There’s no parenthood guidebook so becoming one always guarantees mistakes, frustrations, and moments where you just feel lost. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most, if not all, parents will sometimes say the wrong thing and makes the wrong decisions. They’ll get frustrated at their child, get off-track at times, and even start to wonder if they are doing good jobs as parents.
However, what’s important to remember is that there’s no perfect parent and that being one is not doable. All your mistakes and misfortunes in life are chances to teach your child worthwhile life lessons.
An imperfect parent doesn’t mean an ineffective parent. If you want to be an effective parent, here are some habits that you can do.
Rules are rules
Enforce rules and stick to them. Rules and boundaries not only keep you balanced but also helps your developing child.
To become an effective parent, you have to make clear what are the things that your child is allowed and not allowed to do. Your child should know of the chores they are expected to do and how to treat other people.
If your child misbehaves, you can use instructions or the “if” warning, such as “If you don’t put your toys, you are not allowed to go to the park.” This teaches your child that for their mistake, they are responsible for the consequences.
Rules are rules but remain flexible
Your child won’t be 8 years old forever. As they grow, they will develop and evolve and the rules they had when they were young are no longer applicable when they are 15. When this happens, you must also show flexibility and bend some rules.
There’s a difference between enforcing rules and being overly strict. Too many rules and overly strict parents raise children who are more likely to break the rules. Aside from that, children also have lower self-esteem and a low sense of self-worth.
Communication is key
Parenting strengthens when there’s communication. Even when a child is just learning how to talk, they greatly benefit from conversations with their parents.
Talk about everything, how their day at school went, what they learned, their favorite ice cream flavor, favorite food, any new interest that they want to take part in. Any topic under the sun would do!
Constant communication will make your child feel safe and appreciated. It shows that you care for them. If you constantly communicate with them as a child, they will talk to you when they are adolescents.
Spend time together
You might think you are spending a lot of time with your child when you go through your morning routine together, drop them off at school before going to work, eating breakfast and dinner together, then tuck them off at night.
This is not true quality time. Instead, aim to give 10 to 15 minutes each day and give your child undivided attention with the activity of their choice.
We want the best for our kids and it is normal to want to give them the world. However, by doing this, you are not allowing your child to grow.
When they are younger, they need help with certain situations and that’s okay. But as they grow older, learn to step back and see how they solve their setbacks.
For example, your kid didn’t get the lead role in the school play despite practicing hard every day. Don’t sweep in and request to change the decision. Instead, explain to your child that not everything will go in their way. Encourage them to hone their skills and try again.
This teaches your child that one, parents won’t always fix their problems, and two, not everything will go as planned and that’s okay.
It’s important to teach your child how to handle negative emotions, such as failure and rejection, healthily.