Parenting 101

Parenting is the promotion and support of a child and, parenting practices involve activities that promote spirituality, physical fitness, intellectual, emotional, and social development.  Parenting is not exclusive to biological parents but also includes adoptive parents or caretakers who provide the same quality of parenting and support to the child as biological parents can.

Parenting can be challenging, but also, rewarding.  Effective parenting can foster empathy, co-operation, kindness, motivation while on the other hand a lack of effective parenting may promote anxiety, and other anti-social behaviour.

Below are a few tips that can assist parents and guardians to be effective:

Parental involvement

Being involved in your child’s life means that parents and guardians would often have to make sacrifices for the well-being of their child.  Very often parents find themselves adjusting their schedules to suit their child’s schedules and needs.

Being part of your child’s activities and giving them the undivided attention they deserve assists to build confidence.

Adjusting Parenting practices

Understanding the various stages of your child’s development would assist in adjusting your parenting practices. 

For example, at age 3, a child may continuously say “no”, how would you deal with this as a parent?

Would you maintain the same guidelines with a 16 year old as with a 5 year old?

Establishing specific and clear rules

It is important that parents establish specific rules and guidelines for a child as early as possible and be consistent when enforcing these rules.

As the child gets older he or she would be able to apply these rules to his or her life, even when the parent is not around.  Consistency is important as the child would soon recognize that there are some areas that are non-negotiable.  In so doing, limits are being established and in setting limits children learn that there are consequences when rules are broken.

Parents as role models

Very often, our words as parents differ from our actions.  We do not always demonstrate the behaviour that we want our children to avoid. 

Parents, we are our children’s first role models and consequently we must avoid sending mixed signals; our actions must match our words

Encouraging gratitude

This tip is linked to tip #4.

Parents should model the appreciative behaviour that they expect their children to follow.  Parents can encourage this behaviour by asking questions such as “Did you say ‘thank you’?”  Wasn’t your grandmother’s dinner fabulous?”

It would be awesome, if you can provide opportunities for your child to show appreciation to his or her teacher, friend or neighbour.  Allowing your children to learn from real life experiences can make an enormous difference.  Children would eventually recognize that showing appreciation to others not only makes you ‘feel good’ but it also can lift the spirits of the person on the receiving end.

Admission to mistakes

As parents, we should encourage our children to own up to their mistakes.  the intent is not to make children feel badly but to understand that everyone makes mistakes. However, acknowledging those mistakes is of utmost importance as it builds character and strengthens human relations. After acknowledging their errors, parents need to work with them on correcting the situation so to avoid the same errors in the future.

Children do not come with manufacturer’s booklets and therefore, there is no specific set of rules that we must follow.  The tips given are just what they are TIPS; TIPS that are to be used as guidelines that could be adjusted according to the situation and the child that is involved.

I do hope the tips would be helpful.

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