Whilst many parents strive for perfection, human beings make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect and therefore perfect parenting doesn’t exist. It’s normal to make mistakes in any aspect of life, including parenting. All you can aim for is to be the best parent you can be. Realise that you’re not perfect, accept you’ll make mistakes and enjoy the challenge. Here are some things to think about:
Being a Role Model
Your children will look up to you as they are growing up, so it is up to you to show them how to become responsible adults. For example, If you want them to grow up eating well, then you must demonstrate that you also practice what you preach. It’s okay to eat pizza, but teach your children that it’s a treat rather than the norm and that mostly the food that comes to the table is home cooked and nutritious.
Show your children that’s it is important to have respect for other people. They will be watching how you communicate with others. Try and stay calm in difficult situations, it won’t be very helpful for them if they hear you talking badly about neighbours, teachers and anyone else you might feel annoyed with at the time. Show them that if you speak assertively and calmly, you can get your point across and that it’s much better than shouting and screaming.
Have a positive outlook on life. Teach your children that they can learn for mistakes and that maybe things happen for a reason. Help them to deal with their disappointments, talk to them about their upsets and reassure them that things will get better.
Children thrive on consistency and making and sticking to the rules will ensure that your kids know how to behave, both inside and outside the home. Don’t be overly strict, remember children need some freedom and a sense of independence. Give your children tasks that they can accomplish, for example, your toddler might won’t be able to keep his bedroom tidy on his own, but you can teach him to help you to tidy things away. He will then get to know that before he can go outside, toys have to be put back and as he gets older he will do this himself.
Creating Family Time
Try and have at least one meal together at a table. It’s a great way for the family to get together. Don’t have a television on and ban cell phone use whilst you eat. Use the time to talk about your day. Even if it’s impossible to eat together during the week because of work commitments, make sure you do it at least once over the weekend. Arrange a cinema date or go bowling once a month if you have older children who are busy with their own activities.
Make sure your kids grow up knowing that they can talk to you. Listening to them is very important and it teaches them how to communicate effectively. Let them express their opinions whenever they feel the need. Yes, it can be irritating when you’ve worked hard all day and are just sitting down after cooking supper to watch your favourite TV programme, but kids often have to speak as the thoughts come into their head. If you ask them to wait they might not bother and you will have missed an opportunity to find out what’s going on in their lives, or what’s worrying them. Turn off the TV get them to sit down with you and give them your full attention.
Give your children freedom. It teaches them responsibility and how to take care of themselves. If you live in area where its safe let your kids play in the park, or take their bikes out with friends. Let your teenagers go to the cinema and enjoy night out with the gang. It is scary having to let your children go into the big wide world, but unless you do, they won’t learn to become independent.
Remember, you can’t be perfect, but if you give your children attention, show interest, be consistent with rules and let them spread their wings, you will hopefully bring up happy, polite and responsible human beings.