What is good parenting

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Figuring out what is good parenting can help your relationships with your kids

Have you ever wondered what is good parenting? If you've just had a child, the thought may have crossed your mind a time or two. However, you don' t have to have offspring to wonder the question; it's quite easy to do.

Answering the question, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult. There's no black and white answer, but there are some universal traits that good parents tend to have.

Being Supportive

Raising a smart, healthy, well-adjusted child isn't just about giving him all the toys he wants. While educational toys can help your child develop certain traits, buying toys and other items when he wants them doesn't make you an excellent mom or dad. Instead, providing for him in other ways does.

Being supportive in no matter what your child does will boost his self-esteem and self-confidence more than you could probably imagine. Knowing that you are behind him and there to cheer him on provides the love and assurance that all children need.

Attending sports events, coming to school functions and even just being there to pick him up from school or a friend's house can really show him you care and want to be there. Praising him for even the smallest accomplishments, such as raising his grade by a letter, can give him the confidence he needs to succeed even more.

Be Consistent

Providing wishy-washy views and a way of thinking is confusing for a child, and can make him unsure about what is going on around him, as well as himself. This consistency should take place in most aspects of his life, including when setting limits and rules.

For instance, telling him he will face consequences for doing something you don't want, but then not following through with them, shows him inconsistency in your discipline methods. You show him that he actually won't have to deal with consequences for his wrong doing, which shows him you aren't really supplying much structure.

Children tend to thrive on structure because, believe it or not, it shows that you do really care about them. If a parent doesn't set limits and have expectations, it typically makes the child think he doesn't matter. Allowing your kid to do whatever he wants, including staying out at all hours and doing badly in school, often translates as you not caring.

Although you shouldn't be so strict that he is afraid to talk to you about anything, you should also set some limits and expectations. You should be firm with them and should always be consistent. Doing so shows you care and will help him to become a better person because of it.

Be Realistic

Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself is a recipe for disaster. Pressuring yourself to be a perfect parent is not only stressful, but that idea doesn't exist. Stressing out and pressuring yourself will likely only make things worse, and can cause you to be the mom or dad you don't want to be.

Instead, realize there's no blueprint for a perfect mother or father. Doing the best you can is what your child needs. Being easy on yourself also allows you to enjoy the experience that much more, which also makes you a better mom or dad because of it. 

Just spending time with your child and playing with him is enough to show you care. Sitting down to enjoy some crafts or reading a book together means and does more for your child than you'll probably know. 

And don't forget to take time for yourself. You might be surprised at how just being by yourself for a few hours a week can make you appreciate your children and be a better parent because of it.

Just about every mom or dad has wondered, "what is good parenting?" Whether you know it or not, you are probably the best mom or dad for your child and give him exactly what he needs. Now go have some fun with them and remember they are only children for a little bit of time!


The Royal College of Psychiatrists: Good Parenting

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