Being a parent can be a daunting task. As a parent, raising children is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you’ll ever do. You want nothing more than for your child to be happy and confident. But when it comes to raising kids, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. After all, parenting doesn’t come with a manual. And even if it did, all kids are different.

It may feel like there is a lot of pressure on parents to make well-informed choices these days. There are parenting classes, books, and websites telling us what to do, what not to do, and to raise our kids. In this post, we’ve put together eight smart parenting tips to help you raise happier and more confident kids.

Listen to your child

Children have a way of letting us know when they feel like they’re being heard or not. As a parent, it’s essential to ensure that your little one feels heard at all times. Whether children are happy, sad, angry, or upset, listen and try to understand their perspective. You can’t always solve the problem, but you can make sure your child knows you are there. No feelings are invalid or silly. If your child has something to share, take it seriously and provide an ear to listen.

Don’t compare your kids

When you’re a parent, it can be tempting to compare your children to each other. Remember that all children are different and unique in their own ways. And while some parents may see competition as a healthy or positive thing, it can do more harm than good if we force kids into doing certain things because of their sibling’s abilities or interests. What works for one child might not necessarily work for another. Negative comparisons can affect children’s self-esteem, and the last thing you want is to make them feel like they’re not good enough.

Focus on children’s individual interests, strengths, and weaknesses instead of comparing them with others. Doing so will help you address your family dynamic and your children’s needs more effectively.

Help children feel secure

When it comes to smart parenting, the goal should be to provide guidance, rather than trying to exert control over kids. Your child has an opinion that matters, regardless of age. Make sure to allow children to express their feelings freely. Kids should never feel insecure or undeserving of their parent’s love based on their actions or words. Secure kids are more equipped to handle more of life’s ups and downs as they become adults.

Strengthen your connection with your child

If there’s one thing all children need from their parents, it’s love and affection. Make sure your little one feels secure in your love through your connection. Spend quality time together, share your thoughts and feelings, be open and communicate.

Do fun things together

Another smart parenting tip is to make sure you carve out moments for quality family time. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work or other responsibilities or tasks that take your attention away from the family. Whenever possible, try to spend some quality time with your child each day. Whether you do something as simple as taking a walk to your favorite ice cream spot, or an exciting activity like going camping for the weekend, doing things together will help to strengthen your relationship with your little one.

Discipline, not control

It’s important to let kids make decisions and trust their choices, even if you disagree. That’s what smart parenting is all about – teaching children the skills they need for their future by enabling them to make their own smart choices. Our role as  parents is to guide our kids along the way, rather than attempting to control their every move.

Offer choices

When it comes to parenting, offering choices is another smart tip that can go a long way in raising smart and confident kids. For example, try allowing children to choose which clothes to wear, or which food they’d like for breakfast. Offering choices helps you focus on what really matters, and it will also help your child feel more independent.

There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. By following these smart parenting tips, you can do a lot to help your child grow up to make smarter choices, develop confidence, and be ready to face the world.

At The Pillars Christian Learning Center, we strive to empower children by identifying, acknowledging, and appreciating the diverse needs and talents of each child. We also strive to help children understand that they are accepted and valued for who they are. Contact us to learn more.