8 Ways to Be a Better Parent

By Jana Rooheart

March 18, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Parents are the most important people in every child’s life. They teach you the basics of life, tell you everything about the world and guide you all the way through growing up. Being a parent is hard, though. You have this big responsibility of raising a human-being that should turn out nice and kind. It takes time and effort to become a good parent. Maybe the following tips will help you with that a little bit.


Teach your kids to be independent

Explain your children that it is okay to be different and they don’t always have to go with the crowd. Teach them what’s right and what’s wrong from a young age and they will more likely make their own decisions in life instead of always following other people’s advice. Remember that your kids are not you. You care about them, but they are separate individuals with their own desires.

Listen to them

It is very important that your communication with kids is bilateral. You need not only to set rules, but also to listen to your kids when they experience any problems. Show interest and participate in their lives. Create an atmosphere where your son or daughter can come to you with any trouble, big or small. You can set some specific time for talking every day; for example, before going to sleep, at breakfast or on your way from school.

Maintain order

It is nice when children feel that the family life has a certain order and logic. It maintains the feeling of peace and safety in them and will help lead a happy life both in and out of the home. You need to set a clear discipline for that. Your kids should know at what hours they have to be home and go to bed. They need to help around the house and feel that you appreciate it. Organize their life in the right way with rules and schedules.

Protect them

It goes without saying that you need to teach your kids the basics of safety, such as not talking to strangers or not going anywhere but home after school. Modern parents have one more area they need to protect their children in—technology. The majority of teens and tweens today have smartphones, tablets and laptops; they freely surf the web and send messages to each other. It is all great, but there are several dangers kids may encounter such as explicit content, cyberbullying, sexting, scams, online predators, etc. That’s why you need to protect your children, not only in real life, but online, too. Some parents set a strict discipline and forbid social networks, some install monitoring apps such as Pumpic or Mobile Kids, some just have serious talks and choose to trust their kids. All in all, it is required to do at least something.

Give love

Sometimes love and affection are the best things you can give your kids. A warm touch or hug can show them how much you care. Don’t ignore the importance of physical contact, especially at a young age. Emotional contact matters, too. Support, understanding, encouragement, and even a simple smile can strengthen their will and self-confidence.

Spend time with them

Be careful, though. Don’t impose too much attention on them. There is a big difference between protecting kids and imprisoning them in your own world. Children should feel that the time you spend together is special and should want to spend it with you. You shouldn’t in any way force them. Take part in your kids’ school life, help them with projects and homework, and just go out and have fun together.

Be in concert with your spouse

It is very important for a child to see that parents love each other and act as a team. Your kids should see you as a unit and know that you have the same answers to questions. If a mother always says “yes” and a father says “no”, kids decide that mom is good and dad is bad. If you disagree with your spouse on some questions, you should discuss them in private and come to a certain agreement that you both will stick to.

Don’t pressure your kids with unreasonable expectations

There is a big difference between a desire to raise a responsible, mature individual and making your kid be perfect according your own ideas of perfection. You shouldn’t demand being a straight A-student or football team captain from your kids. Just encourage good grades and sports results and let your kids feel that they do it for themselves and not for you.

Being a good parent and raising a responsible child is a hard work. You should try not only to make your kids better, but to develop yourself, too. Being a good example is the number one rule in raising kids. So, work on yourself, follow the described tips and you’ll do good.

Jana Rooheart

Jana Rooheart is a blogger and online safety professional. She works at an IT company. You can check her work here.

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