If you want to know how to be a good parent, read on for some practical advice.
I wanted to take a moment to let you know that this site uses affiliate links, and this post may include some of those.
The short and skinny is that being a good parent begins with your mindset. If you want to be a good parent, you are more likely to strive to be one. You’ll learn what you need to learn to parent your child well.
The first thing you need to know is that you don’t have to be perfect. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and continue striving for better. Both you and your child deserve to have a beautiful relationship with each other!
The second thing you need to know is that being a good parent begins before birth. The more you can do to set yourself up for success, the higher the likelihood is that you’ll be a great mom or dad to your little one!
Here are my best tips for being a good parent.
1. Treat Yourself Well
Before and after your baby’s birth, it is important to practice self love. Self love is literally the practice of loving yourself. When you love yourself, you care about YOU. And you are important. Self care is important.
The main facets of proper self care include sleeping well, eating well, doing things that make you feel alive, taking time to de-stress, and protecting your peace.
Don’t forget that even once you become a parent, you still matter. Your child’s needs have to come first, but by no means should you feel like YOU don’t matter!
- How To Practice Self-Care For Busy Moms
- How To Help Your Child Fall Asleep
- How To Lose Weight As A Busy Mom
2. Touch Your Baby Often
You cannot spoil a baby. And even if you can, so what?
Studies show that touching your sweet baby helps their brain grow! Do you want your baby to be smart, loving, empathetic and happy? Of course you do!
So touch, hug and hold your baby as often as you can. If you are mom and you can breastfeed, that’s the best way to go. This ensures super frequent touch, which is exactly what babies need.
If you must use formula, or even if you choose to, try to avoid propping baby up with a bottle. Even if baby can hold his or her own bottle, hold your baby. Feeding time is a great time to connect.
Make sure all caregivers know that you don’t want your baby cast aside in fears of becoming “spoiled.” They grow up so quickly, love on your baby as much as you can while they are so little, cute and cuddly!
3. Learn About Normal Behaviors
This is something that you will have to constantly do as your child grows up! From the time children begin to crawl, some parents start punishing them. This is atrocious!
Babies cannot be bad. They are exploring. Your job is supervision. Your job is allowing them to explore. Your job is helping them to learn safety while allowing them to learn about the world around them!
Don’t punish your child for normal, behaviorally appropriate things like testing boundaries, having potty accidents, hitting/biting, scribbling on the wall, breaking expensive ornaments, etc. That’s bad parenting. Child abuse if you really want to know.
Have patience, and learn what’s normal. Err on the side of caution of childproofing and providing too much supervision if you are scared about young children messing up your “stuff.”
But also remember that “stuff” is replaceable. The forever bond you are building with your child is not.
4. Be a Conscious Discipline/Positive Discipline Parent
Before I said don’t punish your child for normal, behaviorally appropriate things. That is super important. But you might want to consider doing away with punishments altogether.
Definitely do not spank.
Children are little and learning, and science shows that guiding our children with love produces better outcomes than making them feel bad when they make mistakes. And mistakes are a huge part of life.
Think back to when you were a teenager.
Don’t expect your child to be perfect. Adults aren’t perfect. It’s fine to have age appropriate expectations, but guide your child with love and grace.
5. Be A Good Role Model
Our children watch everything we do. And I do mean everything.
For this reason, it is important to model the behaviors we want our children to exhibit.
If you don’t want your child to be a liar, don’t lie around your child. It’s better to not tell lies at all, of course.
If you want your child to be kind, model kindness. Involve your child in charity work. Volunteer at the animal shelters, help mom and pop stores clean up, help rake a senior or single mom’s lawn, help someone plant a garden. Consider starting a tradition where you donate toys to needy boys and girls before Santa Claus comes to town.
There are so many opportunities to do good in this world! Make sure your child sees you as someone who brings light to others.
6. Show Your Child You Are Proud Of Him/Her
While we definitely want our children to learn the joy of intrinsic motivation, we also want to make sure we are providing external validation now and then.
