We have been told so often about the common mistakes that parents make when raising children that very often the all important question of being a good parent is sidelined. After all, there is a subtle yet important difference between the two that should not be ignored. Many parents focus so much on trying to avoid the pitfalls of parenting that they become negligent to the good aspects of parenting.
The fact of the matter is that being a good parent comes instinctively to some people. However, the good news is that wonderful parenting is an art which can be learned and so there is no need to worry unduly about it. The first behavioral trait you will find in good parents is their complete lack of presumption. So many people feel that they know what is best for their children. The problem with such thinking is that it limits the ability to be original and deal with the problems of your children intelligently.
Having experienced the traumas of childhood first-hand does not ensure that you have all the answers in your kitty. Being a good parent means that you take the changing times into account and understand that a comparison of your childhood with that of your children can never be fair. The problems that plague and bother your child today will definitely be different from what you faced when you were a child.
Today, children mature a lot faster than we did when we were kids. For us, childhood was a relatively slow-paced affair while for today’s young generation things change everyday and keeping pace with life poses a whole new set of challenges that we as parents are not aware of. Being a good parent means that all outdated comparisons have to be dispensed with.
One of the most common problem parents’ face in present times is their children’s ever-increasing demand for expensive shoes or clothes or other gadgets which their friends possess. Many parents feel that their children are being insensitive and callous and do not wish to pamper them by giving into these demands. Being a good parent does not mean that you buy things for your child which you cannot afford to in the first place. However, dismissing all demands by assuming that your child is acquisitive is also not the right thing to do.
Try and empathize with your child in situations like these rather than being judgmental. Understand that these demands are prompted because of the possessions of other kids in school. Your child desires the same objects as he does not want to feel excluded or inferior to others. At this juncture, a practical gesture would be to talk to your child and broaden his horizon of thinking. Even if he is young, you can bring about the awareness that material possessions do not determine superiority or inferiority and what truly sets a person above the rest is his humane and sympathetic nature.
Your child might not take to this idea like a fish takes to water, as it will be a different way of looking at life for him but he will definitely value this sooner or later. Infusing this belief also does not mean that you never buy the expensive things that your child wants. Wherever you feel that the demand is justified or that an occasional spending spree is not a problem, you can be an extravagant parent. This way you are being a good parent along with having a pragmatic approach towards life.
One of the secrets of being a good parent is to watch the facial expressions of your child when he communicates with you as well as with other people around him. This will tell you a lot more than just listening to what your child says. Many children do not reveal their true feelings verbally as they have their own inhibitions. Being alert to facial expressions and gestures is a good way of accessing your child’s inner thoughts and emotions. Along with this, be a good listener to your child and devote quality time where you discuss not only his school and friends but other areas of interest that both of you have. After all, the metamorphosis of the child into a friend is the most desired gift to any parent.
Another great way of being a good parent is to participate actively in parent evenings. Your avid interest will be a great encouragement for your child to perform better and you will also get to know of his development in studies and other extra-curricular activities. Today, many parents are unable to help children with their school work as this necessitates some amount of computer literacy as well as knowledge of current teaching trends.
In case you have time on your hands as a parent, you could polish your computer skills and read up on teaching methods so that you can give a helping hand when necessary. Learning computer skills from your children might also be a good way of allowing the fun element into your relationship. There is even a possibility that your child admires your honest admission of ignorance in something that he/she is good at and takes a real interest in educating you. There are a lot of parents who feel the need to portray themselves as all-knowing and superior. There is no need to do so. On the contrary, your child will respect you all the more if you admit that there are certain things that you also find difficult to grasp rather than judging you as imperfect.
Even though being involved with your child’s school activities is commendable, being a good parent means that you have to keep your eyes open for your child’s reaction to your interest in their studies. Some children are perfectly capable of handling their curriculum by themselves and your zeal may be misconstrued as interference. In such cases, it is better to back off and provide help only when asked.
Many parents are paranoid about the times we live in and the issue of safety that has been so blatantly threatened by it. In a bid to shield their children, they try and set limits that are not age-appropriate. Children react adversely to this as they perceive it to be manipulative and controlling behavior on the part of their parents. One of the most important lessons you have to learn on the way of being a good parent is that coddling your children never works and your children will even start rejecting sensible and practical advice on your part so as to assert their freedom. So, beware of this tendency.
To sum it up, the whole crux of being a good parent is to accept your children as individuals who have their likes and dislikes as well as their strengths and weaknesses and respect them for what they are rather than what you would like them to be. Doing so will guarantee that not only are you a good parent, but your children are also great children to have.
By Engin_Akyurt from Pixabay