The Definition of Parenting Skills
Parenting is a process of rearing up physically, mentally, socially and emotionally sound children. Parenting skills are set of instructions, tools and guiding forces to help children grow into happy and healthy adults. These skills ensure a loving relationship between parents and children, an everlasting bond and a harmonious family life.
You might find several definitions of parenting skills in books and online but every definition sums up to one thing “bringing up good human beings”.
A List of 10 Good Parenting Skills You Can Adopt
“Do this”, “don’t do that”, being parents you are always juggling between what is right for the kids and what is not. As much as you need to raise responsible humans, you need to learn how to do that. While some parents turn to their parents for working tips and techniques on raising good children, some others turn to the internet. You will find several online resources to discipline your children and turn them into the best versions of themselves but not everything works for everyone. Every child is unique and so are proposed parenting techniques. Not every rule can be applied to every child and several factors are involved in rearing up confident, happy and responsible human beings.
Children learn most of the things, if not everything, from their parents. The will do what they see you doing and will say what they hear from you. Being good observers, they will imitate your actions without even realizing. If you want them to be good, show them what good means. Translate the meanings of responsibility, humility, honesty, tolerance, respect and love through actions, not words. Show them that it’s ok to make mistakes but correcting the mistakes is also necessary. Show them that apologizing after hurting someone’s feeling will transform them into a better person.
Verbal communication is necessary to get to know the needs of your children. The more you will listen, the more you will understand them and it will become easier for you to address the problems and needs of the children. If you will listen to them attentively, they will learn to listen to you while you are talking. Paying keen attention is essential in effective communication even with kids. You cannot respond appropriately if you do not understand what other person is trying to communicate.
Parenting is a unique process and varies from one parent to another and can depend on a variety of factors. There are some universal parenting skills that will remain the same for every time and every child.
Here is a list of 10 parenting skills that can be adopted by any parent and are good enough for any home setting:
1. Encourage and Appreciate your child
Encourage the children to do good and when they do so, appreciate them. Praise your children for little efforts; this will help boost their self-esteem. Promote acts of sharing and caring.
2. Be loving and physically affectionate
They say “love conquers all” and rightly so because expressing love towards children will help them realize the importance of a positive interpersonal relationship based on principles of love and respect. Expression of love shouldn’t be just verbal, hugs and kisses are the true essences of love. The more you will hug and kiss them, the more they will realize their self-worth and will grow up into affectionate and loving persons. Physical expressions of love through hugs, kisses and taps regulates emotions. According to a family therapist Virginia Satir, 4 hugs a day are necessary for survival, 8 for maintenance and 12 for growth. That’s how much important a simple act of hugging is.
3. Promote a stress free home environment
A stress-free environment offers optimum growth for your child. It provides a safe space for your child feel at ease and free to explore around.
4. Encourage independence
Let the children do age appropriate house chores. Let them enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.
5. Promote a healthy lifestyle
Eating healthy food and doing exercises is necessary for the well-being of the whole family. Growing food together, buying organic harvest and cooking healthy food at home will help live a healthy life. Physical hygiene, regular visits for check-ups, vaccinations are all part of a healthy lifestyle.
6. Give positive reinforcement
Give positive reinforcement when and where necessary. Say “WOW” or “you are amazing” on little accomplishments. Clapping, smiling and taps on the shoulder are good for the emotional health of children.
7. Maintain a good relationship
Maintain a good relationship with spouse and other family members. Show them with examples on how to treat people.
8. Promote learning
Promote learning and provide an environment that encourages curricular and non-curricular activities. Play with the children, read books together, go for nature walks and do science experiments.
9. Provide a safe home environment
Take all necessary steps that are in favor of the safety and security of the children.
10. Encourage and support religious development
Take them along for religious activities, participate in religious events and celebrate religious festivals.
Signs of Bad Parenting Skills You Should Stay Away From
Bad parenting shows in children in known and unknown ways. Your child’s certain behavior might be a result of parenting gone wrong. Here are a few bad parenting skills you must remain stay away from:
No matter how badly children are testing your limits, avoid spanking. You never want to bring up a child who thinks violence is ok.
Never underestimate your child. Don’t compare him with other kids. Each child is unique and has abilities that make him so. The child will lose self-esteem if he finds himself not coming up to your expectations.
Never degrade your child in front of others. Humiliating is emotional abuse and is the most damaging thing a parent can do to his child.
4. Over Pampering
Loving is one thing and spoiling is a totally different thing. Children should value everything you being parents are doing for them.
Disapproving or disregarding their efforts will take away the confidence.
6. Punishing in front of others
Trying to teach the child a lesson by scolding or punishing in front of others will lower their self-esteem. Aggression or depression may develop in children who are being punished in front of others.
7. Setting Bad Examples
Doing one thing and approving something else will confuse the child. Frustration and anxiety may result if you set bad examples for your children.
8. Criticism & Non Appreciation
Lack of acknowledgment and non-appreciation are reasons of low confidence in children.
Parenting Skills Training Which You Can Go For
Learning is a lifelong process and it is never too late to become good at parenting. Seek help if required. If you are not good at parenting you require training in certain areas to bring a positive change in parenting style. You might not require going to professionals, training your own self in certain areas will be equally beneficial.
Here are 5 skills training you can upgrade yourself with:
1. Learn to be Patient
Living and dealing with children requires a lot of patience. Losing control is not the answer. I will suggest counting to ten before reacting.
2. Learn to Analyze & then Respond
Children fight and create scenes. Take a step back, analyze the situation and then respond. Training yourself to do so will take time but once you start doing so, you will realize that it makes easier for you to respond to situations.
3. Learn to be Confident
Try to do everything right and then be confident about it. Confidence comes with time after several positive outcomes.
4. Learn to learn from your mistakes
Every parent makes mistakes. Learning from the mistakes is also a matter of training. You need to learn how to learn from your mistakes. If scolding your child made you feel bad, try to replace it with something better next time.
5. Learn to be Realistic
Set realistic goals for yourself and your children. You are not a superhuman neither are your children. Realistic expectations from yourself and from your children will help you all grow harmoniously.
No one ever said parenting would be easy. Someone actually said, “first forty years of parenthood are the most difficult”. Parenting is a lifelong process of growth, both for parents and children. It requires the most important life skills to be a good parent. Most important and easiest of all is loving your children. Three F’s of effective parenting might be the concluding elements of the whole discussion: Firm, Fair and Friendly. Set rules and remain firm about them, be fair and friendly during the whole process.