Becoming a parent is something most of us look forward to, and it is a phase that comes with many responsibilities. While dividing your attention among your partner, work, and self and providing your children’s financial needs, you shouldn’t neglect their psychological needs. Good parenting involves raising kids that you’d be proud to call your own.
It involves instilling discipline and character that reflects the kind of person you’d have loved to become. Good parenting involves creating a better generation of people with values. But this is indeed one area where many parents fall short.
Perhaps you’ve probably been trying so hard to care for your child, especially adolescents, but it seems like a losing battle. Or you want to be that parent that’ll always be there for their child, materially, psychologically, socially, and otherwise.
Here are some tips to get you on the right track.
Know that you are a role model
Every parent is a role model to the child, whether they know it or not. You’re the eyes through which your child first sees the world. Through you, they learn to speak, and it’s the words you use they’ll first get accustomed to. Your child learns from you subconsciously.
They first learn to know what’s wrong and right from you before they grow their conscience through externally acquired knowledge. And it’s hard to unlearn first habits.
That implies that you should be cautious of your words and actions in the presence of your kids. Do you want them to be gentle, forgiving, and generous? Let them see these characters in you, and they’ll figure they’re the right things to do. Actions speak louder than words.
Reinforce your actions with words
Many people say reinforce your words with actions. When it comes to parenting, the reverse is also true.
Your 8-11-year-old child may see you acting in a particular way but may not know the implications. For instance, you may show kindness by giving, but your child may not understand why you give. There are also bad habits you may not practice, but if your child doesn’t hear from you that such things are wrong, they may not be aware of the morality.
Additionally, you may love your child, but they may not exactly know that it’s love you’re expressing. It becomes important for you to tell them verbally that you do. Telling your child about how you feel about them helps you connect, and this connection is critical to your child’s wellbeing.
This brings us to the next parenting tip.
Stay connected to your child always
As a good parent, do your best to spend as much time as possible with your kids. Parent-child connection is integral to how the child sees the world. They unconsciously rely on you for information that shapes their personality.
If your child acquires feelings of safety, acceptance, and love from you, these are what they’ll radiate as they go out into the world. What they learn and how they feel in your presence moulds who they become as a person. Make every moment with your child one they can reflect on and smile 30 years later.
Help your child develop a positive mindset of self
Teenage is a critical point in an individual’s life. A teen struggles for self-identity while battling the stress of high school, emotionally and otherwise.
Notably, we live in a world where people fall apart due to societal pressure. The things we see and hear from all corners of the earth are enough to break a strong adult soul; how much more an adolescent?
Your child needs positive information to counter the negatives they’ll face out there. Help your child towards the perfecting of the saints, increasing their faith, building resilience, and protecting themselves from the world’s wickedness. Help them gain access to resources that will help build their sense of identity.
Never forget survival skills
Aside from teaching what’s right and wrong, setting up your kids for success involves instilling in them basic survival skills as they develop. Your children may find themselves in emergencies, and it’s these skills that will see them through.
Think about getting lost, dealing with strangers, or handling dangerous materials. Children must have the necessary knowledge to help them cope with such emergencies, and they should have such skills as early as 5 years old. Survival skills are learning to live.
Key survival skills to teach your kids:
- How to handle a knife properly
- Setting fires
- Finding food and water
- How to deal with strangers
- How to keep warm without fire, especially in winter
- How to find shelter when lost
- Emergency numbers
- Applying first aid.
Survival skills can save a child in times of trouble.
Set boundaries to discipline your child
Even as you try to be a good dad or mom, you mustn’t be overly agreeable with your child. Children need structure and guidance as they navigate the world. Let them know what is expected of them, tell them how things work in the world.
Let your kid know what’s wrong, what not to do, and the consequences of going against such rules. When they violate, have age-appropriate consequences in place to address their actions. This will help you raise people that acknowledge and respect rules.
Listen and respond accordingly
As your child develops, listening to them becomes even more important than telling them what to do. Your teen will develop emotional issues, mood swings, and even flare up unreasonably.
Be the good, mature parent and acknowledge that they’re going through a phase. Be there for them by giving your listening ears and support even when they act like they don’t need it.
Let them know that they can always count on you. How connected you’ve been while they were younger will help you during this time.
Furthermore, avoid making your teen feel like they’re wrong for feeling how they do. Even when they’re unreasonably sad because they lost a game, show empathy; tell them you understand, and they’ll trust you.
Your children will grow up into adolescents. How your 14-year-old child acts will differ from how they did when they were 5. Your approach towards their issues should also be different. Always ensure you have an age-appropriate approach in place.
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