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Tag Archives: what is good parenting

Top Ten Ways Single Parent Families Can be Fun

Top Ten Ways Single Parent Families Can be Fun

Single parent families are common these days, but often they are more difficult to manage than two parent families, especially after separation, and especially if the separation has been a nasty one.   Many single parents unwittingly use their children as pawns in a tug-or-war between the two parents, and this causes a lot of friction not only between the adults, but also among the children.  Often the relationship between family members is tense and trust is reduced because of this, but it does not have to be this way.   Single Parent Families can be fun, and here’s our Top Ten Ways to Achieve This…   1. Don’t Attack your Ex Attacking your ex actually hurts your children, so try to speak well of the ex-partner as much as you can.  If they speak ill of you, then try to refrain from telling your kids horrible things about the ex, because over time they will figure out who is the honest one and who is throwing mud! 2. Make Time for your Children Spending time with them at whatever is important to them is the ultimate act of love that they will understand. Make time to spend with them, even if it costs you time and money, because it says “I love you and you are important to me!” 3. Be Slow to Start Dating Again Dating after a break up is tricky enough, let alone if children are involved.  Your children feel isolated and threatened by another person coming on the scene, especially if they have kids too.  Be slow to start dating again, and make wise decision with regards who is coming into your life, and your children’s lives! 4. Do Something Crazy! Why be the boring parent?  Your single parent family should be a place of ...

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Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 3)

Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 3)

Here is the conclusion of your series on Bad Parenting It has been a fun, tongue in cheek look at bad parenting, but you can learn a lot from looking at how NOT to parent your child.  If you missed the previous installments, click here to Start at the first article. 8. The Screaming Match Bad parenting most often results in a screaming match. For both parent and child, frustration and stress on the relationship are often expressed by emotions, and the most common emotion is yelling. Screaming at your child, standing over them or poking your finger at them is rude, demeaning and closes communication with them. It lowers their respect for you and even if you scream but they fall silent, damage is being done which can last a lifetime. Emotions are part of living in a family, and if you’ve had a particularly stressful day it’s not uncommon to feel like you want to scream. However, if you lose your temper you lose the plot, so take a breath, count to 10 and walk away until you are in control of your emotions. Once you are calm enough, sit with your child and discuss the issue, focusing on them not on the problem. Allow them to express their emotions, but take a break if they are getting worked up. If you can calmly express the reasons for your decision without it becoming a screaming match then you have achieved a major victory. Remember, the words you say cannot be retrieved, so take time aside to think and speak rationally and carefully to your child. 9. Criticizing Your Child Experts tell us that criticism and verbal abuse can, like physical abuse, have a slow and negative affect on the development of children. In older kids it can cause ...

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Parenting for Dummies: A Not-So-Dumb Top Ten

Parenting for Dummies: A Not-So-Dumb Top Ten

Parenting for dummies is probably a bit condescending as a title, but the purpose of this article is to strip away the mystique of being a parent.  In its purest form, parenting should be pretty straight forward, but the truth is that, in the heat of the battle with our kids, it becomes almost overwhelming! Hence the term, “for dummies”.  I want to strip away the smoke and mirrors and get back to the basics of how you can be a great parent, in a way that anyone, including a first time novice, should be able to apply. So here is our not-so-dumb Top Ten of Parenting for Dummies (and also smart people like you!) 1. Set Limits Parenting starts with setting sensible limits, and attaching sensible consequences to them.  Boundaries should be put in place and this will be dependent on the age of the children.  Pick your battles, and don’t put rules in place for things that are trivial, save it for the important ones.  So have a rule in place for staying out beyond curfew, but avoid making a Federal Case of the child not brushing their teeth. 2. Set Consequences Consequences need to make sense and be proportional.  For example a perfect consequence for staying out late would be grounding the child. Don’t set a consequence that just frustrates the child, or that is perceived as unfair or inappropriate, such as spanking a child for hitting another child.  Do not threaten consequences you will not or cannot keep to, so avoid saying things like, “If you do that again I will kill you!” 3. Follow Through If you set a consequence, follow through every single time, or you will consider yourself a real dummy in the long run!  Even if you don’t want to, even if ...

