The perfect parent does not exist. But good parenting does. And there are many ways to learn how to be a successful parent.
So, what is good parenting? Both fathers and mothers face this question every day and struggle to answer it.
Psychologists believe the key to healthy parenting boils down to balance. Too much parenting cripples a child, while at the same time, there’s no such thing as too little parenting. And, to aim for perfect parenting is futile.
There’s no perfect formula. But proven methods exist to help parents become successful at positive parenting. The following are five keys successful parents practice.
1. What Is Good Parenting: Affirmations
It’s not just what you do, it’s what you say that matters as well. Your words are the first set of statements that will either sabotage or build your child’s self-esteem.
Affirmation is positive communication between you and your child. It’s an opportunity to challenge them to overcome negative thoughts about themselves while planting positive ones.
This mode of exchange varies by age group but the fundamentals are the same. For example:
Inform your child that their existence is by design. This gives them purpose.
Remind them of the importance of seeing the good in themselves. This thwarts self-sabotage. When children think positive thoughts about themselves, it strengthens their self-esteem.
Repeat approving proclamations over them every day such as you’re smart, you’re loved, you’re intelligent, and you matter. Have your child(ren) repeat them as well.
Make affirmations a part of your everyday parenting. People, kids most of all, internalize words-negative and positive. By affirming positive statements over them, you get them in the habit of speaking and thinking good about themselves.
2. Follow up with Actions
Back your words up with actions. Don’t just tell a child how important they are, show them. Spend quality time-affirming time-with them.
How do you accomplish this? Through G.E.M.-Genuine Encounter Moments.
GEM is about establishing real-time memorable moments with your child. Broken down in parts, GEM:
- Makes you stop everything you’re doing and place total focus on your child.
- Eyes are the window to a parent’s emotions. Give them eye contact coupled with a loving expression.
- Listen to them. Be attentive to their every word.
- Love them throughout the moment without judgment.
You can practice GEM anywhere and at any time. There’s no right or wrong way, except that you do it. The purpose is to reinforce your words with actions.
3. Be an Example
Part of parenting is practicing what you preach. Again, no parent is perfect. But most of the behavior children exhibit is what they learn first from their parents.
Children are like little computers. They output what you download into them.
Downloads are audible and visible. Because you are your child’s first example, they’ll repeat what they hear and see you do.
All parents want to see their children make better choices than they did growing up. To do that, you must walk the walk. Show them what you tell them. Be who you want your child to be-honest, respectful, and humane.
Watch them rise to the occasion.
4. Avoid Negative Association
Positive parenting is Kiindred to affirmative parenting. It’s okay not to view your child as bad even when their behavior demonstrates otherwise.
Don’t associate your child with their actions. Refrain from calling them bad when they do bad things. Not only will it affect their thought process, it will tear down their self-esteem.
Positive parenting is okay. You can help your child recognize inappropriate behavior through natural and logical consequences.
Example, if they keep forgetting their homework, stop going out of your way to take it to them. Allow him or her to deal with the natural consequence of forgetting.
For mild infractions, scale back on a benefit (like an allowance) then give them the option of earning it back. This teaches them respect and forgiveness in the same lesson.
5. Consistency Is Key
One of the toughest challenges you’ll face as a parent is learning how to be consistent. Parenting is a complex position and the duties change every day.
What should not change is the basic rules and structure you set up for your child.
If you tell them they’re not allowed to do certain things, follow through. Don’t bend the rules on the basics. If you do, your child will lose respect and expect the same leniency on complex issues.
Good Parenting Is a Practice
If you’re still wondering what is good parenting, consider implementing some of these options.
Step out of your comfort zone and try some objective means of parenting. Every household situation is different, but the key ways of learning to be a good parent are the same.
Read more of our lifestyle articles for some insightful views on parenting.