There are no perfect parents, but there are some common traits that make a great parent. A great parent is patient, loving, and understanding. They can put their child’s needs before their own and provide a stable home environment. They also teach their child how to think for themselves and how to be responsible. A great parent is always there for their child, no matter what.
Parenting is one of the most important responsibilities a person can have, but it can also be one of the most anxiety-provoking (also read Parent’s Responsibility). But how can you know if you’re doing the best you can for your children? Let’s take a look at what makes a good parent.
What are the most important qualities of a great parent?
A Great Parent Knows When to Let Go: “It’s a bittersweet reality: The major part of our job as parents is to eventually become dispensable. So, above all, we need to encourage our children to do things for themselves. We need to teach them to think independently, solve their problems, and believe deeply in their abilities.
“Sadly, though, in the interest of time and efficiency, parents tend to do things for their children that the kids could easily do for themselves. To prevent them from feeling pain and discomfort, we rush in and rescue our children, rather than allowing them to learn from their mistakes. By the time a child is 2, he is capable of dressing himself. Of course, he needs to be taught how to do so, and he needs clothing that is easy to slip on and off. Yet so many parents continue to dress kids even when they’re preschoolers, robbing them of the opportunity to develop capability and relish their accomplishments.
Similarly, it’s far more important to encourage children to consider the consequences of their actions than to try to protect them from making mistakes. Suppose, for example, a child leaves her bicycle in the driveway. Sure, it’s tempting to put it away for her. But it’s far smarter to help her explore possible outcomes by asking, ‘What do you think will happen if you leave the bike outside overnight?’ Chances are, once she’s thought about it, she’ll decide that it’s best to put the bike away.
“It isn’t easy to watch our children fumble and stumble. But sometimes that’s what it takes to help them become confident, capable, and independent individuals — which should be every parent’s goal.”
Tips on What Makes A Great Parent
There are some suggestions for becoming a better parent, including learning parenting skills and avoiding negative parenting. Many of these are neither simple nor quick. And no one can perform all of them all of the time. Even if you only do half of the recommendations in this parenting guide portion of the time, you will be headed on the correct path if you can continue working on them.
A Great Parent Has A Strong Marriage
Children are affected by their parents’ relationships in several ways. First, research has shown that adults who are in loving marriages are more effective parents. They’re more patient and more attentive to their children’s needs. Unhappy parents, by contrast, are more inept when it comes to dealing with their children. They’re inconsistent and sometimes harsh in the way they discipline. Overcome with their problems, they are unable to adequately care for someone else. But beyond that, the kind of marriage that a couple has profoundly affects the quality of the relationships that children will develop as they grow up.
When kids watch their parents interact with one another respectfully, they get their first lessons on how to get along with other people. When they observe how their parents work through problems, they learn to resolve conflict. When they see their parents kiss, they feel comfortable and secure. In short, the strongest lessons children learn are from what goes on in their home, and the lessons of a good marriage will stay with them for life.”
A Great Parent Finds Time for Fun
“Great parents are playful parents, ones who always remember how important it is to have fun with their kids. That doesn’t mean, of course, that moms and dads need to be nonstop entertainers or amuse their kids every minute of the day. What it means is embracing the joy of a child’s world and sharing it by being part of their play.
“As we race from one event to the next, we often underestimate the value of downtime. But simple play is deeply meaningful. Early games like peekaboo and hide-and-seek teach children about attachment. Fantasy play helps children explore who they are and who they want to be. Playful wrestling builds physical confidence. Tossing a ball back and forth teaches athletic ability, sportsmanship, and cooperation. Play is also the way that children recover from life’s upsets. They reenact important emotions with their dolls or action figures. After getting a shot, they want to play doctor and pretend to give you a shot. This time, they’re in charge.
“Overscheduled parents may think they don’t have time for playing with dolls or building with blocks. But play can ease the stress of our busy lives. When we engage playfully with our children, we find that we suddenly have more energy and feel better about ourselves and our kids. After all, play engages us in our child’s world, and what better way is there to forge a deep and lasting connection?”
A Great Parent Knows How to Say No
“Many parents find that it’s tough to be firm with their children. They can’t set rules. They threaten but don’t follow through with consequences. ‘No television for a week,’ a mom may tell her child in the afternoon, only to make an exception that very night. But the fact is, if we relinquish our parental authority, we are doing a disservice to our kids.
“When children are young, they crave limits. They seek real rules, not rubbery ones. But by the time they reach adolescence, kids who don’t see their parents as authority figures begin to look elsewhere for a code of conduct. They often find it in what I call ‘the second family,’ the collective power of the peer group and pop culture. Immersed in this world, good kids act out in dangerous ways. They lie without guilt; they experiment with drugs and alcohol; they have sex at frighteningly early ages. They do these things because, in the world of their second family, such behavior is acceptable.
“The best way to protect kids from these outside influences is for parents to assert their authority with consistency and conviction from the time their children are young. Admittedly, doing so can be confusing — for good reason. We are suspicious of being too rigid because we remember oppressive parenting ourselves or we see that it doesn’t work. We are wary of showing too much understanding for fear of producing overindulged, disrespectful kids who feel entitled to say and do whatever they please.
“So what’s the answer? The key is to strike a balance between offering our children support and empathy — and simultaneously providing structure through clear expectations of how we would like them to behave. It is the constant, natural back and forth between love and limits that is the mark of a great parent.”
Authoritative parenting is one of the most popular styles, and it has a lot of benefits for children. If you want to learn more about this type of parenting and how it can help your child, then you need to look into;
Read Also: Positive Parenting
Be a Good role model for your children
We have all heard it before: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. Well, although not entirely true (it does take one person to make the baby and another to facilitate the grand finale), this phrase holds an important message. We need help from others to raise our kids. This is especially true in today’s world, where our children are exposed to so many possible bad influences.
So, who will be your great role model to young kids? It could be the ex-wife/husband. Or maybe Grandma or Grandpa? Maybe it will be that druggie that lives down the street. Or how about their best friend’s parents?
Alas, there is a much better option! You can be that role model that you need in your child’s life. Yes, YOU – the same person that could have been making all sorts of poor parenting choices just a few years ago. It is never too late to change and become a great parent to your children. And following these simple steps, you will be on your way to being a wonderful role model for your kids.
Hi, my name is Keren Smooth. My friends LaTarsha Holdenton and Renae Reinardy forced me to start Blogging under the company name “K2babycare” to share my knowledge of parenting with other Moms, to become a better Mom tomorrow than today.