Tips to Help You Be a Better Parent

Raising a human being and being the best parent possible are two of the most difficult tasks in the world. However, raising a child without enforcing certain rules is insufficient.

The task must be completed in such a way that you have already established a loving, responsible, self-sufficient, kind-hearted, considerate, empathic, and respected persona when you’re “done.” As a result, it’s a good idea to lower the bar and start studying how to be a better parent.

Don’t get me wrong: you’ll make blunders along the road. Regardless of how hard you try, you will never be flawless.

And, no matter how well you raise your child, he or she may have problems that are beyond your control.

Keep in mind that they will be born with their own will, which may conflict with yours. Nonetheless, following the advice below will give you the best opportunity of creating a fantastic human being of which you can be proud.

1. Listen

A couple I knew had a daughter. Her parents were old school, but she was smart, sweet, and adorable as a button. They subscribed to the idea that a youngster should be seen rather than heard. She could have passed for a curio cabinet doll.

This small child, unfortunately, had a lot of interesting opinions and things to say. I was aware of this because she would share them with me when we were alone.

Children are fascinating, amusing, and inquisitive, and they regard you, their parent, as a hero. They are knowledgeable and have a unique view of life.

One of the most valuable gifts you can give your child is to listen to him or her. They will feel appreciated and will grow up understanding that they are important.

Listening isn’t always simple. Children will sometimes carry on without expressing anything profound. However, if they believe you’re paying attention, they’ll feel valued and supply you with useful information.

Note: When listening to your children, make a sincere and sincere attempt. Listening while multitasking and murmuring, “Hmm, that’s great, dear!” is not a good idea.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen a number of parents with their heads buried in their phones, scrolling through their Facebook or Instagram feeds, while their youngster attempts miserably to catch their attention. “You cannot fully listen to somebody and do anything else at the same time,” M. Scott Peck, M. D., stated in his book The Road Less Traveled. True listening necessitates whole concentration.

2. Provide Unconditional Love

I met a woman who adored her son, but she paid a high price for it. She showered him with love when he did what she expected of him, such as receiving credit for being a star athlete or academic achievements. In reality, she brags and displays framed newspaper headlines about her son’s achievements.

When he was a senior, though, that same youngster went through a tough spell, becoming rowdy and angry. The framed article went down, and the silent treatment went up.

Unconditional love fosters a strong bond and a healthy individual. Knowing that you will always have your parents’ affection is a terrific anchor for a child.

They understand that they can make mistakes and still be loved. They understand that they may come to you with their worst transgressions and that, while you may be upset, your love for them will stay intact.

3. Teach by Example

Children pay attentive attention to you and pay close attention to what you say. You could assume they’re not paying attention since they’re playing with their Legos in the other room, but they are.

Lead by example if you wish to teach your child.

If you want children to consume healthy things, for example, eat nutritious foods yourself. Don’t smoke if you don’t want children to pick up unhealthy habits like smoking.

Be peaceful if you don’t want them to be violent. Keep your promise if you want to raise a trustworthy child. [1]

Speak gently and listen with an open heart if you wish to educate your youngster on how to communicate. Be willing to teach your child everything you want them to learn. You are the most qualified teacher for the position!

4. Spend Time Together Often

Work, errands, get-togethers, appointments, and other obligations abound. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and forget to spend time with your children. While they work, I know busy parents who put their children on the couch to watch TV or play with an iPad.

That isn’t always a terrible thing, though. However, doing so on a frequent basis can cause a chasm between you and your child. Spending time with your children every day can help you avoid being an absentee parent. Ask them about their day and talk to them about anything.

Allow them to assist you with home duties if possible. Cleaning, folding laundry, or stacking dishes in the dishwasher are just a few examples. They’ll feel good knowing you need them, and you’ll be able to rely on them.

5. Follow Through

Your youngster will develop trust in you if you follow through. They’ll believe you’ll follow through on what you say you’re going to do.

Children have a keen sense of what is going on around them. I’ll say it again: they’re always looking and listening.

For example, one afternoon, I went for a walk with my granddaughter and her parents. “No, I want to walk,” the small girl said when asked if she wanted to ride in the stroller.

“OK, but if you get tired, I’m not carrying you!” my daughter-in-law replied. Understood?”

My granddaughter reported that her legs hurt after about 15 minutes. She began to whine and complain.

“I thought you said you weren’t going to pick me up?” she asked as my daughter-in-law picked her up.

My daughter-in-law failed to follow through, and her daughter was well aware of it. She was four years old at the time.

When parents say things and then don’t follow through, they become empty threats — words without substance.

In order to raise a responsible adult, you must follow through. Kindness, clarity, and conciseness are required.

You must demonstrate to the child that you are serious about your work. If you tell them they won’t be able to have a sleepover unless their schoolwork is completed, they’ll be more likely to complete it.

There will be no sleepover if it isn’t.

It didn’t matter if you had a date with your husband or plans with your pals. Just make sure that whatever consequences you impose for your children’s bad behavior are backed up with action.

6. Focus on Positive Qualities

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease/oil,” according to an old American saying. It’s used to convey the idea that the most obnoxious issues are the ones that are most likely to be noticed.

You might be tempted to leave your youngster alone if they are well-behaved and doing their own business. However, if they are acting out and causing a commotion, they may attract a lot of attention.

This conveys the idea that the children must misbehave before you pay attention to them. After all, bad attention is preferable to no attention.

It’s critical to pay positive attention. You are denying your child the opportunity to be their best self if you just pay attention to their poor conduct while disregarding their great traits.

