There are plenty of milestones in life that change us for the better and give us unforgettable experiences that we can grow and learn from. Being a parent is nothing less than an adventure. You have cute little munchkins to love and be loved by. There are crazy moments, calmer ones, and then crazier situations that sweep you off your feet without warning. As a parent, you want to do everything right because you have those little eyes looking up at you and don’t want to disappoint.
However, even with all our best intentions and efforts as parents, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with responsibility. You want your children to feel loved and taken care of while simultaneously preparing them to become independent. On that note, to help you become a more effective parent, we have some tips for you to get going.
Love Them Responsibly & Unconditionally
All parents feel a strong bond and instinctive love for their children. However, while you may ‘feel’ it, your children need you to express it to them. You can show that you care through simple gestures that include being a source of encouragement, assuring them of your love for them, and being affectionate with your child. Now, another vital aspect of showering love is to do it responsibly. Children learn through testing the boundaries a parent has put in place, so you will have to take a stand and correct your child’s behavior when teaching them right from wrong. To gain your children’s respect, you need to be consistent when setting limits to not confuse your child. Loving your child unconditionally is something that you don’t really have to work hard to do- it’s something that will just come naturally. Just be aware that there’s a fine line between providing your child with healthy affection and spoiling them to the point where they feel they can take advantage of that.
Appreciate Them with a Big Smile
Kids who receive explicit parental appreciation tend to be more motivated and accomplished. Your gestures of appreciation communicate to them the pride that you feel because of their achievements. So, it is a good idea to praise your children whenever you see them doing good. You should be pretty clear about the reason for appreciating your kid. Just saying “wow! I am proud of you” doesn’t resonate too well. Instead, you should explain “why”. For example, you may say that ‘I feel so proud of you because you have invested a lot of effort in this project.”
Comparing is Counterintuitive
Everyone is different and unique, and this rule applies to children as well. You need to observe the hidden talents and potential that your child has and then coax them in the right direction. However, if you start comparing your kid to another child, or even a sibling, they will end up feeling inferior and insufficient.
Comparison is a big ‘no-no’ in parenting 101. You should not show favoritism to one of your kids either. As a parent, you should be encouraging them to take conducive steps themselves and be responsible for their actions. A smart approach to take is always bringing to light each child’s differences and teaching them how to appreciate the things that set them apart. This way, they won’t have to feel insecure or question whether their differences are what help them gain more attention and affection from their parents or people in general.
Listen and Just Be There
Often, parents believe that the reason they are working around the clock is solely for their kids and their children would understand that too. While kids may understand this reality to some extent, they still want to be heard. The useful advice found at https://parentingtipster.com/ explains that passive listening does not count and that you have to make sure that when you are talking to your kids you are not distracted. You should avoid distractions by putting your smartphone down and making eye contact in family discussions. They need to be able to see that you really care and are listening intently.
You should also show this gesture physically by attending any special school performances or extracurricular activities. Your presence at these events will serve as a huge motivation and a strong reminder that you will always be there for them.
Boundaries and Consequences
Rules are crucial to childhood discipline and your child requires a certain degree of order and routine in his/her life. Whatever boundaries you set, make sure that they are not suffocating your kid. You don’t want to be way too lenient nor do you want to be excessively stringent. You should also clearly tell them what would happen if they break a rule, and when something like this happens you must implement the consequence. Your spouse should be onboard with this or your kids won’t take the rules seriously.
It is important to note that you need to not be coercive to make your kids follow a rule or listen to you as a parent. Just a fair set of boundaries with fair consequences should be helpful.
Set an Example
Our kids are observative learners. They learn more through observation and modeling than anything else. So, to teach your kids some good values, you must embody them first. It always helps to reflect on your own childhood and learn from how your parents used to be. There are always tidbits to learn and improve. Remember to be kind to yourself as well- you can’t be perfect all the time, and this is an unrealistic standard that can actually be unhealthy for your child to see. It’s important that your kids understand the value of being authentic and that they don’t have to be perfect all the time. By showing them that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them, you put them at ease to be themselves without shame or guilt, and this, in turn, will help them to grow into confident and unique individuals that have a strong belief in themselves.
The above-mentioned tips are a great way to help you with your child-rearing skills. Parenting is indeed a challenge and it plays a strong role in the development of your child. So, make sure that you are doing everything you can to live up to the standard your kids expect and deserve.
Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash
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