There is no question about it, being a good parent is an extremely tough job. As parents we have the power to make our children’s lives miserable or happy. We can be tools of torture or of inspiration, humour and healing. Good parenting helps foster empathy, honesty, self-reliance, kindness and cooperation. It promotes intellectual curiosity, motivation and the desire to achieve, as well as this, it helps to protect children from developing problems such as depression and anti-social behaviour.
Therefore it is extremely important for us as parents to build strong and positive relationships with our children so that they can develop into happy, responsible and well-adjusted adults. As we endeavor to achieve this, here are a few key principles to keep in mind -:
What I do makes a difference.
Because my children are always watching me. So before you react, ask yourself, “What is this action going to accomplish and will it produce the result that I want?”
I have to be involved in my child’s life.
This takes time and effort and may mean that you have to sacrifice what you want to do for what your child needs to do. As much as possible, it is important that you are there for your child mentally and physically.
I need to discipline in the right way.
There is evidence that proves that aggressive methods of discipline often lead to bullying and relationship problems with other children. Consider using other ways to discipline which may work, but do not involve aggression. For example, “time out” or “denial of favourite activities”.
I must establish and set rules.
You must manage your children’s behaviours when they are young, so that they can manage themselves when they are older and you are not around. You should always be able to answer 3 questions: Where is my child? Who is with my child? What is my child doing?
I should remember to explain my rules and decisions.
Clear communication in a calm manner is the key to establishing better understanding. Many times parents over explain to younger children and under explain to older ones. Always remember that what is obvious to you as a parent may not be obvious to your 13 year old child as he or she does not have your level of understanding or experience.
I must be consistent.
If your rules change from day to day then your child’s misbehavior is your fault, not his or hers. Your most important disciplinary tool is consistency.
It is crucial to foster my child’s sense of independence.
Many parents mistake independence for rebelliousness or disobedience. But you must remember that it is human nature to want to be in control rather than be controlled. Setting limits is important because it will help your child develop a sense of self control. Encouraging independence will help the child to develop a sense of self direction. And to be successful in life, your child will need both self-control and self-direction.
I must always treat my child with respect.
Speak to your children politely, respect their opinion, pay attention to them when they are speaking and treat them kindly. Remember that the way children treat others is from the way they are treated by their parents.
This advice on family living is made possible with support from