They always say that babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and most of us try to learn along the way. We may be smart enough to enlist the help of others and seek support, but ultimately, each day, we are faced with minor and major decisions that have a rather significant impact on our child’s happiness and well-being.
I have no degree in child psychology, but I have learned throughout my time as a parent that there are a few essential elements to being a good parent.
Appreciate Parenthood and Treasure the Time
Being a parent is a privilege not everyone can enjoy, appreciate your role, and appreciate having a little person in your care. It’s a great responsibility, but it’s an even greater joy. Remember, you are somewhat on borrowed time – they grow up ever so quickly – and make the very best of the time you do have. If you spend all your at work and five minutes with your child at bedtime, you will miss out on countless precious experiences.
Embrace Your Child’s Individuality
You know your child and then again, you don’t know what kind of person your child will turn out to be. Make an effort to get to know your child’s personality, help it grow and develop and don’t impose your ways on your child. Your child has the right to blossom into exactly the type of individual she/he is.
Invest Your Heart and Soul
Love your child abundantly, consciously and shower her/him with kindness. Children thrive when they feel loved and appreciated, just like all of us and it is your job to give your child a structure of love, safety and protection, all day, every day.
Embrace Your Child’s Imperfections
Don’t demand or expect perfection, after all, you are not perfect either. When your child misbehaves, explain, understand and encourage rather than scold.
Facilitate Your Child’s Dreams and Passions
If your child displays a great love of an activity or is really passionate about something, facilitate your child’s pursuit of this dream. We all have dreams to fulfill and you as a parent can either help and support or hinder and suffocate your child’s dream. You never know where your child’s pursuit of her/his dreams may lead and it’s absolutely essential to help your child explore her/his dream.
Be Clear and Consistent in Your Instructions
Kids don’t know many things and rely on us to guide and instruct them. In this process, it’s vitally important to remain clear and consistent. By doing so, you provide stability and security and your child will feel much happier and endlessly more secure.
Have a Laugh
Season your life together with fun and laughter, your kid will remember and treasure it in later life. Any good parent will realize that laughter is immensely important and kids respond so well when they are having a good time.
Be the Best Role Model You Can
Children often learn by imitation and being a good role model is absolutely essential. If you approach your life with kindness towards your child, partner and everyone you encounter, your child will learn to do the same and thrive in all relationships.
Do Your Best to Stay Calm in Arguments
This may not always be possible, but at least try, even when you are irritated or annoyed. It’s your job to be the bigger person, to calm situations and to teach your child the art of peaceful conflict resolution.
These are just a few basic qualities you must display, there are countless more. Family time is precious, family time is fun and family time is a gift. Even when, or perhaps particularly when things don’t go well, it’s important to remain calm, kind and loving.