Every parent knows that it requires a lot of skill to be a good mother or father. In fact, parenting skills are often developed along the way, through trial and error, and lots of practise.
The following list of parenting skills can be a good starting point for the adventure of a lifetime called ‘parenthood’.
1. Model positive behavior
It really is true that our children will, to a large extent, imitate what we do as parents. So if we want our child to be truthful, loving, responsible, sensitive and hardworking, then we had better be doing our best to be those things too. Words are very easy to say, but in the end it is our behaviour that makes the most lasting impression.
2. Take time to listen
When we really take time to listen to our children we can learn so much. Not only about what is happening in their lives, but also about how they feel and what they might be struggling with. Try to sit down together at some point every day and allow your child to speak without interruption. Mealtimes or bedtimes are good opportunities for this.
3. Communicate expectations clearly
When you listen to your child, he will be more willing to listen to you. Clear communication is what it’s all about, regardless of different parenting styles. When you are explaining your expectations, make sure your child understands exactly what you want and what the consequences would be if your expectations are not met.
4. Set reasonable boundaries
Children thrive when they know where the boundaries and limits are. However, if these are too restrictive or harsh, then the child may feel trapped and oppressed. This is where you need wisdom to find a happy balance where your child is safe but still has room to play and learn.
5. Be consistent with consequences
It is no use setting good boundaries if you are not going to enforce them. Every normal child needs to test those boundaries at least once to find out if you really meant what you said. By being firm and consistent you will build trust and your child will learn to respect you.
6. Show affection and love frequently
Of all the positive parenting skills, this is probably the most important. Make sure you hug your children every day and tell them how much you love them. When children receive frequent affection and affirmation, both physically and verbally, they will know they are loved and accepted. This will give them a strong foundation and confidence to face the world.
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