hard work ethic.
Children will consistently want to push their boundaries as a way of exploring the world. Any good parent knows the vitalness of providing consistent discipline to their child. If you have established that screaming for what they want is not acceptable, it must continue to be unacceptable no matter the location: at the grocery store, in church, or even in the car. It will require extra patience and additional time on your part, but your child will have it firmly embedded in their head that if they scream for what they want there will be a consequence such as a time out.
We all want our children to be successful and provide for themselves. The way to accomplish this is through a quality education. While we may not always know how to provide these ourselves we can ensure that homework is done nightly and look over it so our child knows that it is important. This is also part of teaching them the value of quality work. Educating them is much more than just school, it also includes visits to museums, historical attractions, or cultural events. Any number of local or planned excursions can become a valued educational experience.
A good parent knows that the strategies a child learns from playing games becomes problem solving strategies which help them later in life. There are a variety of games which provide both educational and strategic thinking together. There are preschool games which educate them in colors and number counting. As they get older there is a large selection of games involving words, historical facts, and problem solving strategy techniques.
It is not about you
Probably the hardest thing for any good parent to remember when they are exhausted and tired and their child decides to have a meltdown is that it is not about you. Every child goes through natural phases of testing boundaries as they explore the world. Remember to step back and take a breath as they push those boundaries.
A good parent will always keep in mind that ultimately they are creating a person who is going to be an integral part of our society.