Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lesson #22: How to Be a Good Parent

Being a parent is one of the most fulfilling experiences a person can have. There is a natural instinct that seems to come to a new parent, but there are bits of advice that can help when you are challenged in the growing up years. The most important thing however, that any parent can give their child, is a sense of being loved.

1. Express love & affection
  • A gentle cuddle, a little encouragement, appreciation, approval or even a smile can go a long way to boost the confidence and well-being of your children. Sadly, many children seek this kind of acceptance from their peers (who are wholly unqualified).
  • Tell them you love them every day
  • Give lots of hugs and kisses
  • Love them unconditionally; don't force them to be who you think they should be in order to earn your love.
2. Listen to them
  • Express interest in your children and involve yourself in his and her activities.
  • Create an atmosphere in which they can come to you with a problem however large or small.
  • Talk to them at dinner times. Turn off the TV and listen closely. Share your experiences with them.
3. Help them feel safe
  • Respect their privacy as you would want them to respect yours; for example, if you teach your child that your room is out of boundaries to them, respect the same with their room. Allow them to feel that once they enter their room they can know that no one will look through their drawers, or read their diary.
  • Instill in them, a sense of belonging by displaying individual and family portraits on the walls of the house.
  • Don't argue with your spouse in front of the children. If they are sleeping, argue quietly. Modern divorce rates have children feeling insecure and fearful when they hear parents bickering. In addition, children will learn to argue with each other the same way they hear their parents argue with each other. Show them that when people disagree, they can discuss their differences peacefully.
  • Avoid favoritism. Surveys have shown that most parents have favorites, but most children believe they are the favorite. If your children are quarrelling, don't choose sides.
  • Give up your vices: gambling, alcohol and drugs can jeopardize your child's financial security. Smoking almost always introduces health hazards to your child's environment. Second-hand smoke has been linked to several respiratory ailments in children. It could also contribute to the early death of a parent. Alcohol and drugs might also introduce health hazards or violence to your child's environment.
4. Provide order.
  • Set boundaries such as bedtimes and curfews, so they learn that they have limitations. By doing so, they actually get a sense of being loved and cared about by their parents. They might rebel at those boundaries, but inwardly enjoy knowing that concerned parents love them.
  • Encourage responsibility by insisting they clean their room and make their bed every morning. Even the youngest of children can learn to tidy their room and put their toys away in the box at the end of the day. As your child grows, give them more responsibility.
  • Teach them what is right and wrong. If you are religious, take them to the religious institute that you follow.
  • Don't routinely do things for your children that they can learn to do for themselves.
    Model moderation and responsibility when it comes to drinking. Explain that they will have to wait until they are old enough to enjoy a drink with friends and talk about the importance of designated drivers. Failure to discuss these issues early sometimes contributes to sneaking and dangerous experimentation.
5. Praise your children
  • Avoid comparing your children to others, especially siblings. Each child is individual and unique. Celebrate their differences and instill in each child the desire to pursue their interests and dreams.
  • Teach your children that it is okay for them to be different and they do not have to follow the crowd. Teach them right from wrong when then are young, and they will always be able to make their own decisions, instead of listening to others.
  • Remember that your child is not an extension of yourself. Your child is an individual under your care, not a chance for you to relive your life through them.
6. Avoid criticism by focusing on the behavior.
  • When your child acts out in a harmful and spiteful manner, tell him or her that such behavior is unacceptable and suggest alternatives. Avoid statements such as: "You were bad."
  • Be assertive yet kind when pointing out what they have done wrong. Be stern, but not cross, when you tell them what you expect.
  • Avoid public humiliation. If they misbehave in public, take them aside, and scold them privately.
  • Model the behavior and character you hope your children will adopt and live by the rules you set. Show them by example in addition to verbal explanations. Children have a tendency to become what they see and hear unless they make a conscious and concerted effort to break the mold.
7. Be consistent
  • Enforce rules that apply to every person leading a happy and productive life.
  • Enforce the same rules all the time, and resist your child's attempts to manipulate you into making exceptions.
  • Control your temper.
  • Communicate clearly. Children should be very familiar with the consequences of their actions. If you give them a punishment, be sure they understand the reason and the fault
  • Life is a great teacher. Don't be too quick to rescue your child from the results of their own actions if the consequences are not overly severe.
8. Spend time with each child individually
  • Set aside a day to go to a park, theme parks, museum or library depending on their interests.
  • Attend school functions. Do homework with them. Visit their teacher at open house. Even if it means taking some time away from work. Remember that children grow fast, and soon will be on their own. The time you have now with them, should bypass the time you have at work.
9. Be a role model - Young kids are like sponges. As parents we are our children's first role model. Pay attention to what you say or do around them and think about what kind of example you are making.
  • Want to teach kids about charity? Get involved and take your kids with you to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and help serve up meals.
  • Teach kids about chores by setting a schedule and having them help you out. Don't tell your child to do something, but ask for their help.
  • Want your kids to listen to you? Show them you can listen to them.
  • If you want your son or daughter to learn to share, set a good example and share your things with them.
10. Allow them to experience life for themselves - But don't just lose total control. Don't make decisions for them all the time, they must learn how to live so that they are ready when they are adults.

Tips :
  1. If you're trying to quit a habit, look into groups that can help you overcome it. Always get support, and have someone you can talk to when you begin to get a craving for your habit. Remember that you're not only helping yourself, but you're helping your child as well
  2. Reflect on your own childhood frequently. Identify the mistakes your parents made, and make and effort to avoid them. Every generation of parents gets to make a whole set of new mistakes.
  3. Encourage introspection by sharing with your children your own self-evaluations.

  1. Do not be afraid to be a parent. Do your best, be their friend, but never let them forget you are their parent.
  2. Parenting does not stop when a child grows up. Being a good parent remains a life-long role.
  3. Do not strictly follow the parental behavioral stereotypes of your culture, race, ethnic group, family, or other defining factor. For example, it is a commonly seen stereotype that Asian parents will force their children to achieve impeccable grades and take math and music classes, etc. These stereotypes are WRONG! Each child is individual and each parent loves their child.
  4. Please do not believe that there is only one way to raise a child.
taken from www.wikihow.com


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