Simply take note of all the qualities you admire in your children and try to ignore the flaws. This is especially important if your children are between the ages of 0 and 5. Because they are impressionable, whatever you say to them frequently will linger in their minds for the rest of their lives.

7. Apologize When Necessary

We all make mistakes. There are some parents, however, who don’t apologize no matter how many mistakes they make with their children. They incorrectly assume that apologizing is a sign of weakness.

Well, nothing could be farther from the truth. As we have learned before,[2]

“Apologizing to your child is a sign of respect for the overall relationship you have with him.”

Making mistakes is a natural part of life. I can assure you that your child will not despise you. You’ll miss out on an instructional moment about the value of taking responsibility if you don’t apologize. After all, you want your child to say sorry when they make a mistake.

If your children lie, lash out at another child, or break something valuable, you want them to admit it and apologize. During these times, you can teach your child that apologizing is the right thing to do. What precisely are you teaching them if you don’t do the same thing?

Demonstrate to your child that no one is flawless and that everyone makes errors in life. Apologies can undo a lot of mistakes. Even the worst crimes can be cured with only a few simple words.

A bit of advice for the wise: set aside your ego. Please accept my apologies and move forward. If you can do that, you’ll be on your way to developing a healthy relationship with your children based on love and respect.

8. Allow Kids to Be Who They Want to Be

My maternal grandfather, Pánfilo D. Camacho, was a lawyer and author in Havana, Cuba. [3] He expected my uncle, Jorge Camacho, to follow in his footsteps. [4] On the other side, my uncle wanted to be an artist and pursued his dreams in Paris, France.

At the time, my grandfather did not believe art to be a “serious career” or a reliable source of income. My uncle spoke with his father and started his goals, despite his father’s feelings.

Fortunately, my grandfather thought about it and gave his blessing to his only son. He also paid for all of my uncle’s expenses in order for him to study in Paris with the best of the best.

My uncle became a well-known artist in France. Jorge Camacho’s stunning surrealist paintings are still being sold today. The outcome may have been very different if my grandfather had taken a chance.

He might have been able to persuade my uncle to follow in his footsteps and pursue a career as a lawyer. He finally realized that allowing my uncle to be himself was the right thing to do. That was the situation. My uncle was grateful, and he went on to become well-known.

My grandfather was overjoyed, and their friendship deepened. Allow your child to be who they are instead of who you think they should be. After all, it is their life and adventure. The only reason you’re there is to keep an eye on him.

9. Grow Along With Your Children

Children, like us, develop and grow. It’s critical to alter your discipline and communication with them as they mature.

If your 4-year-old misbehaves by lying or whining, for example, you can ignore their antics and remain cool about the lying. This is a common occurrence in this age group.

If you’re working with an eight-year-old, he or she is aware of the distinction between right and wrong and turns to you for advice.[5]

Teenagers, on the other hand, require a different approach. That is a difficult and demanding age range that requires special attention and care. You can’t talk to your 16-year-old like he or she is still nine!

10. Validate Their Feelings

Many things happen while you grow up that cause you to experience a wide range of emotions. You should take the time as a parent to validate your child’s sentiments. Don’t disregard their feelings or act as if they don’t matter.

My 8.5-year-old granddaughter came around the other day. She’d been sobbing, I could tell. When I asked if she was, she gave me a sad expression. My granddaughter expressed her longing for her best friend, whom she hadn’t seen in nearly six months since the community quarantine began.

“Don’t worry about it; you’ll see her eventually!” I didn’t say. “Run along now.” Nope. “It must be so difficult not to see your best friend for so long,” I remarked, looking her in the eyes.

It didn’t matter if you had a date with your husband or plans with your pals. Just make sure that whatever consequences you impose for your children’s bad behavior are backed up with action.

Here’s an example of something you should never say: “Richard broke up with me,” your adolescent daughter tells you. “I’m heartbroken!” “Don’t worry about it!” you respond.

There is plenty of fish in the sea, and some of them are probably much better. You’re far too young.” You could have just as easily stabbed her in the heart.

Instead, say something like, “That is heartbreaking.” You must be in a lot of pain. I’m here to listen if you want to discuss.”

Compassionately listen and convey.

11. Ask Open-Ended Questions

I used to make the mistake of asking, “How was school today?” when I picked up my 16-year-old grandson from school.

You’ve probably figured out the solution. “Good!” was invariably the response. Just a single word.

So I took a different approach: I asked open-ended questions. “So, what was the best part of your day?” I inquired the following time I picked him up.

“Good” was the only response my grandson could muster. He was obliged to come to a halt and reflect on some previous events. It makes little difference what they say; the important thing is to encourage them to talk. That’s how you find out what’s happening in their life.

This method is effective not only with children but also with adults. When you ask someone, “Do you like your job?” they may respond positively or negatively. You’ll gain a lot of information if you ask, “What do you like or dislike about your job?”

Open-ended inquiries are the key to gathering so much data that you won’t know what to do with it!

Final Thoughts

Being a good and responsible parent can be one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. It is not, however, simple. It requires a lot of time and effort, as well as patience. 

Implementing the 11 guidelines above will not ensure a perfect family, but it will provide a firm foundation on which to build and flourish.

Your child is a mirror image of you. What do you want them to say? 

Learn how to be a better parent and leave a legacy of exceptional people.

Reference:

  1. Parents: 5 Ways to Teach Your Child by Example

2. Mom Remade: Apologizing To Your Child: 5 Things Happen When You Don’t Say Sorry

3.  Pánfilo D. Camacho

4. Wikipedia: Jorge Camacho (painter)

5. Parents: Smart Discipline for Every Age

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