We all like to think of ourselves as good parents. The strivers out there may think they could always do better, and that is likely true for anyone. At the same time, getting too caught up in the competitive parenting spiral can lead to doubts in the parents and likely mixed results for the children. Generally speaking, however, we have a good idea of how to get the best results out of a child, but we all can use a little help.
5 tips for being a better parent
We came across an interesting article about strategies for good parenting and thought it would be useful to share some of its insights.
- Teach them to love: Children learn how to love from having a secure attachment with at least one parent. This motivates kids to cooperate, accept a parent’s rules and role modeling. Without attachment, parents lose influence as children began to interact with peers.
- Limits with empathy: Respond without judgment to what they say and do while still reiterating the rules. This teaches children to have self-discipline. Rules provide structure to their lives, but too much of it or imposing it with a threat will generally lead to rebellious behavior or an inability to manage themselves without outside rules.
- They learn self-soothing by being soothed: Isolating misbehaving children does not teach them to self-soothe, and it can lead to life-long issues of explosiveness, dramatic behavior and anxiousness. Those who need the extra soothing early should get it without judgment with the understanding that this is what the child needs.
- Emotion-coach them: This generally involves the parent recognizing the big emotions a child is feeling and using the moment as an opportunity to teach or provide intimacy. This enables the child to feel safe to share their emotion in a non-harmful and articulate manner.
- Parenting by example: Being a kind, respectful, considerate parent leads to children being the same way. If they bring negative behavior into the home, politely remind them of how things are done in this family. For better or worse, how you handle disagreements or adversity will likely be their template, so keep this in mind before speaking.
Learning from your kids
Some parents assume that they must have all the answers, which they then impart to their children, but the act of listening and learning from your child instills these same qualities.
Divorced parents likely will face more challenges due to splitting the family apart. Listen, watch and learn. Some of the above strategies will probably facilitate this and serve the family well as they face adversity, both from the divorce and from other issues that they will face in the future.