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Top Ten Tips on How to Parent after a Breakup

Top Ten Tips on How to Parent after a Breakup

If you have children and have experienced a break up you may be wondering how to parent after the event.  Breakups are frequently messy and emotional affairs, and it is often hard to be there for your kids in their hour of need, especially when you are hurting so badly yourself. Learning how to parent through a breakup can soften the blow of the separation for your children, and surprisingly even for yourself. So here’s out Top Ten of coping with your breakup, and how to parent your children through it! 1. Speak to Each Child Individually While you can talk to all of them together, put some special time aside for each one individually. 2. Take into Account their Ages Obviously younger children will have less of an understanding of what a breakup is about compared to teenagers.  Try to convey the truth of what has happening in the simplest way possible, and ensure they understand. 3. Let the Know the Breakup is Not Their Fault Kids naturally blame themselves for a breakdown in the family and wonder what they could have done to prevent it.  Make sure they understand that this is between you and your ex, and they may have had a bearing on your decision, but certainly were not the root cause of the breakup. 4. Tell Them they are Unconditionally Loved by Both Parents Children need to know that they are unconditionally loved, no matter what they do, what they say and no matter what the state of the relationship between the parents.  Convey that your love for them and your partner’s love for them is not dependent on the parental relationship, and although clearly this will affect the way the parent child relationship works, it does not change how much they are loved. 5. ...

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Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 2)

This is the second article in our Bad Parenting series! If you missed the previous article, the first 4 points in our Top Ten, Click here to read it now. 4. Love if, Love Because If you really want to show your children bad parenting, try offering them conditional love.  This is a love for them that appears only when they are good or have done something to please you, and it disappears when they have done something to displease you.  So if they are naughty they feel unloved.  It they fail, they feel unloved.  If they are good or well behaved they feel loved.  You get the drift? What you really want to give them is unconditional love, and take every opportunity to show them this unconditional love.  This is a love that exists regardless of what they do or say.  They cannot be bad enough to lose it.  They can’t act out or swear at you or even hit you enough to stop this love from being demonstrated.  It is unconditional, and it is yours to give! Even when you discipline, it must be done in this unconditional love.  They are punished, for example sent to their room.  But when you place them there, say you love them, hug them, but still be strong enough to follow through with the penalty.  Afterwards, hug them and love them to pieces! Many adults bear the scars of never being good enough for their parents, and it often stays with them their whole life, and affects how they relate to others and even their own children.  The cure is unconditional love, so give it and do so liberally!  5. Always Letting Kids Have their Own way Most children are master negotiators, and they tend to start this very early in their ...

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Being a Good Parent as a Single

Being a Good Parent as a Single

Being a good parent as a single mom or dad is possible and achievable.  It is certainly a harder ask than attempting this as part of a couple, but many would argue rightly that parenting alone is better than parenting with the wrong partner, or in an abusive relationship. Being a Good Parent takes more than Just Love! As a single parent I am sure that you love your children, but being a good parent is far more than that. In my charity running a home for young mothers, I have seen loads of girls who love their kids but cannot parent them properly, even to the point where the government removes them and places them in foster care.  Lots of love, sure, but no parenting skills! Beyond loving your children being a good parent means making some tough choices and providing real leadership in the home, even as a single parent.  It means learning our Top 10 parenting skills, and applying them consistently. And consistently is the key word! As a single parent you may not have someone with which to share the parenting load, discuss the situations you face or be there for you when you need help or a break.  If you lack a partner, I urge you to find someone else who can help, such as your mother, a close friend or an organization like the one I run, which is called Lily House. You may feel that you would like to stand on your own, but trust me, even if you don’t work full or part time, you still can benefit from support.  If you don’t have someone close to you, you can pay for things like child care or after school support. Sometimes being a good parent is about asking for help rather than ...

