As soon as the child comes into the world, he transforms two individuals into parents. With parenthood comes great joy and responsibility but to be a good parent, one needs to understand the child’s psychoemotional development at different stages of life. A small child needs to be dealt with in a certain way whereas a pre-teenager demands different tactics to discipline and bring about good behaviour. Similarly, the correct way to deal with an adolescent is entirely different from that of both the former ones. Good parenting tactics vary from stage to stage.
What are good parents?
Although there is no such thing as a perfect parent because all concerned and conscious parents always give their best to their children. Still, to understand how to be a good parent one needs to understand what a good parent is? Good parents are committed to bringing out the best in their child in every aspect of the child’s growth. They take pains to provide for them, be present for them, and nurture/love them to bloom into their full potential. The children of such parents grow up to be socially and emotionally successful human beings. Another aspect of a good parent is that the child should acknowledge the effort put into their upbringing process by the parents when they have grown up.
Let us have a look at some of the useful tips to become a successful parent.
1- Make conscious parenting decisions
Parenting is a full time but an honorary job. Once you choose to become a parent, you have to put your desires second and your child’s needs first. A child changes what you eat, drink, how you spend your time, how you interact with people, and how much time you spend on yourself. Parenting is being conscious all the time in the decision-making process of your child. A conscious parent always seeks to understand the needs and feelings behind behaviors and then tries to respond most appropriately.
Instead of following what is regarded as a general rule, they try to hypothesize, investigate, and crack different possibilities to choose the best-suited option for their child. What habits should the child cultivate, what perspective should they build, which school should they attend, whom should the child meet and how much screen time is appropriate-all are decisions that need thought and patience to implement. They explore all practical ways of ensuring a happy home-life for the child and how to nurture well-balanced kids.
2- Lead by example
Children always grow up to be just like their parents. In fact, in many cases, they walk, talk, eat, drink, and most importantly THINK like their parents. Although the gene is partially to blame for this gene is not destiny. It is commonly said that “A child will follow your footsteps more than your advice.” Children can be likened to dry sponges. They keep absorbing good and bad habits from their surroundings. An in a typical nuclear family where parents have the most dominant role, it is expected that the children will follow suit and grow up to be replicas of their parents.
It becomes incumbent upon parents then, to set the best examples for their children. If they want their children to respond calmly to stress and problems, they should stay composed when in difficult situations themselves, forgive easily if they want their children to let go of grudges easily when they reach adulthood.
Similarly, the lifestyle that the parents choose for themselves will be an integral part of the choices that the children make in the future. It has been observed that good habits ae rather contagious. Parents may not realize that they are slowly yet steadily transmitting their good as well as bad habits to their progeny. The degree of transmission may vary from a child to a child but its presence cannot be denied.
3- Constant guidance and counseling
Good parents realize the true potentials, shortcomings, and idiosyncrasies of their children and provide them a roadmap based on this assessment. If a child is bright, has high IQ, and is excelling academically, then they set high achievable aims for their children and assist, facilitate and guide them in achieving those. They staunchly believe in the age-old adage “aim for the stars, you will at least reach the sky”. They are themselves examples of this and strive to better themselves in all aspects of life be it their struggle toward self-actualization or strengthening family ties. However, It is the responsibility of parents to provide proper guidance and counseling to their children if they are unable to come up to their expectations in academics or behavioral standards.
The child might resist and rebel against your advice and sermons but he will be constantly weighing and judging your opinion. As soon as he finds your advice to be of practical use, he will start paying heed to it. Make sure you are providing sound, reasonable, and follow-able advice. So the secret to achieving lasting results with children is to keep tripping the water on to the surface of their immature egos and they will surely give way.
Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but persistence.
4- Never compare your child to other children
As a good parent, you need to know how to build your child’s confidence and in this regard comparison between kids is a confidence killer. Sometimes parents have a negative tendency of comparing their children in fields of academics, behaviour outcomes, sports, and accomplishments. They want their child to be an amalgamation of all the positive attributes of every different child. What they fail to recognize is the fact that a child who is good in studies might have a behaviour problem, an athletic child may lag in academics. This constant comparison, reprimand, and measurement of your child’s abilities with those of others may develop a lack of self-esteem and hamper their growth and development. It may even lead to self-loathing on the child’s part. Teach them how to excel, instead of telling them how much others have excelled.
