Who teaches you how to be a good parent?
No one. At least now consciously. We learn how to be a good parent by watching and modeling those who are. But what conscious steps can we take along the way?
Fail To Plan, And You Plan To Fail: nearly everyone recognizes the truth of this saying. Yet, like many things mentally filed in our business/profession mind set, we often fail to realize the implications in our personal lives.
If you fail to plan:
as a sister/brother,
in your marriage,
as a son/daughter,
in your walk of faith,
as a parent,
then the result is the same as if you plan to fail!
Learning how to be a good parent must be done intentionally!
In my experience, a good marriage is not an accident. By being aware of the possible pitfalls, keeping lines of communication open, and working at ‘making it work’ the relationship can last and even improve.
Parenting, that is raising up your child to be a happy, healthy, productive adult, certainly takes no less effort.
So, what is your plan? What’s your plan how to be a good parent? What will help you raise your child right? After all it is truly important.
How will you teach the ideas and habits important to health? Start here: the child that gets lots of sugar will always crave it. Use fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks & treats. Avoid processed foods and you avoid 75% of the troubles a high salt diet bring. Start early with these things and you will never have a challenge. Of course the secondary benefit of getting children to understand the effects of what they put into their body is a better knowledge of the dangers of drugs & alcohol.
How will you help them excel in life and with people? The youth that loves reading is never bored, remains ahead of their age group in school, and is more creative. Don’t fall into the trap of using TV as a babysitter. Limiting time in front of ANY video screen, while difficult, yields great rewards.
How will you maintain a steady positive relationship with your child as they mature? One where you are able to offer mentorship without them feeling threatened in their sense of autonomy? As parents we walk the tightrope in this area. Among other things it takes cautious determination and empathy. One basic tip: real communication is the biggest key in the plan of how to be a good parent.
How will you teach your youth the importance of respect? When it comes to our interaction with others there is no concept that is more important. Each of us needs schooling in the basics of respect. Want to know how to be a good parent and thereby raise your child right? Respect your children and teach them about the need and benefit of showing respect.
1. Respect for Self
I am important. What I do matters.
2. Respect for Others
You are important. How I treat you matters.
3. Respect for Property
Things are important: I won’t mess with your stuff, please don’t mess with mine.
4. Respect for Law
Rules are important: They are there to protect us.
For more information in this very important area check out Key #7 the Adult in Your Child.
If you do not have a plan, an idea of how you will do this – it will not happen.
Will your kids learn that actions have consequences from you, or the painful way? How about that some actions, taken perhaps innocently enough, can have results that last a lifetime? A major aspect of the parenting task is protecting them from harm. That does not mean shielding them, it does not mean helping them avoid consequences, it means teaching and preparing them for real life. If they never suffer the pain of bad decisions, how will they learn the importance of making thoughtful choices?
The point is — If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. These things will not happen by accident, except negatively through our lack of action. You will probably not accidentally discover the magic method of how to be a good parent. That said: The only thing worse than having a plan, is having one and not using it. Many thoughtful people create & even document a valid goal plan but fail to put it into effect on a daily basis. If you are not doing something today for that goal, then you are not doing anything for it.
There are many ways to move the plan from thought to action. You will find a simple one here. Additionally, Sean Covey, son of Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Effective People) has developed a great resource to help you learn how to be a good parent: The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. It is a perfect place to start.
BUT, no matter how you start, don’t wait. Start today, right now while it is fresh in your mind. Research shows that we forget half of what we hear within 30 minutes, and 50% of the rest within 30-60 days unless we review it.
The future of your children is too important to risk. So don’t. Stop reading, get out a pen & paper, and start writing down your plans, and know that you will become the example your children will use to discover how to be a good parent themselves!
By Winsome Coutts
As a grandmother and self-help writer, I’m often asked by readers, “How do you raise happy kids?” This is a question near and dear to every loving parent’s heart. No matter what we teach them, if we haven’t taught them how to be happy, or can’t parent in a way that makes them feel happy, it’s rather all for naught, isn’t it? So it’s a very pertinent question.
