Parents have a tremendous impact on a child — at present and in the future. Parenting is a job that never ends. If you’ve taken on this job, you need to congratulate yourself. You are responsible for the well-being of another human being.
A lot of parents want to be perfect. If you feel this way, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Nobody is perfect. You set the example of the need for perfection for your child. This is unrealistic and can cause problems down the road.
Here are 8 easy ways to be a fantastic parent:
1. Don’t try to fix everything.
Give your child a chance to find their own solutions (depending on their age, of course). It’s alright to acknowledge that they’re frustrated, simply by saying “I see you are frustrated.”
This will help in the future. They will gain more confidence in themselves.
2. Play with your child.
Play is your child’s language. Gear the type of play based on their age. Toddlers love to be touched and jump around, so allow them the space to do so.
Almost all children love video games, which is alright if they are the non-violent type and they don’t play them for more than an hour a day. But, they don’t always allow for a parent to play with them. Try some board games.
Play is one of the best ways to connect with a child.
3. Cheer the good stuff.
Let your child know when they are doing something helpful or nice. Cheer them on with enthusiasm.
When a child is young, they learn how to behave by the response of their parents. If they picked up their toys outside, let them know you are glad they did it. This will help reinforce good behavior.
4. Savor the moments.
Parenting is the most exhausting job on the planet. Your house is a mess, the dishes are stacked up in the sink, and now your dog needs to go for a walk. When does it end?
But, your child just laughed and gave you the cutest smile. Enjoy that in the moment. This will help you think fondly of your child.
5. Get kids moving.
The latest research has shown that there’s a link between brain development and activity. Don’t let the T.V. be the babysitter. Children can sit and watch T.V. for hours if you let them.
Let your toddler walk, rather than you carrying them or be in the stroller. Make sure to create opportunities for your child to exercise as they get older. Let them play and run around outside.
Not only will they get exercise, they will get natural light. This is a great way to get Vitamin D, which we all need.
6. Don’t be afraid to take charge.
Children want and need limits. This actually lets them know that you love and care for them. This can also help them make sense of a confusing world.
Try to be consistent and let them know what the boundaries are. For example, what time do they need to be home after school? When do their chores need to be done?
7. Read books together every day.
It’s great to start this when you have a newborn. Babies love to hear your voice. They may not understand your words, but they pick up on tones and body language.
Cuddling up with your child and a great book is a great way to bond. Read them a story when you are getting ready to tuck them into bed. They love this.
8. Schedule daily special time.
You might be very busy. But, carve out 15-20 minutes a day to spend with your child. This is a great way to show your love. This can be when your child gets home from school.
Ask them how their day was? Ask lots of questions. This will let them know you are genuinely interested in their life. Make sure to wait for the answers.