5- Supervision Vs Autonomy
Children require different degrees of supervision and independence at different stages of their lives. To be a good parent, one must keep a flexible attitude towards exercising control and providing autonomy. You will find yourself juggling between the two practices from stage to stage.
With a toddler
A concerned and involved parent acknowledges the amount of independence reasonable for the specific age group. A toddler is completely dependent on his parents for all his needs. He is unaware of the harm associated with some actions and therefore requires a great degree of surveillance and a very limited degree of autonomy. Rather supervised autonomy is a more appropriate attitude in such a stage. As they grow older and develop psychomotor and functional skills, they automatically start demanding more independence.
With older children
As pre-teens and adolescence, children require a greater degree of autonomy but also careful yet unpretentious surveillance. Parents need to support the growth and increasing demands by providing scaffolding in the growing years. The practice of scaffolding will first teach the child to work with the parents’ support and guidance. When the child is mature enough and able to take suitable decisions. The scaffolding can be removed and the building of confidence would be able to stand independently.
6- Avoid negative attention
At the stage of infancy, the children are in the process of forming habits. Good parents realize this as a crucial phase and put in conscious effort to enhance the formation of good and suppression of bad habits. Children are very much intelligent and naïve at the same time. This combination will make them test the limits of their parents to see how far they can be pushed. You will have to face tantrums, meltdowns, yelling, and tears but a parent needs to hold firm to a principle at such a crossroads. For if you give in once to their demand for negative attention, you will forever be struggling in this whirlwind. The battle between the children’s stubborn meltdowns and the parent’s authority can be likened to an elastic band. The elastic band and a parent’s patience both break with a snap-on reaching their maximum stretching potential.
7- Social and emotional training
Another important aspect of being a good parent is the social-emotional training of the child. It is a process in which a child learns how to recognize his emotions and manage them, to be sympathetic and compassionate. They also learn to be sensible and aware in their social interactions, hence they can become responsible decision-makers and more capable in management of themselves and their relationship with others, this also leads to them being academically more accomplished. Click on the following link to learn some school life hacks that would help your child achieve tremendous success in life.
8- Keep lines of communication open
One of the most integral aspects of being a good parent is keeping the lines of communication open with your children. Although the generation gap will be a real thing when the children reach adolescence this gap can be minimized if parents persistently assure their children of their presence. Children especiallyyoung ones, want to be heard. No matter how busy you are and how insignificant you think your child’s chatters are, never turn a deaf ear to them. Also, parents should listen patiently to their teenage children when they are facing emotional difficulties instead of brushing them off as being a part of growing up. Not responding appropriately might turn the children away from their parents.
Always remember that a little time, effort, and patience can go a long way in building your relationship with the child. Once you assure your child of your attention, concern, and worthwhile advice, be ensured that they will turn to you in any moment of distress.
9- Provide acknowledgement
Acknowledgement is the key to the reinforcement of constructive behaviour. Nothing motivates child-like praise and nothing brings him down like disdain and aloofness. Conscientious and psycho emotionally involved parents will try their utmost to acknowledge the minutest of the child’s effort. It does not matter to them whether the child’s efforts bore fruit, what is more, important is their intention and drive to do something. The way parents expect the children to recognize their efforts and hard work, children want parents to celebrate their small accomplishments because they might be small to us but they mean a lot to the naïve children.
10- Discipline and firmness
Children are greatly moldable when it comes to discipline and order. With a little firmness and definite parenting goals in mind, parents can model their children on any lines they want. No wonder there ought to be flexibility and space, enough to breathe for the children but, in matters of utmost significance like academics, character building, and the behavioural notion of propriety, good parents keep the rein in their grip. They set high standards of expectation and orderliness in these matters. They try to explain why certain behaviours are encouraged and certain others are frowned upon and also employ the concept of action and consequences. Such firm yet malleable discipline techniques ensure an even ground for both parents and children where everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities. Such attitudes transmit in the social and professional lives of the children and help them achieve success in the future.