What Characterizes Successful Parenting?
A good parent seeks to make decisions that are in the child’s best interests.
A great parent is defined not just by their actions, but also by their intentions.
It is not necessary for a good parent to be perfect. No one is without flaws. When we set our expectations, it’s crucial to keep this in mind. Every situation is different, because each child and each circumstance is unique.
It’s not about being perfect as a parent. Who defines success anyway? But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set high expectations for ourselves first, and then for our children.
This article gives some suggestions for developing your successful parenting skills, and how to avoid falling into the negative parenting pit. Many of these are neither simple nor quick. And to set yourself up for success instead of feeling like a failure, know that no one can possibly perform all of them all of the time. Even if you only do half of the recommendations in this parenting guide some of the time, you will be headed on the correct path. If you can continuously working on them, it’s like investing in the future and the dividends will be huge!
Before diving headfirst into parenting challenges, be sure that you’re familiar with 4 different types of parenting styles. Each parenting style has a different impact on children’s lives and knowing how your actions affect your children is of incredibly high importance.
For now, let’s move on and learn more about 7 successful parenting skills you’ll want to learn and master!
#1: BE A ROLE MODEL
This is the most crucial and basic parenting tip, according to research. Take the time to walk the talk. Telling your child what you want them to do isn’t enough. Demonstrate.
Humans are unique among species in that we can learn by imitation 1. We are wired to mimic other people’s activities in order to comprehend them and then incorporate them into our own life. Children, in particular, pay close attention to everything their parents do. They are mimicking us before they can even talk. They are always watching for cues.
So, be the person you want your child to be – respect them, model positive behavior and attitude, and show empathy for their feelings — and your child will imitate you.
#2: LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY.
There is no such thing as too much love for your child. They can’t be spoiled by loving them 2. Gifts, no boundaries, complacency, and over-protection are just a few examples of what you can do (or give) in the name of love, but is that really love? Genuine and unconditional love is really what they want and need. When you go down the rabbit hole or try to fill a void with the other things mentioned you risk teaching them that those things or actions are the only way to get love. It will backfire at some point. Unconditional love never backfires.
Giving your child hugs, spending time with them, and listening to them on a daily basis are all examples of loving your child. They want to know that they are seen and heard.
Feel-good hormones in the brain, like oxytocin, are released when these acts of love are performed. These neurochemicals can give us a deep sense of peace, emotional warmth, and happiness, and the child will build resilience and a closer, more connected, relationship with you as a result of them 3.
#3: PRACTICE KIND AND FIRM POSITIVE PARENTING.
Around 100 billion brain cells (neurons) are present at birth, with few neural connections having formed yet. These connections mold our personalities, develop our thoughts, and ultimately determine who we become. They are formed, strengthened and “sculpted” as a result of our life experiences.
Have fun and enjoyable experiences with your child. They will then be able to associate your unconditional love as what love should be defined as in their future. 4.
Sing those silly songs. Have a ticklefest. Go to the park and play. Make your child laugh. Take a ride through an emotional outburst and talk about the various feelings and how they feel in the body. Help your child navigate a problem or situation that they are dealing with by talking it out and exploring different solutions. These experiences not only develop good connections in your child’s brain, but they also form evidence that your child will look back to when they have another similar experience. They will remember that they have experienced something like this before and will know what to do next. These are the memories that your child will carry with him or her for the rest of his or her life.
Being a good parent means that you teach your child how to have a moral sense of right and wrong. A good parent uses their family values in setting limits and then is consistent in keeping those boundaries. When enforcing the boundaries, be gentle yet firm. A good practice is to have communicated to the child what the boundaries are in advance and why they are in place. If lines are crossed, concentrate on the cause of the child’s conduct or behavior. Was there a particular need that hadn’t been met? We see the tip of the iceberg, but do we know what’s really underneath?5 Use it as an opportunity to talk about what happened and learn for the future.
#4: PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR CHILD
A parent’s job is to provide an environment where your child is physically, emotionally and mentally safe. They should feel free to express themselves, including having a meltdown, they should be physically safe, and they should not be made to feel that they are inferior. As you connect more on a deeper level and are present in your time together you will start to pick up on your child’s signals and can be more sensitive to their needs. They will feel safe when you show them that you’ll always be there for them, no matter what they do or say. Support and embrace your child for who he or she is. Make your home a welcoming, safe refuge for your child to explore who they are and discover what the world is all about.
Emotional regulation, social skills development, and mental health outcomes are all improved in children reared by parents who are consistently responsive.
#5: TALK TO YOUR CHILD AND HELP THEM INTEGRATE THEIR BRAINS
Most people are aware of the significance of communication. Talk to your child and pay attention to what they say, no matter the age. You’ll have a better relationship with your child if you keep the lines of communication open, and your child will come to you when he or she has a problem. This can be more difficult than it sounds. There are certain conversations that are really difficult to have with your child and still remain in a neutral and receptive mode. It is very important not to overreact in most situations. Again, going back to your child feeling like they are in a safe environment, they need to know that they can come to you in conversation and know that they can explore an issue with them without worrying about how you will react.
