Sometimes, as a parent, you need all the help you can get. No person is born knowing how to parent.
Although we do have parenting instincts that come natural, people also rely on research, read books, and get information from their experienced family and friends in order to discover how they’re going to parent and what types of parents they’d like to be. Here are some tips we got when asking others their best advice for succeeding as a parent:
Don’t Do Everything for Them
Too many parents get used to doing everything for their children at a very young age and never get out of that habit. Instead of enabling their children to be more self-sufficient and take care of their own things, many parents fall into the trap of doing everything for their kids because it’s faster and easier.
However, days become weeks which become years and these habits are hard to break, especially for the child that never learns to clean up for themselves or complete tasks alone. It’s much easier to teach at a young age than to make a drastic change when they’re older.
A good example of this is teaching kids to speak on the phone. My parents used to make us call to order food when we’d order takeout. This taught us how to interact over the phone at a young age. My roommate in college didn’t like to talk on the phone with anyone, which impacted his ability to find a job. We’re not saying they’re correlated, but he was never forced to order food as a kid. Couldn’t have hurt for him to make a call or two when he was younger.
Don’t Break Your Promises
My oldest child was once overheard explaining to his younger brother that he should trust Pa (his grandfather) because Pa never lies. When he says something, he means it.
This can have a big impact on a child and be a great example of how that child should be when they’re adults. Children develop many of their habits and mannerisms by emulating the people in their lives. Be a person they can look up to and develop great habits from. Start by saying what you mean and meaning what you.
As we say in our family, be like Pa!
Teach Them About Teamwork
This is especially effective if both parents are still in the house. Show them that you both are a united front. They can’t manipulate one parent against the other to get what they want. They’ll still try it from time to time so make sure you and the other parent are on the same team and can back it up.
Also, don’t be afraid to include them in joint tasks. Teaching kids that it takes everyone to keep the household running properly will them take care of themselves when they get older. Here are some tasks to include them in:
- Yard work
- Grocery Shopping
- Talking with adults
- And much more…
Don’t Stop Listening
Kids are pretty good at telling you what they want. If you’re listening, you’ll be able to solve many problems before they arise and will allow you to better understand your child, what motivates them and what demotivates them.
Parenting is a 24/7 job that you’ll do for the rest of your life. You’ll never be perfect but with the right balance of love and distance, you can teach your youngsters how to grow up to be great people that are reliable, self-sufficient , and can return the favor to their children.