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9 Ways to Be a Good Parent
9 Ways to Be a Good Parent
04/17/2017

There is no way to be a perfect parent. But there are a million ways to be a good one. Here are 9 of the most important ones:

  1. Be there. You can’t be good at anything if you don’t show up - parenting included. Make sure you go to all their events (dance recitals, sporting activities, school plays, etc.). Don’t let your career or hobbies devour your time.  

  2. Listen. Show that you’re interested in their thoughts feelings, opinions, and activities. I saw in the news that a school in Scotland put up a sign at three entrances asking for parents to not be on their phones when they pick up their children after class. The sign, which reads, “Greet your child with a smile, not a mobile,” calls for parents to interact with their kids and aims to encourage pupils to have discussions with their families at the end of the day. I couldn’t agree more. Put your phone down when you’re eating dinner or picking up your kids. One of my consistent favorite memories when my son was growing up was having mother-son chats when I put him to bed every night. He would lie under the covers all tucked in and I’d lie down on top of the covers next to him and stare up at the ceiling. He’d tell me what he was thinking and feeling, what happened that day, or if something was upsetting him. It was a quiet, peaceful, sweet, and intimate time with just my kidlet and me, looking up at the ceiling and chatting.

  3. Be consistent. Many parents don’t seem to think kids need rules, boundaries, or consistency. However, it’s just the opposite. Rules and boundaries give your child a sense of security and clarity. They know what’s OK, what’s not OK, and what pleases you and elevates them in your eyes.

  4. Be patient. Being patient with kids can be very hard because they will drive you up a wall. But take several breaths, count to 20, and remind yourself that you love your child.

  5. Have fun. Act silly together and find the humor. One activity I have recommended for years is to make a huge bowl of jello, cover the table with something, and then dump the jello on the table. It’s fun to squish and kids find it hilarious!

  6. Teach. You are your child’s first teacher, so it’s your job to make learning interesting to them. Read books, visit museums, and take trips to the zoo. Make learning something that is normal, natural, and exciting.

  7. Apologize. When you blow it (and we all do) apologize. If you yelled or were wrong, say you’re sorry. Believe it or not, your child will actually be more likely to apologize to you as well.

  8. Tell them you love them. You can never overdose a kid in telling them you love them. Hug them, kiss them, and hold their hand.

  9. Do your best. Look at the beautiful smile on your child’s face and know you’re doing well.

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Tags: Mental Health, Parenting, Stupid Things Parents Do to Mess Up Their Kids, Tips
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