Psychology defines parenting as “The process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.” Across cultures, parents have been deemed the most responsible people in the development of a child. Therefore seeking various ways to be a good parent with effective parenting skills.
According to psychology, the four defined styles of parenting for effective parenting with different characteristics are:
- Authoritarian parenting: The parents become the ultimate authority and the child must follow everything the parents say without question.
- Indulgent parenting: Here, the parents indulge in every demand and request of the child making the child the deciding factor in each aspect.
- Negligent parenting: the parents either consciously or unconsciously refrain from engaging too much with their child.
- Authoritative parenting: Here, there is a balance between freedom and involvement and there is mutual respect between the parents and the child. This makes this style reasonable and most nurturing.
Ten Steps to More Effective Parenting
Most parents of the world follow a subjective mix of all or some of these parenting styles and that is what makes each parent-child bond unique and special. But there are some factors which are in a way can be universal keys to effective parenting. Here are ten steps to more effective parenting which can be modified and applied according to the parents and the child.
1. Respect Your Child as a Human
As parents, we often know better than our children. However, it is important to respect the views, opinions and experiences of our children with an open mind. This gives them the confidence to voice their beliefs and lets them know that their voice matters. As Michelle Obama said,
For me, I never felt invisible. And I think in thinking through my story about why I do not now feel invisible I think it’s because my parents always made me feel visible. It came from the simple truth, not what was going on in the world, but what was going on at my dinner table…
2. Let Them Know the Reason Behind What you Ask Them to Do
Many times, disciplinary habits are enforced upon kids through punishment and reward. The child follows the disciplines due to either fear of punishment or hope of reward. However, if we let them know the reason behind the rules we set at home and have a conversation with them about their importance, it builds up the intrinsic motivation to follow those practices and makes them disciplined for the longer term.
3. Be a Good Role Model
We have heard this more times than not but it is the truth. Your children do not become what you tell them to be, they become what you show them through your behavior. Every single day, the way you behave, the way you go about your daily activities, the way you treat people, all of these things are embedded in the psyche of your children as the ideal behavior standard. As parents, it is important to be mindful of the kind of example we set in front of our kids.
4. Work on Yourself
Even as we become parents, we are still human beings, and therefore, it is important for us to work on ourselves, whether internally or externally along with our kids. When our children see us working on ourselves, improving ourselves, it inspires them to keep working on themselves and keep improving and learning in life.
5. Make Time For Doing Activities Together
The time you spend with your children is often the most valuable time for them. So make sure to take some time every day to do some fun activities like reading, playing or cooking together.
6. Inculcate Social Sense in Your Child
As we collectively try to raise a more socially aware, equal and respectful generation, it is important that our everyday conversations and behavior reflect that. As parents, the duty of building the foundational beliefs of our kids falls on us. Hence it is important that we make our children aware of the privileges they enjoy, and the society they live in. This will empower them to strive for a better society because they are the future of our world.
7. Have An Open Relationship With Your Child
As children grow, they face different problems and meet different people. In such times, it is important for them to know that they can come and talk to you about anything without fear. Letting your children know that you are there for them and that you will support them in whatever they do is one of the surest ways to make them more confident, relaxed and grounded.
8. Be Real In Front Of Your Children
As parents, there may often be a pressure to be the most perfect and the most polished person you can be. While that is a good thing, letting our kids know that even we make mistakes and even we are still learning, enables them to understand you better and helps you grow with them. Let your children know that it is okay to make mistakes, and even you do make mistakes sometimes. In this way, you can teach them to learn from their mistakes and strive to become better.
9. Develop Foundational Values In Your Child
Take the time to make your child understand the importance of values and principles. Encourage them to develop their own values, ones which will guide them for their whole life as they grow and achieve more and more.
10. Have Fun
While following all of the above, make sure to relish the childhood of your kids and have fun with them. Parenting can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, be sure to enjoy it along the way.
These are a few things you can think about and inculcate in your parenting routine. However, do remember that every child and every parent is unique and only you can decide how to incorporate these practices in your own way. Happy parenting!