Everyone wants to be a good parent, right? You love your kids. You want to be the best mom or dad you can for them. But if you’re like most people, you probably don’t feel prepared for the huge task that is parenting. There’s no ultimate ‘how to’ guide for being a parent. There’s no training, no diploma, no certification that gives you the skills you need before you take the job on.
Luckily parents are also noted for sharing information and experience! Here are some of the best tips to help you feel more fulfilled as a parent and enhance your own parenting experience.
- Make your child’s self-esteem a priority
Your child will start to form their self-esteem, the estimation of themselves, right from their earliest days. You are the most important person in their life, and your word is law. Your behavior, your tone, your words shape their reality. You have the big responsibility of being the most important influence on their self-esteem, so choose kind words that show them how much you love them. Above all, let your child know that mistakes are part of what makes us human and have nothing to do with how much you love them or how good a person they are.
- Focus on the positives
It’s easy to niggle or focus on your child’s ‘bad’ behavior. It can be harder to remember to catch them being good and to reward good behavior with hugs and praise. Model politeness and say thank you to your child. When you focus on something, you will get more of the same: if you expect your child to behave well, they will respond to that. If you expect naughtiness, they will rise to that expectation. So, choose what sort of behavior you want to encourage and focus on that.
- Set clear boundaries
Children need to know where the limits are. They will only learn self-discipline and self-control if you help them. Having consistent, clear boundaries and consequences for breaching those boundaries will help your children learn what’s acceptable and what’s not.
- Spend time with your kids
More than anything else, your children want to spend time with you and connect with you. Acting out and misbehaving is often a sign kids are trying to get your attention any way they can, even if it’s negative.
Special quality time is nice, but sharing household tasks, walking the dog, or just watching TV together are all good ways to just be with your kids.