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Parenting Skills 101 for Dummies

Parenting Skills 101 for Dummies

Parenting skills 101 refers to the basics of being parents, and you might think that most people know the basics.  However, in the heat of the moment even the basic knowledge we have about good parenting can go out the window, so whether you are a new or experienced parent, going over the basics is always going to be a good idea! With this in mind, here’s a Top Ten that you will do well to go over once again. The Top 10 Parenting Skills 101   1.    Provide Unconditional Love Loving your children is easy when they are good and a bit harder when they are disobedient, stubborn or badly behaved.  Yet if the kids know your affection is independent of their failings they will feel secure and strangely, their behavior will often improve. 2.    Be a Leader Children don’t need you to be a friend or a buddy, and they certainly don’t need to parent you!  What they need from you, especially early in life, is for you to lead, direct and guide them, so step up to the mark and be a true, decisive yet loving leader for your children. 3.    Provide Structure You might be a free spirit, and you might want that for your children, but kids need and even crave structure.  They need to know what is right and what is wrong, so set this out clearly for them and let them learn from their mistakes.  Our society functions on rules, and they need to learn them to be a part of our society. In the same way that you need road rules to drive effectively, so you need life rules to live effectively. Within that structure their freedom will blossom. 4.    Teach Them Consequences Children need to know that whatever they do, good ...

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What is Good Parenting?

What is Good Parenting?

What is good parenting and how does someone become a good at being a parent? Anyone who has children will have asked themselves this question at some time, and it is perhaps especially important for singles, because they have to learn to fulfill two roles in the lives of their children. Although this is a very complex subject, I would like to offer 2 simple methods you can apply to improve your skills in this area and become outstanding, even if you are single! So exactly what is good parenting? Being a good parent is far more than having a compliant, well-behaved child, but for many parents this appears to be the goal of their parenting. This is a very myopic view, and it is usually motivated by social concerns or a selfish desire on the part of the parent.  It goes far beyond this and helps develop their character as they prepare them for adult life. In years gone by many favored the use of harsh discipline with a child, and the goal was to produce a kid who was ‘seen and not heard’. I believe that this is a mistake, but many do this because they were subjected to this treatment themselves when they were young.  Many adults also compare their seemingly well-behaved children with other kids who are misbehaving and it makes them feel better, but are those kids able to change their effective behaviour to ultimately make them successful in life? Today many carry the scars of over discipline when they were young, and many are still haunted by the fact that they felt loved when they were obedient, but unloved if they made mistakes. Some even go the other way, failing to apply any discipline or control over their children because they suffered at the ...

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Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 1)

Top Ten Bad Parenting Habits to Avoid (Part 1)

Bad Parenting is a common problem in our society and the proliferation of single parents and co-parenting is only making the situation more difficult for single parents. While no one sets out to be a bad mom or dad, many are finishing in this position by default because they are unsure of how and when to discipline their children. Children do not come with a handbook, so for most young parents, being positive parents and avoiding inconsistent or bad  behaviors becomes a matter of trial and error. Yet often our good intentions and desires can sabotage the way in which we parent our children, with many of us choosing to be a popular parents rather than good ones! In the day-to-day running of things it is easy to fall into habits that are not beneficial to our children without knowing it. Here’s a list of the top 10 habits that you can break in the next seven days. So Here’s my Top 10 Bad Parenting Habits to Learn to Avoid  1. Being a Friend Rather than a Parent We all love to be loved, and we want to be loved by our kids. However, more than a friend your child needs you to be a parent, and many times these roles are mutually exclusive. You need to be a leader, teacher, provider and a disciplinarian. If you have limited time to spend with your them in a day, it is not easy to be all of these things plus a friend. But good parents take charge, no matter what the kids might say, despite their expertise in making you feel guilty and like they do not love you if they do not get their own way. When you are a parent instead of a friend to your child, your child ...

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