9 Common Sense Parenting Tips for All Parents
“I came to parenting the way most of us do – knowing nothing and trying to learn everything.”
– Mayim Bialik
I think she says it all for all the parents out there. Phew! Parenting indeed is hardwork. There is no set formula, what works for one child may not work for the other. However, here are 9 common sense tips which can help you become better parent and let you achieve a level of trust with your children while bonding more closely with them.
1. Practice before you preach: Your own actions count
Children learn the way of the world by observing adults. Most children idolize their parents and guardians and model their own behavior and actions after what they see the adults doing. If you want your child to be a model of propriety and be well behaved, you have got to set a good example of it in front of him. Just remember that your child won’t begin to pick up influences from his peers till he reaches his preteens so every behavior and habit he has till that age is probably something he picked up from you.
2. Show them that you love them
Just like you are no mind -reader, your kid too is no mind-reader.To know that you are loved , you to need to hear it often(God knows the tantrums you throw when your husband/wife does not say the three words back!). Kids too won’t have too much of an idea that you care for them unless you show it to them and say it often also. Even if you buy them lots of toys and cook them plenty of nice things to eat, they probably won’t know that you love them unless you’re giving them plenty of hugs and kisses on a regular basis.
3. Don’t just let them, join them
Recent studies show that kids whose parents show an active interest in what they are doing are known to have higher levels of self esteem than kids whose parents are aloof and uninterested in their lives. Even though you don’t need to be overbearing and present at every step possible, showing up at important events like soccer games, ballet recitals, school plays, quiz competitions etc., can help your child feel like their talent is worth something to you as well. It’s a fine balance to strike and you are the only magician’s in you kid’s world who can do it.
4. Understand them better instead of comparing with others
A lot of parents constantly compare notes on their kids and keep a record of how each one behaved in a certain situation. However, good parenting is all about adjustment and modifying one’s behaviors to suit each child’s nature. Even though you may have perfected the guilt-tripping lecture on your rebellious daughter, the exact same words could prove to be devastating for your more sensitive young son.
The bottom line is helping your child become ‘the best of himself’ and not ‘the best of somebody else’.
5. Be flexible when kids challenge you
Most of us pick up parenting skills based on how we ourselves were treated by our own parents as children. However, a lucky few of us manage to break the cycle and choose to be better parents than our own folks were in which case determining what to do when our kids challenge us can be quite difficult. A good approach is to be the bigger person and mature adult when kids challenge your authority. If you get into a screaming match with your teen, you probably aren’t intimidating them too much. On the other hand, sticking to your ground with a calm demeanor could make your child feel like no amount of shouting can shake you. It also adds to the respect that your kid has for you.
6.Establish ground rules
As soon as a child is old enough to understand the concept of actions and consequences, you would need to begin laying ground rules for them. The hard part of course would be to stick by these rules making exceptions only in the rarest and most meritorious cases. Having strong rules would help children respect authority while understanding that they are responsible for their own actions. Make sure that you follow these ground rules yourself so as to set an example for the child. Never give the child the impression that you are above the rules laid out for him just because you are the parent. I of course do not mean rules like going to bed early, more like the concept of good and bad.
Whether you have chosen to be a disciplinarian or the spoiling parents, you would need to be very consistent in your behavior to help kids get a good grasp of who you are. You cannot reward them for a bad deed one day and punish them for it the next and expect them to understand why it was so each time. This however does not mean that you need to be stubborn in your approach. Bend where you need to. Good and bad are not laid in stone, you need to access the situation and act accordingly.
8. Strike a balance
Parenting is an art which needs to be perfected over time. The most important element is to strike a balance between what your child wants and what you want. Like every relationship, this too requires compromise.If your child requires freedom, give him freedom but be the judge of ‘in-what-amount’. Be protective but give your child the space to learn from his own mistakes. The list goes on. But, remember as a parent it is your duty to strive to achieve this balance.
9. Be patient with your child
Patience is the key of successful parenting. There is no point rushing, seeing you rush will do nothing but fluster them, so let them grow and learn at their own pace. In parenting, maturity is to understand that it is the child who actually leads not the parent. Let your child take as much time as it requires to grasp a thing. The child is meant to test your patience level. It is your duty to assure that you have all the patience and time in the world to deal with their issues. Keep up being the support system!
Being said all that, bringing up a child is not maths or science. It is the intimacy between you and your child that works out for yourselves.
Just remember, it always comes down to being there for your child.