Let your child know that you are one proud parent!
Good jobs are nice, but there are a million other ways to show that you are proud. I personally prefer to let my child know that I admire his efforts, so that is what I tell him!
You worked so hard at that! I love how you are improving each time you practice! You really worked hard, how do you feel? Wow, your hard work really paid off!
Hugs also work really well. And huge smiles bigger than the Cheshire cat’s grin!
Related Post: Is A Sense Of Entitlement In Children Healthy?
7. Focus On Connection
Sometimes it can be hard to see past our child’s difficult behavior. Especially if you grew up in a very punitive home, you may struggle with the urge to slap your child silly. That is the easy way out.
Learn to deal with what’s really bothering you about your child’s behavior.
Sometimes your child may just need more time with you. Make special time for connection on a regular basis.
Children who admire you want to please you.
8. Give Your Child Responsibilities
Raising good, responsible children starts from they are young.
Your child needs to know that he or she is a part of the family and community at large. As such, their help is required to help everything run smoothly for the entire family unit.
Give them age appropriate chores.
Ideally, the chores will not be tied to any type of reward. At the very least not an immediate reward. Instead, you might give tickets they can trade in for a reward after completing chores for a whole month or so.
Chores/responsibilities are expected. They are not jobs. If you want to tie a monetary reward, such as a weekly allowance, to something, choose extra tasks around the house.
9. Foster Trust
You need to foster trust with your child. This is super important!
Your child needs to be able to tell you anything. You need to be your child’s safe haven.
A child needs to trust their parents for multiple reasons.
One way to foster trust is by listening to everything your child wants to talk about. If your child can trust you with the little boring things, they’ll be more likely to trust you with big things.
Another way to foster trust is by not punishing them when they tell you things. Even if it is something you do not like to hear.
You can guide your child to appropriate behaviors without punishing. Admire the fact that they came to you to let you know.
One more way to foster trust is to help prevent lying. When a child is scared that he or she will get in trouble, lying becomes more likely. Let your child know that he or she will never get in trouble for telling you the truth. Tell your children that even if they make mistakes, you love them wholeheartedly and nothing could ever change that.
Let them know that any disappointment you might have will be lessened when they tell you the truth.
10. Take Breaks When You Need Them
Even if you can only get a 10 minute mental break in the shower, you need to take breaks when you need them.
If you have a special needs child, see what respite services your county and/or state offers.
This goes back to treating yourself well.
As a parent, sometimes it can be difficult to find an escape. But if you are at your wit’s end, you are more likely to make parenting decisions that you regret.
Find a community you can trust. There are attachment parenting and conscious discipline groups all over the country. Maybe you can find a mom who can trade an hour here or there for mental breaks. Hire a babysitter if you need to!
11. Answer “The Why” Questions
“The why’s” can be annoying. My son asks a million why’s! But the why’s are also a necessity.
You see, many of the things we are being questioned about, we have learned over 20, 30, or 40 years.
But our child is still little and learning. Just as he found a way to smile, laugh, coo, talk, crawl, and walk, he also needs to find a way to become an intelligent being with plenty of world knowledge and “common sense.”
They learn that from us. From watching us and from speaking to us. Often “why” is the right question. Can we try and be a little patient and give them the right answer?
If we don’t know the answer, it’s a great opportunity to learn something new. Look it up!
If your child is old enough to look it up on their own, encourage them to do so. Buy them a related book!
We want to feed that curiosity and never, ever squash it!
Many say parenting is hard. There’s no manual. There should be a manual. We’ll all fail. We can only hope for the best.
But again, it comes down to mindset.
Do you want to believe that you’re destined to fail, or do you want to know and trust that you are doing the best for your child at any given moment?
Do you want to acknowledge that you are doing your best to become a better parent by the mere fact that you are reading a post about how to be a good parent? You should be patting yourself on the back!
You have already shown that you care about parenting your child well. And I know that you’ll take these tips into consideration and implement!
Also, if you have any insightful knowledge to share, leave a comment! I’m sure it will help other moms!