Have you ever wondered what it means to be a great parent? Are you wanting to start a family but find it intimidating to take care of a child?
Many parents even spend a long time contemplating their parenting methods or spend frustrating nights trying to figure out why their kids won’t listen.
That said, being a parent can also bring you the most joy you have ever felt and make the frustration and struggles worth it.
It may be one of the hardest things you do, but it will also be one of the most rewarding. Keep reading to find out how you can be a great parent!
1. Set an Example You Want Them to Follow
You can spend countless frustrating hours trying to teach your kids not to yell or hit, only to have them scream at you because they didn’t get their way. While every child is different, there is often a similar root problem.
Kids will learn to react by watching you react. If you scream and yell when you are angry, they will see your response as the correct way to respond to situations that make them angry.
Though it may be difficult, try your best to keep a level head when confronting your children about disobeying. This will show them that responding calmly is the best way to react to stressful situations.
2. Listen to Your Child
If your child is throwing a temper tantrum, there is usually a simple solution. Don’t jump to immediately shutting down the tantrum, but instead listen to what your child has to say.
If your child is upset because their sibling wants to play with their toys, kindly explain to them why sharing is important, and show them a different toy they can play with.
Oftentimes, children lose their temper when they are overtired or hungry as well, so try to keep that in mind when asking them what is wrong.
3. Make Time for Them
Spending quality time with your children will really show them that you love them. When they are younger, they may not understand why you need to spend so much time working or being away from home.
To be a great parent, spend time and connect with your kids in ways that they like. Sit and color with them or play with them on the playground. This will let your children know that you really care for them.
4. Understand Your Child
Each child is unique and will require you to learn how to parent differently. That is why understanding your child and their personal needs will help you to be a better parent and care for your child.
Some situations may be harder for certain children. If your child does not do well in loud, social settings, try to be understanding and make accommodations for when they have to be in public. This will make your child happier and make parenting easier for you.
5. Apologize When You Are Wrong
Acknowledging when you are in the wrong to your children will not only set a good example for them to follow, but it will also show that you value your relationship with your child.
Many parents make the mistake of lying to their kids out of habit or never apologizing for an outburst to their child. This could potentially damage the trust your child has in you, so to be a great parent, try to acknowledge your mistakes.
6. Help Your Child Understand
Some more great parenting tips are to help your child understand the situation and to get on their level. It may be difficult for them to realize why what they are doing is wrong or why they can’t have their way.
Stand in their shoes and do your best to explain the situation in terms that they can grasp. This will help them realize that what they did is not ok, and will help them to learn not to do it again.
7. Reward the Good
If your child does something good, acknowledge it! So many parents spend all their time disciplining the bad that they fail to notice when their child does something good.
Rewarding good behavior will not only make your child feel more appreciated, but it will also encourage them to be good in the future.
8. Take the Time to Learn
Learning about how to be a great parent with other parents like you can help you to gain outside perspectives and learn from similar experiences. You can share your struggles and get parenting tips from professionals and parents who may have gone through the same thing.
Finding and choosing parenting classes will not only help you learn how to care for a child, but also give you a sense of community so you don’t feel alone.
9. Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself will better equip you for taking care of a child. It is easier to respond with a level head and be a great parent if you are in a good space.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, take time to yourself to regain your composure and level your head. This will help you to better control your emotions and not react in a way you might regret.
10. Have Clear Boundaries
Saying “no” is an important part of parenting, so don’t be afraid to say it. Not only will it keep a child safe, but it will also help your child understand when they are doing something you don’t want them to do.
“No” does not have to be a harsh word, but rather a word that sets guidelines for your child. By saying, “No, I’m sorry but we cannot eat ice cream for dinner” may not be what they want to hear, but it will teach them that they need to eat their meals before desserts.
11. Remember They Are Still Learning
It may take your child time before they pick up on what you are trying to teach them. Remember not to get frustrated with them, and allow them the time they need to fully grasp the concept.
If they mess up, gently steer them back on the right path. With the right guidance, they will eventually get the idea.
Enjoy Being a Great Parent
While frustrating at times, parenting is one of the most rewarding things a person can do. By following these parenting tips, you can develop a wonderful relationship with your children and both get the most out of your parenting.
If you are listening, understanding, and growing with your child, you will max out the benefits of what it means to be a great parent.
If you want to learn more tips on how to care for a child, check out more of our marriage & parenting posts!