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Aug 17th
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Ways to Be a Good Parent (Part 1)

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Being a parent is one of the most fulfilling experiences a person can have. The most important thing a parent can give their child, however, is a sense of being loved. Just keep in mind that you don't have to be infallible to be a "perfect" parent.

Build Positive Children

1. Expressing Your Love and Affection

  • A gentle cuddle, a little encouragement, appreciation, approval or even a smile can go a long way to boost the confidence and well-being of your children. Sadly, many children seek this kind of acceptance from their peers.
  • Tell them you love them every day.
  • Give lots of hugs and some kisses.
  • Love them unconditionally; don't force them to be who you think they should be in order to earn your love. Let them know that you will always love them no matter what.

2. Praising Your Children

  • Avoid comparing your children to others, especially siblings. Each child is individual and unique. Celebrate their differences and instill in each child the desire to pursue their interests and dreams. Failure to do so may give your child an inferiority complex, an idea that they can never be good enough in your eyes.
  • Teach your children that it is okay for them to be different, and they do not have to follow the crowd. Teach them right from wrong when they are young, and they will (more often than not) be able to make their own decisions, instead of listening to/following others.
  • Remember that your child is not an extension of yourself. Your child is an individual under your care, not a chance for you to relive your life through them.

3. Avoiding Criticism

  • Stop being judgmental and judging your child's friends they choose to talk to.
  • When your child acts out in a harmful and spiteful manner, tell him or her that such behavior is unacceptable and suggest alternatives. Avoid statements such as: "You're bad." "Go away!", etc. (as difficult as it may be to remain positive).
  • Be assertive yet kind when pointing out what they have done wrong. Be stern/serious, but not cross or mean, when you tell them what you expect.
  • Avoid public humiliation. If they misbehave in public, take them aside, and scold them privately.
  • Reasonably model the behavior and character you hope your children will adopt and continue to live by the rules that you set. Show them by example in addition to verbal explanations. Children have a tendency to become what they see and hear unless they make a conscious and concerted effort to break the mold.
    • A child may have an opposite disposition, ie: introverted when you are extroverted, for instance; and not be able to fit into the pattern and style that you choose, but will make ones own decisions.

4. Be Consistent

  • Enforce the same rules all the time, and resist your child's attempts to manipulate you into making exceptions.
  • Control your temper.
  • Communicate clearly. Children should be very familiar with the consequences of their actions. If you give them a punishment, be sure they understand the reason and the fault, if you cannot articulate the reason and how they are at fault the punishment will not have the discouraging effects you desire.
  • Life is a great teacher. Don't be too quick to rescue your child from the results of their own actions if the consequences are not overly severe. Example: Cutting themselves may hurt, but it's better than leaving them unaware of why sharp objects should be avoided.

5. Listen to Them

  • Express interest in your children and involve yourself in his and her life.
  • Create an atmosphere in which they can come to you with a problem however large or small.

6. Be A Role Model

Young kids are like sponges, they notice everything. As parents we are our children's first role model. Pay attention to what you say or do around them and think about what kind of example you are making.

  • Want to teach kids about charity? Get involved and take your kids with you to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and help serve up meals. Explain to them why you do acts of charity so they understand why they should.
  • Teach kids about chores by setting a schedule and having them help you out. Don't tell your child to do something, but ask for their help. The earlier they learn to help you, the longer they will be willing to.
  • Want your kids to listen to you? Show them you can listen to them.
  • If you want your son or daughter to learn to share, set a good example and share your things with them.

Give Up Your Vices

Gambling, alcohol and drugs can jeopardize your child's financial security. Smoking, for example, almost always introduces health hazards to your child's environment. Second-hand smoke has been linked to several respiratory ailments in children. It could also contribute to the early death of a parent. Alcohol and drugs might also introduce health hazards or violence to your child's environment.