I spend a lot of time hurling life-saving instructions at my daughter. “Please climb down, don’t touch that, stop poking your sister’s eyes, don’t put that in your ear, be still child!’’….you get the drift. It’s (mostly) exasperating.
I look at her and my mind trails off. I wonder how she will turn out when she’s all grown and off my nest. Will she be respectful, hardworking, loving, and responsible?
I hope and pray that she turns out right. I pray that she will make my heart sing.
And I know that’s your dream too as a parent.
But am also aware of my role as a parent in moulding her into a socially stable and responsible adult.
Successful Parenting may sound very elusive. Like grasping water in a fist. Because we all falter as parents, at times dismally. None of us can claim to have figured this parenting thing in its entirety.
But there are some proven habits that parents can embrace to help clear the fog in their parenting journey. Read on and find them out!
1. Assign Chores to your Kids
I am sure you have encountered some spoilt little brats who spend their days sprawled in their living rooms watching TV and ordering their parents or caregivers around. You have flinched and muttered under your breath words to the effect that no child of yours will turn out like that.
You envision your kids blossoming into hard-working adults who will awe the world with their grit and impeccable work ethic. Just like…erm…you.
Did you know that one of the most effective ways of ingraining responsibility in your kids is by assigning them chores?
Research shows that kids who grow up doing chores make excellent co-workers. They exude competence, hard work, responsibility, empathy, and endurance.
Assigning chores to kids makes them feel needed and fizzles out their sense of entitlement. It also teaches them the value of completing tasks.
The type of chores you can assign to your kids will depend on their ages. Toddlers and preschoolers can, for instance, put away their toys and wipe surfaces (albeit clumsily). As they grow older, they move on to greater tasks.
2. Define your Family Values
Your kids should not fiddle in the dark wondering whether something they are itching to do is acceptable or not.
Your family values should smack them in the face and steer them in the right direction. These values should be imprinted in their hearts.
Take time to train your kids on the right behaviour and shield them from peer pressure, bad company, and other vices.
Have in place discipline strategies that you enforce when they do not adhere to the rules.
You can even go the extra mile and print out your family’s expected code of behaviour and pin it on a wall for all to read.
3. Spend Time with your Kids
Spending time with your kids never gets old. It is the only way you can fortify your relationship with them.
No matter how busy you may be, raking in the dough, dedicate at least 15 minutes daily for each child and give them undivided attention.
It is while spending time with your kids that you interrogate the spark in their eyes and discover their talents and uniqueness.
You also win their trust and they can comfortably let you in on their fears. You can nip bad habits in the bud since your kids are more likely to open up to you for guidance.
And while that may be the ideal situation, some parents have to work for very long hours. Others work away from home or don’t even live with their kids.
Such parents can still stay connected with their children through video calls and other forms of communication.
4. Sneak Away from your Kids
Children have a way of upsetting the apple cart when they show up. Things rarely stay the same when couples become parents. Because kids tend to be so needy and helpless and everything about them seems awfully urgent. Especially in their early years.
Statistics show that parents gradually evolve from being lovers to merely business partners. The business here is child rearing.
Successful parents do not skid into this alarming statistic. They are intentional. They find time to squeeze in date nights, movies, picnics, and other romantic activities. They fan the flame and keep the sizzle amidst the mad rush of parenting.
Kids are happier and feel more secure when they sense a loving relationship between their parents. It is the duty of parents, therefore, to do whatever it takes to keep their love embers blaring even as they parent their kids.
5. Model Right Behaviour
No matter how desperately we want our kids to turn out right, we may be stifling the process if our way of life is contrary to the values we want to instill.
Successful parents are careful to walk the talk. They are aware that they are the first role models to their kids. They exhibit the virtues that they want to instill in their children.
6. Love your Kids Unconditionally
When all is said and done, successful parenting involves loving your kids unconditionally. Each child is unique. None of your kids should feel unloved even when they fall short of your expectations.
Remind your kids that you love them. Don’t be too harsh with them. Offer them second chances. Stock up on hugs, kisses, and snuggles (while they still allow you to). You can never love them too much.
7. Allow your kids to Fail
As a parent, it is painful to watch your child fail. You want to bail them out at the earliest opportunity. You want to summon your parental superpowers and buffer them from the harsh realities of life.
Good parenting, however, involves allowing your child to experience the reality of life. Allow them to feel sad when they lose.
Encourage them alright but let them know that things don’t always go as planned. Let them learn to handle both positive and negative emotions.
8. Nurture your Kids Talents
Successful parenting involves being hawk-eyed and picking out your child’s special abilities. Does your child keep you enthused with their innocent acting skills? Or do they get into a tizzy when they spot a piece of art? Do they abandon their toys and get down at the sound of music?
It behooves you as a parent to pick up the subtle hints that point to your child’s talents. You can also find out from their teachers who may have picked something you haven’t.
Once you identify your child’s area of interest, explore avenues for nurturing them. You can, for instance, sign them up for music classes, dance lessons, or sports clubs.
While there may be no holy grail where parenting is concerned, practicing these habits will set a great foundation for your kids.
What has worked for you as you raise your kids? Are there any valuable tips we have missed? Please indulge us in the comments section.