Being a parent is a very big responsibility. You always have to put an eye on your child’s behavior. No one goes into parenting knowing exactly how to handle everything that is thrown at them. But the best parents are always looking for ways to improve.
We have compiled a list of things you can do to make sure you are the best parent you can be. Here are some things you can do right now to be a better parent to your kids.
1. Boosting your child’s self-esteem
Kids start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents’ eyes. Your tone of voice, your body language, and your every expression are absorbed by your kids.
Your words and actions as a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else. Praising accomplishments, however small, will make them feel proud; letting kids do things independently will make them feel capable and strong. By contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavorably with another will make kids feel worthless.
Avoid making loaded statements or using words as weapons. Comments like “What a stupid thing to do!” or “You act more like a baby than your little brother!” cause damage just as physical blows do.
Choose your words carefully and be compassionate. Let your kids know that everyone makes mistakes and that you still love them, even when you don’t love their behavior.
2. Show your love
There is no such thing as loving your child too much. Loving them cannot spoil them. Only what you choose to do (or give) in the name of love can — things like a material indulgence, leniency, low expectation, and over-protection. When these things are given in place of real love, that’s when you’ll have a spoiled child.
Showing these acts of love can trigger the release of feel-good hormones such as oxytocin, opioids, and prolactin. These neurochemicals can bring us a deep sense of calm, emotional warmth, and contentment, from the child, which will develop resilience and not to mention a closer relationship with you.
3. Be Flexible
Sometimes parents struggle with unrealistic expectations and goals for both their kids and for themselves. When this happens, parenting can suddenly feel burdensome and overwhelming. If you find that you regularly feel that way, you may need to be more flexible when it comes to yourself, your kids, and your parenting.
4. Maintain a friendly relationship
Stop imposing yourself on the child and create a strong friendship rather than being a boss. Don’t sit on a pedestal and tell the child what she should do. Place yourself below the child so that it’s easy for them to talk to you.
5. Be a safe haven
Let your child know that you’ll always be there for them by being responsive to the child’s signals and sensitive to their needs. Support and accept your child as an individual. Be a warm, safe haven for your child to explore from. Children raised by parents who are consistently responsive tend to have better emotional development and mental health outcomes.