If you have children, you naturally want to be a great parent. They are your pride and joy, and you want them to have a good life.
But wanting to be a good parent and actually being one are two separate things. What’s more, many parents think that they are doing the right thing (even if they don’t like it), when actually, they are making mistakes.
In this post, we take a look at some of the signs that you are a good parent. Hopefully, you can use them to improve your parenting skills.
You Talk And Listen
Because of the way our parents treated us in the past, many of us think that we need to give our kids a series of instructions every day. (Do this, do that and so on).
But that’s not really how a parent-child relationship should work. Instead, the critical factor is communication. You want your child to feel like they can talk and listen to you at any time.
While adopting this level of openness can be a challenge for many people, it is critical. The more you talk - and the more open you are - the better your relationship will be. And the better your relationship is, the less likely you’ll need to be prescriptive with your children.
You Spend Time Doing What Your Child Wants To Do
The next thing you’ll want to do is spend time doing what your child wants to do. Yes, playing with them at their level can feel like a chore sometimes. However, it is a wonderful way to bring you closer to them.
The hardest part is when they are young - under the age of five. You have to stoop to their level. However, once they get beyond that age, you notice that you can start doing more fun things with them, such as completing a puzzle or going for a hike or bike ride.
Just enjoy the process. Better yet, introduce them to your hobbies. Perhaps you can get them to help you prepare delicious meals in the kitchen.
You See Your Child For Who They Are
Our culture likes to suggest that children are copies of their parents. But biology has very different ideas. Yes, you can have children who are very much like you, but that tends to be the exception, not the rule.
The reason for this is how nature works. It is constantly experimenting with new combinations to see who has the best survival advantage. Many times, those combinations will be similar to you, but not quite the same. Other times, they will be very different indeed.
This is actually a good thing: it makes your life much more interesting. But it also requires updating your parenting skills. Accepting your child for who they are naturally (and not getting in their way) can be a wonderful thing. But it is hard for you if you have fixed plans for them.
You Teach Kids How To Become Themselves
Becoming a fully-fledged human being is actually quite a challenging task. We have these massive brains that complicate things tremendously. Fawns know how to be deer right from the moment of birth, but, as people, our potential is limitless. We do not know the boundaries of what human beings can achieve.
So part of the job of being a parent is to help children become themselves. It is a surprisingly challenging process, one that takes a lot of patience. But you’ll notice that when you facilitate growth, you almost always wind up with something wonderful.
Allowing your child to flourish in their own way can be quite scary. Parents often have fixed plans for how their children should behave. But when you treat your children as sacred vessels, allowing them to develop in their own way, you find that they fall into place naturally.
You Discipline In The Right Way
Children need a little discipline in their lives, but not as much as you think. Disciplining is one of the fundamental parental rights, but you need to get it right.
Discipline is less about being strict and more about correction.
Remember, when your child is young, they haven’t had time to practice or learn good behaviour. When a child puts their fingers inside a plug socket, for example, they don’t know that it is dangerous. To them, it is just experimentation. They are playing.
The same holds true as children get older. It takes about 25 years for the brain to mature fully. So even if they are in their teens, you will still need to correct them. At that age, they are still figuring out the world, and themselves. It can be a difficult time for them.
You Apologize If You Get Something Wrong
As a parent, it can be challenging to apologise to your kids if you get something wrong. You feel like you always need to be in the right all the time.
But actually, you gain more respect if you own up to your mistakes. Kids are smart and they know when their parents aren’t doing the right thing. If you carry on behaving badly, eventually children will begin to lose respect for you. They will also feel less safe around you.
Apologizing corrects this. Furthermore, it provides a good role model for your children. If you are more likely to apologize, then so are they.
You Aren’t Mean
Kids can sometimes be mean and spiteful, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be as a parent. Yes, you will sometimes lose your temper and yell because you are angry. But that’s different from going out of your way to actually harm your children.
Humiliating or belittling a child can actually be quite damaging and lead to long-term trauma. Kids who grow up with this type of trauma are much more likely to experience depression, get sick, and have bad relationships in the future. By contrast, kids who grow up without any trauma tend to have much happier lives. They live peacefully and joyfully most of the time.