People tend to talk about how difficult their job is, but the hardest job that you can have is one that doesn’t pay you. Of course, we’re talking about parenting, which is a 24 hour a day job filled with constant learning and reminders that you don’t know everything. Just because being a parent can be difficult doesn’t mean that there aren’t some basics that you can’t easily learn. To be an effective parent, here are a few of the fundamentals that you must have to be successful.
5. Be Proactive
Think about the best coaches, managers and other people in a position of power that you’ve had in your life. What did they all have in common that made them so effective? Chances are that they were all proactive instead of reactive. Children, just like anybody else, are less likely to take any advice if you’re simply reacting to something that happened. When the consequences have already happened, the lesson has been learned and you’re basically rubbing salt in the wound by being reactive. Instead, paint a picture for your child regarding their choices that they make.
4. Set Good Examples
There will be no bigger role model in your child’s life than you. As a parent, your child will emulate almost everything that you do. This can be a double edged sword. If they see that you’re aggressive and fall into bad habits, then your children are more prone to copying that behavior. If you’re practicing healthy habits yourself and walking the talk, then your children are going to follow that example. This will be beneficial to yourself in the long run, too.
One of the biggest complaints that children will have is that they don’t feel like they’re being heard. As a kid, you can’t wait to grow up, and one of the key reasons is because they believe that they’ll finally be listened to and taken seriously once they reach adulthood. That’s not always going to be the case, but it’s better to make a child feel better when growing up by hearing what they have to say. It might be a story about a video game or they could be having serious issues at school. No matter what it is, always listen.
2. Show Respect
Listening to your child sort of goes hand in hand with showing them respect. When children don’t feel like they’re being respected, they’re more likely to shut down and not fill you in on how they’re feeling because it will fall upon deaf ears. This can set the tone for a rough upbringing that causes your child to feel isolated. Always ask for their input on decisions that are being made in the family so that they feel included and respected.
1. Be Involved
The other big complaint that children have when growing up is that their parents weren’t involved in their lives. You see it all of the time in reality shows where people talk about how they ended up in a bad situation (such as addiction) and it stems back to their parents not being around. So go to the parent/teacher meetings, attend the sporting events and get them to their school dances. You don’t have to be a helicopter parent but make sure to get involved.