As parents, we are always looking for ways to how to be better at the most important job of our lives. We want the best for our children and we want to be the ones to give it to them.
Just striving to be better parents is enough in some cases, but it you are not satisfied, then here are seven ways that you can make an immediate improvement in your parenting skill set.
1. Listen to your child—The best thing that you can do to help your child navigate their emotions is listen to what they have to say. Let them feel without telling them how to feel. This will help you to communicate better with them all around as you will be able to respond to their actual, rather than their perceived concerns.
2. Know your child—You will always be the foremost expert on your child, but make sure that you take the time to earn this title. Pay attention to everything from your child’s interests to their behavior patterns when they get sick. There will be a test later.
3. Back off—Though you should always be available to your child when they need you, you also need to recognize that they do not and will not always need you. Make sure that you give your child the space that they need to grow and develop.
4. Let your child make their own mistakes—Children learn best by doing and sometimes by failing. If your child is not in danger from their mistake then it is important to step back and allow them to make it. They’re learning and you don’t want to interfere with that.
5. Accept change—In their life, your child will grow and change almost too fast for you to actually register. It is important that you be flexible because things that were true yesterday simply might not be today. This includes your child’s favorite food or color as well as the best way to get them to sleep.
6. Be a good model—You are going to be the first person that your child looks to in order to learn to be a successful adult. There will other influences in your child’s life, but your impact cannot be discounted. Make an effort to be the best possible role model for your child while you can still influence them.
7. Offer attention, not rewards—Your child needs your attention to grow and thrive and they will find ways to get it. If you do not offer your child the kind of positive attention they need, then they will learn to seek negative attention. By the same token, however, if you devalue your attention with rewards like food and toys, your child will cease to appreciate it.
Together, these seven parenting strategies can help to make you a more attentive and responsive parent. They will help you to identify and meet your child’s needs, whatever them may be, but the most important thing you can do for your child is to love them and show it.