Have you just become a parent or are you already a mom or dad and sometimes you wonder how well you’re going to do as a parent? Parenthood isn’t always easy, but rest assured, you’re wonderful and you’re already doing a great job with your kids. In this article you’ll find expert advice to help you be even better. This is not a competition for the best parent award. The ultimate goal is to make your child a confident, independent and caring person. So be sure to keep this in mind.
1. Express your love and affection
Love and affection are the best things you can give your child. Tell him/her often that you love him/her with soft words, a loving smile, a proud look… Give him kisses and hugs more often…
2. Listen to your child
Listen carefully to your child and take an interest in what he/she tells you. If your child is not very talkative, he will probably not want to talk if you ask him direct questions like “How was your day? He will talk spontaneously when he feels like it or when he remembers something he wants to talk about. He will also find it easier to answer indirect questions about what happened during his day at school.
3. Be involved in his life
Take an interest in what he’s doing. Talk with him about his plans or what he has accomplished. You can talk to him before he goes to bed, during breakfast, on the way home from school… Share activities together as often as possible (reading, crafts, drawing, gardening, shopping…). Teach him things that will be useful when he grows up. Get involved in his school life as well. Take an interest in the school program and discuss it with your child, attend school meetings, follow your child’s progress… Never miss the first day of school or the end-of-year party. Following and participating in school activities shows your child that he or she is important to you!
4. Encourage your child
Encourage your child in everything he does from a young age, it will help him to evolve.
5. Never compare him to other children
Sibling comparisons should also be avoided. If your child does not succeed in something, do not humiliate or ridicule him.
6. Promote and nurture your child’s self-esteem
Emphasize their qualities and achievements. Value his initiatives and efforts so that he is proud of what he accomplishes and that it makes him feel good and has a positive impact on his development. Involve them in everyday tasks to show them that you believe in their abilities. Also, follow these tips to help your child develop self-esteem.
7. Train your child to be independent and responsible
Empower your child from a young age. Start with the easy stuff: throwing their handkerchief in the garbage, watering the plants, putting their shoes away in the closet, putting away their toys and books, learning to dress themselves… Children can help with some household chores, they will easily learn how to do the shopping, how to address a saleswoman politely, how to pay the parking meter…
8. Establish good discipline while remaining calm
Good discipline should be neither permissive nor repressive, and should not include violent gestures. Be firm while remaining calm. Get used to controlling your anger and handling situations without yelling, hitting or insulting. Remember that you must set a good example for your child.
9. Apologize when necessary
If you lose your temper, if you have said or done something you regret, you must apologize. This way, your child will learn to apologize when he or she makes a mistake.
10. Be a united couple
If you are both involved in your child’s education, your child should consider you as a united couple in that you accept and refuse the same things, especially when it comes to discipline and rules. Don’t argue with your spouse in front of your child, as this may scare him/her and the child tends to copy what he/she sees. If you are a separated couple, make sure that you are on the same page regarding the rules to be respected at home and at the other parent’s house.
11. Be fair
If you have several children, spend equal time with each child. Treat them fairly and never compare them to each other.
To be a good parent, try to enjoy the time you spend with your children and handle the difficult moments well, especially when you are tired and stressed and your child is pushing you too hard. Take a step back, breathe, look at these little people to whom you have given life and do your best to be the great parent to them that will make them great kids.