Preparing children for adulthood is the overarching role of parents. A phrase to illustrate the idea is this: You’re not raising a child; you’re raising an adult. Every day, parents make choices and act in deliberate ways to help shape their children into people with character, respect, a sense of responsibility, motivation, and skills to help them be both successful as kids and as adults. Leading relates to this preparation. Parents’ actions speak louder than words; indeed, leading by example is more effective than lecturing.
While it seems like this preparation and leading by example are heavy responsibilities that require multiple parenting skills, they’re also fun. This preparation is done largely through outings together, playing games together, generally living life together. Preparation is about actions. It can create strong parent-child bonds and infuse parenting with meaning.
As a parent you give your children a good start in life—you nurture, protect and guide them. Parenting is a process that prepares your child for independence. As your child grows and develops, there are many things you can do to help your child. These links will help you learn more about your child’s development, positive parenting, safety, and health at each stage of your child’s life.
5 Tips for being an effective Parents.
1. Practice Kind and Firm Parenting.
Give your child positive experiences. They will have the ability to experience positive experiences themselves and offer them to others.
Give your child negative experiences. They won’t have the kind of development necessary for them to thrive.
Sing that silly song. Have a tickle marathon. Go to the park. Laugh with your child. Ride through an emotional tantrum. Solve a problem together with a positive attitude.
Not only do these positive experiences create good connections in your child’s brain, but they also form the memories of you that your child carries for life.
When it comes to discipline, it seems hard to remain positive. But it is possible to practice positive discipline and avoid punitive measures.
Being a good parent means you need to teach your child the morals of what is right and what is wrong. Setting limits and being consistent are the keys to good discipline. Be kind and firm when enforcing those rules. Focus on the reason behind the child’s behavior. And make it an opportunity to learn for the future, rather than to punish for the past.
2. Know the Best Ways to Praise
Being parents, give appropriate praise. Instead of simply saying, “You’re great,” try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, “Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was hard, and I really liked your patience.”
Cheer the good stuff. When you notice your child doing something helpful or nice, let him know how you feel. It’s a great way to reinforce good behavior so he’s more likely to keep doing it.
Gossip about your kids. Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective by letting your child “catch” you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.
3. Raise Grateful Kids.
Show your child how to become a responsible citizen. Find ways to help others all year. Kids gain a sense of self-worth by volunteering in the community.
Don’t raise a spoiled kid. Keep this thought in mind: Every child is a treasure, but no child is the center of the universe. Teach him accordingly.
Talk about what it means to be a good person. Start early: When you read bedtime stories, for example, ask your toddler whether characters are being mean or nice and explore why.
Explain to your kids why values are important. The simple answer: When you’re kind, generous, honest, and respectful, you make the people around you feel good. More importantly, you feel good about yourself.
Set up a “gratitude circle” every night at dinner. Go around the table and take turns talking about the various people who were generous and kind to each of you that day. It may sound corny, but it makes everyone feel good.
4. Boost Brainpower & Physical Activity.
Being parents, teach your baby to sign. Just because a child can’t talk doesn’t mean there aren’t lots that she’d like to say. Simple signs can help you know what she needs and even how she feels well before she has the words to tell you — a great way to reduce frustration.
Keep the tube in the family room. Research has repeatedly shown that children with a TV in their bedroom weigh more, are sleepless, and have lower grades and poorer social skills. P.S. Parents with a television in their bedroom have sex less often.
Get kids moving. The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercises.
5. Show That Your Love Is Unconditional.
As a parent, you’re responsible for correcting and guiding your kids. But how you express your corrective guidance makes all the difference in how a child receives it.
When you have to confront your child, avoid blaming, criticizing, or fault-finding, which undermine self-esteem and can lead to resentment. Instead, strive to nurture and encourage, even when disciplining your kids. Make sure they know that although you want and expect better next time, your love is there no matter what.