Parenting is an art, it is also a science. Parenting is a way of life that requires you to adopt, adapt and evolve with each passing day to cope up with the dynamic needs and challenges of your kids. No single approach seems to work for long duration and nothing is the norm. However, there are some principles of good parenting that everyone should know.
According to me, a good parent teaches and molds children with love and support. To be a good parent, you need to listen to your child patiently.
10 principles of good parenting
#1. Practice what you preach
You are under constant observation. Children are like little sponges who absorb everything that they see around themselves; especially what their parents do. So it is vital to self-regulate and act under the knowledge that your actions make a bigger difference in shaping your child than your instructions. Your child is more likely to brush her teeth twice a day if you are doing it too.
“Children are great Imitators, So give them something great to Imitate”
#2. Don’t replace your presence with presents
Know what real love means, because your kids definitely do. There is no substitute to your gentle hug, soft touch, a cuddle in the bed, a pat on the back and words of appreciation. Your child is looking for that. Never replace these gestures of love with gifts, because the day your child starts preferring gifts to your love, you will find it very difficult to deal with.
“Your Children need your presence more than your presents”
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#3. Be an involved parent
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Now this one takes a lot of effort and some real rearrangements, sacrifices, and determination from your end. It is one thing to be physically present for your child and another to be mentally involved as well. Always make sure you keep some time for. Do this on a daily basis, not just on weekends. Sit with them for projects, homework, guide them through exams, and take out time for Sports meet, performances. Keep your mobile away while sitting and interacting with children.
#4. Evolve and adapt
Stagnation ruins relationships. Parenting is exasperating, demanding you to be a different parent every few years. As your children grow, their needs change, necessitating a change in your parenting style too. When the child is an infant, parents are responsible for the health and wellbeing of the child. For a toddler, you need to help your child follow instructions and teach him good habits.
When the child is 5 years old, you need to start participating more and be your child’s confidante. With your teenage child, you need to be a friend and guide. From dolling out instructions in the toddler phase, you should be participative during the pre-teen years, while teenagers need their space with firm ground rules.
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#5. Spell out ground rules to everyone in the house
It is important that your family lives by certain rules governing daily routine, social behavior, meal timings, outings, stay-overs, inviting friends, everyday chores, and tasks. These rules lay down the foundation of a strong character and a pleasing personality. These rules will also help you answer the three major questions any time of the day – Where is your child? Who is your child with? What is your child doing?
#6. Consistency is the key to success
In order to discipline your child, you need to stick to your word. If you’ve set certain rules, you need to make sure that you make no exceptions to the rules.
#7. Train your child for eventual independence
Every child tries to push the boundaries for more freedom. Parents need to remember that this is normal human nature to strive for control and independence. Do not mistake it for indiscipline or rebelliousness. So train your child gradually to prepare and handle her independence with responsibility.
For example, if your child wants to go out and play, you can encourage your child to dress up on his own and wear his socks and shoes himself and then go.
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#8. Do away with harsh punishments
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Physical punishment or verbal insults and comparisons are not the sign of good parenting. This behaviour will ruin your relationship with your child as well.
#9. Share your expectations positively
It is a good practice to share your expectations with your child. If conveyed positively, kids not only respect them but also work towards fulfilling them. Teenage is a good time to talk to your child about life’s goals and ways to achieve them.
#10. Respect breeds respect
Always treat your kids and others with respect as kids learn everything from their parents. Give them a patient hearing and make an effort to please them sometimes. You will be laying the foundation to how they will treat others throughout their lives.
Parenting is a continuous learning process and it will take time to learn the principles of good parenting. Each child is different and needs to be treated as an individual. Parents need to be sensitive towards their child and while observing the above principles of parenting, if at all something doesn’t work, do not get disheartened. They should learn from their mistakes and move on.
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