I want to be a good parent, and I’m sure you do too, but what does this actually mean? Looking around in a public place you will see many people who are examples of bad parenting, so like you I know what I don’t want it to look like, but I also recognize that there is far more to being a good parent than simply having a well behaved child in public.
1. Be Consistent.
This is one of the biggest things in becoming a good parent… consistency! Whatever you promise a child as a consequence of their actions, always follow through with it, whether a reward or something they do not like. Don’t modify the consequences to avoid a fight or make your life more comfortable or easier.
2. Screaming is Losing!
That’s right, if you reach a point of screaming, yelling or any other display of anger, you lose… immediately! You lose your child’s respect, and the ability to positively influence your child. Discipline should be applied without emotion, and without fear, because the consequences must be established before the offence is committed. Then if they do the act, the consequences happen, it’s that simple!
3. Listen to your Kids.
You can ask questions of your child and their behaviour, but you also need to listen. They often don’t need a lecture from you, especially if they know they have messed up, but you are far better asking why they did something, then listening to their answer. Turn the TV off, close the lap top, put the magazine down and give your child your undivided attention. They will love the fact you prioritized them over whatever you were doing, and you will learn about them and what they are doing and thinking!
4. Spend Quality Time.
Spending quality time with your child helps you to get to know them, their fears and their concerns, their hopes and dreams. Don’t take over their lives, but learn about them. Sit and talk, or text if they prefer, but communicate with them in their language!
5. Technology is Cool, but it’s a Killer.
Computers, TV, DVDs, and mobile devices can take over your child’s life, and your life for that matter, and you have to place limits on these. They might be cool, but they can kill quality time with your children. Sure they are fun, but for both of you make sure you take 5 minutes every half an hour for a proper break. A get up, walk, go outside and talk together break. And overall limit the time to 2-3 hours a day.
6. Look at Yourself.
Because believe me, your children will be looking at you. Being a good parent is about being a good example to them, and live a life that you want them to emulate, even if things you have done so far in life are what you do not want for your kids. Be who you want them to be, not who you once were, and start making changes to become the type of person you want your kids to become.
7. Feed Them Well.
Simply this… watch their diet. Don’t feed them junk food and soda, you can actually affect how their brain develops, so give them lots of outdoors and sunshine, and feed them healthy food. Vitamins are also a good idea, and especially fish oil.
8. Know Where They Are.
Make sure you know where they are and who they are with, and also what they are doing. Establish a curfew and stick to it, especially with teenagers.
9. Know Their Friends, and their Friend’s Parents.
Who do they value in their lives? Make sure you know their friends, and the parents of their friends. Do the friend’s families have the same morals and standards that you do?
10. Teach Them Respect.
Being a good parent is teaching your kids respect, for themselves, for you and for others. If they are angry, teach them coping strategies, and make sure respect for others becomes ingrained in them. This will help stop behaviors like stealing, taking advantage of others sexually and even bullying.
Apply these strategies if you want to be a good parent and you will see positive and important changes in your kids which will last a lifetime.
What Does it Mean to be a Good Parent? 10 Practical Things to Do!