There’s another great reason to talk with your child. You’re helping them integrate various sections of his or her brain by solidifying information or stimulus. Integration is how different organs in our bodies must take in information from the brain and coordinate and work together to keep our body running smoothly. When multiple areas and neural pathways in the brain are integrated, they can work together in harmony, resulting in fewer tantrums, more cooperative behavior, increased empathy, and improved mental well-being 6. As mentioned earlier too, there is more evidence, in the form of experiences that the kids are able to draw from for the future.
It is also helpful to talk about difficult experiences. Ask your child to describe what happened and how he or she felt. 7. You don’t need to offer solutions or try to solve the problem. To be a good parent, you don’t have to have all the answers. Simply listening to them and letting them know that you hear them by asking clarifying questions might help them. These kinds of discussions can help in making sense of their experiences and integrating their feelings. It will also build their self-confidence and resilience to know that they are able to work through challenges.
#6: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
Pay close attention to your own emotional, mental, and physical health.
When a child is born, it’s common to put things like your own health or the health of your marriage on the back burner. They will become bigger difficulties if you don’t pay attention to them now 8 or in the future. Spend time with your partner to deepen your bond. You’re in this together.
Parents who are stressed are more likely to be triggered by or fight with their children. Don’t hesitate to seek parenting assistance, like that of a parenting coach. It is critical to take some “me time” for self-care in order to rest, restore and revitalize yourself. The way parents care for themselves, both physically and mentally, will have a significant impact on their parenting and family life. It also sets a great example for your child to learn how to take care of themself too and that is an important aspect of a healthy life.
#7: DO NOT SPANK OR USE TIME OUTS.
Spanking can, without a doubt, bring about short-term compliance for some parents, which can be a welcome relief. It is something that has been done for generations. But, just as research and science continue to evolve, so do the paradigm shifts that need to occur based on new evidence. The intention behind punitive force, such as spanking or time-outs, is to cause individuals to suffer for their perceived misdeeds.9 Is this the way you really want to parent, to withdraw your love when they need it most? It is harder and takes more time to try to solve the problem with the child and also give them reasons to do the right thing, but it again, is like an investment. They now have a better understanding of what is expected of them.
Spanking does not teach the child the difference between right and wrong. It merely educates the child to be afraid of the repercussions of his or her actions. Instead, the child is motivated to avoid being caught instead of understanding why the parent is not happy with the situation and what they can do differently next time. Spanking your child teaches him or her that violence may be used to solve problems. People don’t often question what they should do when spanking doesn’t work. Trying to impose your will on your child through corporal punishment is really only good for temporary obedience at the long term cost of resentment, anxiety and mental and physical pain.
We’ve already written on why punishment is never the answer. There are numerous ways to discipline your child without hitting them – and learning these techniques will help you move a long way forward as a parent.
10. Children who have been spanked, or hit are more likely to fight with their peers. These are often the kids who then hit or bite with other kids. They are more likely to become bullies and resort to verbal and physical violence to resolve conflicts. They are also more likely to result in delinquency and antisocial behavior later in life, as well as poor parent-child relationships, mental health concerns, and victims or abusers of domestic violence 11.
All good parenting skills and tips mentioned above are science based and compile the best parenting advice we can convey in this short article.
Do you have some interesting parenting tips you would like to share, or have a question? You can easily reach us by commenting below the article or by joining our community.
Parenting is becoming one of psychology’s most studied topics.
In searching for the most successful parenting method, many parenting strategies, practices, or traditions have been studied, verified, refined, or disproved scientifically. Neuroscience is continuing to emerge with new information every year. This is a great time to be a parent, and maybe even a better time to be a kid. Science is about questioning, proving, analyzing, and solving the uncertainties and unknowns in life. Not many things are filled with uncertainty or unknowns as much as parenting.
There are a lot of scientific-based parenting books that have been written that contain a lot of great advice for raising a child and information that is backed by science. Using scientific information isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, of course. Every child is unique. Emerging research and literature show us that there actually are alternatives to spanking, such as redirection, reasoning, revoking privileges, time-in, and so on. You can pick the non-punitive discipline strategy that best suits your child’s needs in the moment.
Of course, you can utilize “conventional” or “old school” parenting techniques (e.g., spanking) and still get the immediate result that you may be looking for, but the negative effects are felt for years, well into adulthood. As a result, the value of parenting cannot be overstated. I think we all know that from our own childhood and the reason that you are reading this is because you want the best for your family. Why take a chance on the potential harm that some of the “out-dated” practices now knowing the harm that may be caused when there are well-researched, better alternatives? A good parent coach can also help you navigate new options and how to implement them into your family life.
Taking these “shortcuts” may necessitate more effort on your behalf in the short term, but they will save you a lot of time and aggravation in the long run.
The “good news” is that, while parenthood is challenging, it is also extremely gratifying. The “bad news” is that successful parenting will take some hard work and an investment of time. The other “good news” is that you don’t have to do it all on your own. It is difficult to go against the grain and adopt a new paradigm without support. There are many other parents right now that are realizing that there is another way, a way that allows us as parents to be more aware of the needs and emotions of our children. A way that allows you to use your intuition. A way of treating them like humans instead of less than, that still proves effective. It’s hard to make these paradigm shifts without the support of others who are going through the same thing. These are the topics that are covered in our workshop called Connection Parenting that include the Connection Parenting Community to be able to share, ask questions and feel supported. If we give it our all now, we will reap the benefits later and have nothing to regret.
What would be your best parenting advice you would share with young parents? Comment below.
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