How do you know if you’re being a good parent? For many, it can be difficult to tell, but being a good parent doesn’t require perfection. Being a good parent to my babies was hard work and took lots of time, but in the end, it was worth it. I learned many things from being a good parent to my babies, but these three things were the most important lessons I learned and have stuck with me long after they’ve grown up and moved out.
Good is defined as exhibiting desirable or positive qualities. In order to be considered good parents, we should definitely be looking at our parenting habits and ensuring that they are in line with what society perceives as good. Personally, I think that there are some things you can do from day one to ensure that your kids grow up with good values and feel loved and supported by their parents.
Consistency is key in parenting
Consistency is important in all aspects of life, but especially when you’re raising kids. Kids learn by repetition and habit. If they can be conditioned at an early age to do one thing over and over again, it will become a habit. That means good parenting is also about creating healthy habits in your children so that you don’t have to micromanage their lives forever. The best way for parents to do that is by being consistent in their behavior and teaching their children what consistency looks like from an early age.
Patience is key
Being patient as your child learns new things is one of many important lessons every parent should learn, and it will do you well in any other aspect of life. There are so many things you have to let go of for kids. Whether it’s their first words or first steps, being able to sit back and watch them grow without feeling like you have to do something is critical. Allow your child to be exactly who they are meant to be, and don’t worry about comparing them with others or how they stack up against societal norms. It’s impossible not to get frustrated sometimes but allowing yourself that space allows your kids a chance at being themselves and learning at their own pace.
Never say never when you are talking to babies
You don’t know how your words will be interpreted. As far as babies are concerned, what you say goes. So when you tell them no, they think you really mean yes. A baby is smart enough to learn that he can get what he wants if he cries hard enough and long enough; in fact, research shows that some children who start talking early also have an astute sense of timing—knowing just how long it takes their parents to give in. In other words, saying no sets up a power struggle between parent and child that can result in miscommunication or even temper tantrums.
Good role model of a good parent
Set an example for your children by showing them how to treat others with respect. Just because you’re a kid yourself doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibilities. So make sure your kids know that it’s important to respect their parents, siblings, and other adults in their lives. As an extension of respecting others, it’s also critical that we show our children how to be kind when they’re not getting what they want—because even at a young age, they can learn from our example. They won’t always get what they want, but as long as we set an example for them of being polite and kind (instead of angry and belligerent), then we can help shape better people for tomorrow.