Top 7 Tips to Make You A Better Parent
Parenthood comes with enormous joy and immense responsibility. Your actions and decisions have the power to shape your child’s entire life. It's natural to feel unnerved as you step into a parent's shoes.
No need to worry! Here are some tips to help you become a better parent, every step of the way.
Make sure you really listen to your child
Active listening is an essential parenting skill. It shows a child that you care about them. Children can pick up your body language to notice if you’re paying attention. Even if it’s an honest mistake, negligence from your side can have psychological consequences for your child, such as a sense of abandonment. No matter how busy you are, make it a point to listen and actively respond to your child when they reach out to you. Make eye contact, gently touch their arms, ask questions, and empathize with what they’re feeling. Answer their repetitive questions (even if it gets annoying).
Spend one-on-one quality time with your child
Your time is the greatest gift you can ever give to someone. It couldn’t be more accurate for a parent-child relationship. Spending quality time together helps build a long-lasting bond between you and your child. Engage with your kid over interactive activities that interest them. It could be board games, an outdoor trip, or watching movies. Not only do the two of you get to know each other better, but also your child feels encouraged and trusts that they can count on you. If you have more than one child, spend one-on-one time with each of them. You can further foster the bond by building a daily ritual with your child. It could be as simple as a goodbye hug, eating breakfast together, or going for a walk after dinner.
Establish rules but avoid harsh discipline
Inculcating discipline in your children is quite a stressful aspect of parenting. Many parents tend to go overboard or struggle to find the right balance. While it is essential to teach your children the difference between right and wrong, make sure you, in turn, don’t hurt their feelings or make them fearful of you. Set rules critical for their well-being but don’t resort to a harsh punishment if they break them. Instead, resort to communication, explaining why a particular rule is for their betterment. Also, make sure you remain consistent with rules and display discipline yourself too. Children are quick to notice inconsistencies and use them in their favor.
Be mindful of your behavior
Exhibiting healthy behavior is pivotal if you want your children to behave well. Moreover, if you lose cool in front of them, this is how they may resolve their problems in the future. Your behavior may even make them fearful or anxious. Keep your words and emotions in check in the presence of your children. If you lose your calm, be sure to apologize and take responsibility for your behavior. If your child does something wrong, make sure you still treat them with respect.
Adapt your parenting style to your child
Every child is unique - in their temperament, learning styles, abilities, and so much more. Inevitably, no two parenting styles can be the same. Furthermore, as your child grows, their needs, expectations, and behaviors change. So, your parenting style has to be tailored to your child’s personality and development stage. The best way to find the right parenting style is by openly communicating with your child. Ask them their expectations, read their cues, explain your stance, and try to find the right balance.
Set realistic expectations
Parenting is a tough job. It is a journey that doesn’t come with a map or a rulebook. There will be many blissful moments and many setbacks too. The best way to move forward is by allowing yourself to learn along the way and be flexible. You always need to remember that you are a human capable of making mistakes and making amends. So, don’t strive for perfection. Set realistic expectations, and don’t forget to leave room for your growth as a parent.
Make time for yourself
Parenting is a full-time job that can get the better of you from time to time. As much as you care for your child, you need to take care of yourself too. Make sure you take some time out of your routine for self-care. Eating right, exercising, resting, and pampering yourself will give you the energy to conquer all the parenting challenges that come your way. Not to forget, your children will follow suit in the future, and you’ll have to worry less.
A new discovery awaits you with each step of parenthood. Each stage offers an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your children. You can count on KinderSteps to help you navigate your parenting journey.
With the KinderSteps app, you'll find daily activities that deepen your bond with your children and help them reach developmental milestones. You also get to celebrate your children's achievements by sharing photos and videos with your family. And, you'll have our support with our parenting tips to help you become a better parent. Together, we can make each moment count.