I’ve been blessed with having two happy children and two happy grandchildren. I applied certain principles in raising my kids, and see my son and daughter-in-law apply the same in raising their adorable daughters, Klara and Stina. In this article, I’ll share two tips I’ve learned along the way.
The first is the importance of modeling happiness. You can’t give something you don’t have. How can you teach kids happiness if you don’t have it yourself? Some parents think loving their family means living only for them, driving them everywhere, cleaning up after them, and putting their kids’ needs and desires way ahead of their own. Parenting shouldn’t turn us into a short-order restaurant or a cleaning or taxi service. It does for some parents. That teaches kids a bad lesson.
A child who perceives his parent as a servant, someone whose life has meaning only through catering to his whims, learns to be selfish. He comes to believe others exist to do his bidding. I have a friend who was raised like that, and she tells me when she grew up, she kept having the strange feeling, “Where are all the servants?” Being catered to was such an ingrained part of her childhood that adjusting to adulthood was difficult for her, because “the servants” were missing.
Kids who are raised this way tend to feel the world owes them a living. So breaking out of the “doormat” mode, if you’re in one, is pretty central to giving your kid a chance at a smooth transition to happy adulthood.
When you take care of yourself, make time for yourself, and do things that make you happy, your child learns those behaviors from you. If she sees you going for your dreams and making decisions based on your inner truth, she learns that doing those things is good. On the other hand, if you model dropping everything to fulfill her latest dictate, she learns that parenting means self-denial and victimization. She may then become a self-effacing parent herself or go the other extreme and forego parenting entirely because it looks like such a sacrifice.
So to raise happy kids, be good to yourself. Treat yourself with respect and dignity the same as you treat your child. Don’t allow disrespect toward you any more than you’d allow someone to be rude to your kids. Make time for your creative desires and dreams. Plan in some scheduled personal time each week (or day), and make sure that you take it.
Let your kids see you’re doing this, and tell them the reason: “Mommy needs to have some fun, too,” or “Moms need time every day to relax.” This shows your child that you value yourself, and that personal time is important to everyone’s happiness.
The second tip I’ve learned for raising happy kids is the tremendous value of focused attention. The best form this can take is uninterrupted, one-on-one personal time with your child. Think back to your own childhood and some of your happiest memories. Chances are they include that hike you took with Dad, or the time you and Mom went to the restaurant for a dessert.
When we set aside an hour or two to be with our child, away from distractions and interruptions, we tell him he is important and loved. Giving focused attention is much more powerful than the diffused attention kids get while we cook dinner, drive them somewhere, or break up conversations to take calls on our cell phone.
Children thrive on loving, focused, personal attention the way plants thrive on sunshine. Structure in some focused attention every day, even if it’s only for five or ten minutes. Look at your child when he talks to you, so he knows you’re completely with him. In love, it’s the subtle things that count.
Giving focused attention teaches self-worth: your child knows she’s valuable because you value her, enough to carve out time for you and her, uninterrupted by the world, for those moments. That spells love, and when she knows you love her, by your actions not your words, that brings security and heart fulfillment, essential foundations of happiness.
In this busy world where parents work two jobs and where kids’ social calendars can rival those of debutants, it isn’t easy to make time to take care of yourself and uninterrupted time for you and your child. But for happiness, nothing could be more important. Think about your schedule, what is nonessential that you can cut out, or wasted moments that you can eliminate. Use that harvested time to be good to you and your kid. Your child’s happiness, and yours, depend on it.
Winsome Coutts holds a teacher’s certificate in education and has written hundreds of articles on self-development. She has studied with Bob Proctor and John Demartini, popular teachers featured on “The Secret” DVD. She is the passion behind Go For Your Goals and is a parent and grandparent.
Winsome is author of “Go for Your Goals” for kids – a set of downloadable e-books that guide your child through the joyful steps of learning visualization, goal-setting and the Law of Attraction. Simple language enhanced with beautiful illustrations and worksheets make these books appealing and motivating. To learn more, please visit at:
Go For Your Goals For Kids.