Being a parent is a tough job, and more often than not, you’re asking yourself if you’re being the best parent you can be. How “successful” you are as a parent is not an easy characteristic to measure, and there is no one manual that can tell you the right or best way to carry out your parenting role. There are, however, some traits that could indicate if you’re on a healthy track. So what makes a good parent? The following skills – all derived from published studies – are ranked based on how well a strong parent-child bond and children’s happiness, health and success are predicted.
- Love and affection
You support and accept the child, are physically affectionate, and spend quality one-on-one time together.
- Stress management
You take steps to reduce stress for yourself and your child, practise relaxation techniques, and promote positive interpretations of events.
- Relationship skills
You maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse, and model effective relationship skills with other people.
- Autonomy and independence
You treat your child with respect and encourage them to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.
- Education and learning
You promote and model learning, and provide educational opportunities for your child.
- Behaviour management
You make extensive use of positive reinforcement and punish only when other methods of managing behaviour have failed.
You model a healthy lifestyle and good habits, such as regular exercise and proper nutrition, for your child.
You take precautions to protect your child, and maintain awareness of your child’s activities and friends.
If life was an easy to-do checklist, we might all be leading simpler lives, but life’s (and a parenting) to-do checklist is never-ending and constantly changing. Joining a parenting support group or tapping on familial or community resources can help you in your parenting journey. A lot of people tend to overlook the power of conversation, but talking it out with people who are going through the same stages in life can often make you feel better about your journey and its challenges. There is also no shame in needing to take some time away from family, or craving some downtime (read more about this here).
What do you think makes an awesome parent? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!