Did you ever think of the fact that we all need to clear a driver’s license test in order to drive but nothing is required of us in order to become a parent? A parent plays a very important role in their children’s lives; children depend on parents for everything. Therefore, the knowledge of basic parenting skills is very important and it need not at all be a daunting task. Today we will cover some easy ways and tips to help you become a better parent than you were earlier.
1. Communicate effectively
When you and your child communicate well, half the battle is won; when you don’t then things definitely break down. The key to communicating well with children involves different aspects such as the use of body language, showing empathy, asking questions and so on. Body language is especially important because kids are sensitive and can read non verbal signs. When your child wants to talk to you, make sure you give her/him your complete attention. Listen and be empathetic. Being empathetic is the most important part of parental communication and for being a better parent. No matter what age a person is: no one likes being told how he/she should be feeling. Saying things like : “You shouldn’t be feeling bad” can be extremely irritating and can even make your child stop wanting to tell you things. Instead paraphrase or summarize his/her feelings. For example, when you child says s/he hates their teacher, say, “Things have been very difficult in school lately, haven’t they?” Then empathize by saying that you are there to help and that you understand.
2. Show love
Love and affection are the most important of all parenting skills. Showing love can come in various forms like cooking their favorite dishes, playing with them, being there for their important events in school and in general spending quality time with them.
3. Manage your stress
The best way to be a better parent is to manage your personal stress. Find some time to exercise regularly and keep your office workload in the office instead of bringing it home. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing etc.
4. Encourage self reliance in your kids
Treat your children with respect. Believe in their abilities and encourage self reliance from an early age.
5. Encourage learning
Education and learning are the most important tools every child needs to succeed. So make sure that you take school seriously. Avoid fights and stress at home which could impact your child’s learning in school. Provide good education and encourage the child to participate in extracurricular activities as well.
6. Get your finances in order
As a parent, this is the most important thing you can do. Have a financial plan in place, and make sure to have a steady source of income. Invest wisely so you can use the money for your children’s future.
7. Use positive reinforcement
Avoid physical punishment as far as possible and set and establish behavioral rules. Respect your child; respect the rules yourself so that your child can look upon you as a role model.
8. Practice healthy habits
Practice healthy habits so your child can also adopt them for life. Show the importance you place on right diet and regular exercise.
9. Seek help
Parenting is best done with the help of friends, family and neighbors. Involve everyone around in raising your child. Indulge in weekly community services, religious or spiritual activities. This is very important for children’s development.
10. Maintain a healthy relationship with your partner
This is an important tip in order to be a better parent and can teach children important values like forgiveness, trust, love, affection and faith etc.
11. Take parenting classes
Doing things scientifically has lots of benefits and can reduce conflict with one’s children. Seek parenting classes where possible or simply talk to a counselor.
Remember: you will grow into parenting. Just as a baby learns to walk and talk, so you will learn to develop your parenting skills. You are not born with such skills; rather you learn them by observing others and simply by taking the responsibility.