What makes a good parent?

 

baby holding human finger
Photo by Wayne Evans on Pexels.com

After 20 years of caring for children and observing their behaviors I have formed many opinions on how to be a good parent and what not to do.  I am and always will be an advocate for children and I get really steamed when I see parents mistreating or neglecting a child.  It’s not easy to be a good parent, but I think it’s the most important job a person will ever have.

I truly believe every child needs love, stability and discipline in their daily lives.  Kids need to be hugged and nurtured, but they also need rules and schedules to help them cope with the stresses in life.  Without discipline kids develop bad behaviors which make school and friendships very difficult.  For instance, when I was little my friend’s sister was a brat.  Every time we tried to play together the sister would scream if she didn’t get her way.  My friend and I would try to ditch her every chance we got.  If parents spoil their kids and don’t teach them how to deal with disappointment then no one wants to be around them.  Do you want your kid to grow up alone with no friends or relationships?

A good parent can admit that they don’t know everything and need help from others.  It definitely takes a village to raise a child.  I don’t know how I would’ve survived getting my babies on a sleep schedule if it weren’t for books and my mother listening to me cry every day on the phone.  I thought my kids would never learn to nap.  Also a good parent can see that their child isn’t perfect and needs help.  I’m so sick of seeing kids behave wildly and know that they’re not getting the help they need.  Too many parents are in denial about their kids’ actions and don’t want to put their foot down and say “no” or take them to a doctor or therapist to find out why they are behaving in such a way that’s unacceptable in school and society.

Sometimes I don’t think parents realize the short term versus the long term when it comes to raising their children.  If today you teach them to be kind to others then they grow up happier because they think beyond themselves and give to others and our world.  If you don’t teach them right and wrong and discipline them for unacceptable behaviors today, then they grow up having trouble in school, can’t get or keep a job and possibly end up in jail.  Children need parents or guardians who guide them daily on their journey in life.  They need parents who will teach them how to survive and be successful in this world.

In my opinion, hugging your child and praising them daily while still enforcing the rules and setting expectations for them is the best way to raise a caring, independent, likable child.  Isn’t our goal as parents to raise our kids to be successful in life?  By this I mean able to function as an adult separate from us and having loving relationships in their lives that make them feel fulfilled all the while hopefully making a positive impact on our world??  There are some people that just shouldn’t be parents.  I wish more people would realize that about themselves instead of having kids and being a crappy parent.

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