For different people, good parenting can mean different things. While there are no set guidelines or rules for parenting, it is a skill that can be learned and developed over time. Being a good parent doesn’t mean being infallible or doing everything perfectly every time. It is more about rising to the challenges of this important role as practically and as lovingly as you can.

The way you choose to parent your child will significantly impact his or her  development. Being a good parent means striving to make decisions that are in the best interest of your child. It also means raising your child with patience, love, understanding, guidance and nurturing. Parenting skills may differ from one person to the next. What works for one child or family may not work for another. The good news is that no matter who you are, there are ways that you can develop and master good parenting skills. Here are some tips you may find useful. 

Be a good role model

One of the common mistakes parents make is telling their children what to do without modeling the same types of behaviors themselves. Young kids look up to their parents and other adults in their lives. Children tend to imitate what they observe adults doing. Be sure to “walk the talk” because your little one watches everything you do carefully. Little kids are hardwired to copy other people’s actions, especially those of their parents. 

If you want to raise your child to be a respectful, kind, and loving individual, it’s important that you yourself exhibit these kinds of behaviors as well. If you want your child to have limited screen time, make sure you’re also not spending endless hours on your screen or binge-watching your favorite series all night. If you want your child to eat healthy, be sure to model healthy eating habits in your life too.

Show love and affection through actions

Loving your child is different from “spoiling” them. You can love your child while instilling discipline and teaching appropriate behaviors.

It is a child’s fundamental need to feel loved and cared for, to receive attention from their parents, and to feel understood and heard. Therefore, be sure to let your little one know how much you love him or her. In addition to verbal affirmations, simple gestures like hugs and holding hands can go a long way. It’s important for you to be there for them when they need you, pay attention to their needs, spend quality time with them, and listen to their stories and feelings. Remember, it is your presence and love that they crave above all else.

Be kind yet firm

Instilling appropriate discipline in children can be tricky. Sometimes, parents find it hard to discipline their kids, either because they’re “too soft”, or too harsh. Believe it or not, it is possible for a parent to simultaneously exhibit firm discipline while being kind. You may find it hard to remain positive when you’re trying to instill good behavior and discipline in your little one, but disciplining a child doesn’t have to mean using punitive measures. 

This is where positive discipline comes in. There are several methods to discipline a child without using physical punishment. For example, putting your child in time-out is an example of a nonviolent form of discipline if your child exhibits difficult behavior. 

Manage your own stress and anger

As parents, we can all agree that managing our own stress and anger may seem easier said than done. While it is normal for us to get upset and frustrated during stressful moments, it’s important for us to learn how to manage our stress and anger effectively. When we allow ourselves to be overcome by these types of negative emotions, it can  negatively affect our relationships with our children. Try to stay calm when faced with a  difficult situation. You can even walk away and take a breather if you must. The last thing you want is for your child to witness you having an outburst when you’re overwhelmed with stress. 

Do not forget about your own mental and physical well-being

Remember the old adage that says “You can’t pour from an empty cup”? This applies to parenting too. As parents, we sometimes wear too many hats and juggle so  many responsibilities that it can leave us with almost no time for ourselves. No matter how much you want to make sure your kids’ and family’s needs are taken care of, it’s crucial not to forget to take care of your own needs and well-being. Taking good care of yourself, both physically and mentally, can make a huge difference in how you interact with your children. Make it a priority to love yourself as well.

It’s not easy to be a good parent. Raising kids is hardly a walk in the park. With the help of these tips, you can develop good parenting skills and navigate parenthood more smoothly. 

For more parenting tips, or if you’re looking for the best preschool for your little one, please visit The Pillars Christian Learning Center.