Parenting is the most often heard word. But how many of us know exactly what is parenting, the importance of parenting and effective parenting techniques?
Before we proceed further, let us first discuss parenting and what is good parenting.
Parenting also known as child rearing is the process of raising children from infancy to adulthood. It involves providing a proper environment that fosters the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development of the child.
Good parenting means being physically and emotionally available to the child. It involves using the right parenting skills to develop positive qualities such as empathy, kindness, self-reliance, confidence, trust, honesty, etc. Positive or good parenting evokes curiosity in children and motivates them to excel in anything they choose to. It helps to save children from risky adolescent behavior, mental health conditions, and antisocial behavior
Ten Effective Tips to Improve Your Parenting Skills
Children Learn by Observing
What you do matters a lot more than what you say. Children are keen observers and they learn from observing your actions. They mimic your behavior whether it is pertaining to body-image issues or the way you treat others. Leading by example is one of the most effective and important parenting skills that produces wonderful results. For example, if you instruct the child not to use social media but you yourself spend a lot of time on social media, the child will rebel against you.
Love Doesn’t Spoil a Child
There is nothing as too much love. Every child deserves unconditional love from his/her parents. Most of us think that too much love spoils a child but it is the lack of love that spoils children. Children are spoilt when we replace love with material things, leniency or lowered expectations.
Be Present… Be Involved
As a parent, you have to be present for the child and be involved with his/her life. This requires a lot of effort and sacrifice. You have to sacrifice your wishes sometimes and rearrange your priorities to be there for your child. You have to be mentally and physically available to the child when he/she needs you.
However, it is important to remember that being involved does not mean doing homework and projects of the child or insisting to be with them round the clock. This will hamper the individuality and sense of responsibility of the child.
Learn and Adapt
You have to keep up with the growing age and demands of the child. The demands of a 3-year-old are different from those of a 13-year-old. In the same way, the way you handle a toddler is different from handling teen tantrums. You have to constantly keep learning and updating your parenting skills. Moreover, you should adapt your techniques to suit the child.
You can seek help from professionals such as parenting experts, counselors, therapists etc. to learn new parenting techniques and get support when required. Sometimes parenting seems to be a tough task but taking help from professionals, friends, and family makes it easier to cope with the demands of parenting.
Related Read: Five Common Challenges Parents Face in the 21st Century
Set rules and discipline them when they are young if you want your child to be self-regulated at teenage. You should explain to the child about acceptable and unacceptable behavior in an age-appropriate manner. The rules should be applicable to all the children in the family. However, this does not mean that you have to micromanage the child all the time. The importance of parenting lies in creating a fine balance between disciplining the child and giving them independence.
Make Your child Independent
Encourage the child to be independent. Teach them to take responsibility for their actions. This will give them a sense of self-reliance and self-direction. It is human nature to seek control of one’s life and to dislike being controlled by others. Do not mistake your child’s need for independence to be defiant behavior or rebellion.
You can take steps to make your child independent by sending them to excursions or learning programs during vacations, asking them to do small chores by themselves, giving them pocket money and so on.
Whatever may be your style of parenting, you have to be consistent in your approach. There is no use of having rules that keep changing or those that are not implemented strictly. Consistency is the key to discipline children effectively. Make the child aware that he/she has to face the consequences of flouting the rules.
Avoid Aggressive Behavior
Never resort to disciplinary methods that involve harsh punishments. Never hit or spank the child. There are other non-violent ways to discipline a child. Children tend to bully others or adopt violent behavior when they are hit or slapped at home. They feel that showing aggression in a non-violent manner is acceptable.
It is normal to get angry when the child does not listen to you or repeatedly disobeys you. But try not to lose your temper. Whenever you lose your cool, take some time out to regain your composure and then speak to the child in a calm and gentle manner.
Have Open Communication Channels
It is important to have open communication with the children to build a good rapport with them. Children should be comfortable sharing their fears, worries, and other issues troubling them with you. This will help to make sure that they get the right advice and guidance.
Mutual Respect is Important
Give respect to get respect. This rule applies to parents too. Respect your child and be polite to him if you expect respect from them. As we have already discussed, children mimic your actions and they learn to treat others by observing the way you treat them. Respecting your child’s opinions, and treating them with empathy and kindness will develop positive rapport and help to avoid many parenting challenges.
There is no good or bad when it comes to parenting. Everything depends on what works for you and your child. Parenting is a process that involves lots of learning and adapting as you go along. Understand the importance of parenting in the child’s life and try your best to provide the right environment for the child to grow mentally, physically, and emotionally.