Despite what you might think, nobody’s born with great parenting skills! Those parents you admire most learn those skills from experience. Watching other parents and learning from your own experiences are excellent ways to enhance your parenting skills.
Yet, it’s sometimes unnerving when you think about parenting. Kids need so much attention! And as a parent, you’re fully accountable for their well-being. That’s a heavy load to carry, especially for a first-time parent.
The reassuring news is that if you take it in stride, you can master the art of effective parenting.
Try these strategies to develop terrific parenting skills:
1. Learn from other parents. As a new parent, it’s pointless to try to reinvent the wheel! Sure, you probably want to be known as “the world’s best parent,” but it has already been done many times before.
- Do you have friends or siblings who are already parents? Spend some time with them to see how they handle parenting scenarios.
- If you’re stressed out about a parenting issue, call up a friend who’s a fellow parent to get advice. They can tell you how they’d handle the situation. Use that guidance to help with the solution for you and your kids.
- Check around to see if there are parenting groups in your community. These groups can help you develop the kind of leadership skills needed for parenting.
2. Keep communication open. Above all, it’s vital to keep communication with your kids open. Even if their actions are irritating, be ready to communicate.
- It’s important to remember that you’re fully responsible for your child. As such, it’s not a good idea to be the one to shut off.
- Promote open communication by encouraging your kids to talk to you regardless of the situation. They have to know that you’ll be supportive. Kids tend to hold back when they feel their parents might not understand.
- Take the time to share how you feel about their actions. It can be done without you getting angry.
3. Research new parenting trends. Today’s environment for raising kids is much different than 30 years ago. Consider doing some research on current parenting trends.
- The internet is filled with all sorts of blogs for parents. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from specialists, as well as other parents.
- Becoming familiar with the things that catch your child’s attention is also important. You may not need to know how to play every game, but it’s important to know what their interests are.
4. Use your own childhood experiences. One of the most direct sources for advice is you. You were a child once, so you can draw on your childhood experiences.
- How did you think as a child? What mattered to you? Are there things that your parents did with you that you would do differently or the same with your own kids?
- Can you think of a stage when you gave your parents a hard time? If you can, then you can understand why it’s happening with you and your child!
- Patience goes a long way in successful parenting. Get feedback from your parents about how they coped with raising you.
These guidelines will give you a running start with parenting. The reality is that each parenting scenario is unique. Once you have a feel for the energy between you and your child, you can determine the most helpful approach.
The parent and child relationship is special, and it comes very naturally. Avoid worrying about all the little things, and just do your best!