Being a parent isn’t technically simple in this day and age, but there are a few simple things that make a big difference in the lives of your kids and your confidence in your parenting.
1-love them. Kids know when you don’t love them. They usually strike out at you, rebel or hang all over you. Yes, some of that is natural, but all the time is not, especially while they’re young (teens are a different story). Even if you are a single parent working 2 jobs just to put food on the table and a roof over their heads, there are little ways, little moments that you can take to show and tell your kids exactly how much you do love them (and not in a guilt-building way).
2-spend time with them. As with your love, kids need to spend time with their parents. When you don’t spend time with them, whether it’s one afternoon a week or every evening at bed time, they think you don’t like them, don’t love them and don’t want them.
3-teach them. As a parent it’s your responsibility to make sure they get a good education. Encourage them to read lots of books. Encourage them to dream and pretend to be super heroes. Don’t discourage their interest in topics like dolls or fast cars, let them learn about what excites them.
4-instill good values in them. Maybe you haven’t seen it, but I’ve seen an increasing number of people of all ages who lack good manners, who don’t know how to behave in public and who don’t treat others with respect. The first place they’ll pick up these habits is from you. Say please and thank you, open the doors for others, and show respect for the other human and animal lives on this planet.
5-be social. Let your kids make friends, encourage them to spend time with others, set up play dates and hang out with other families. It does take a village to raise a child, and your children will be better off for being exposed to the different types of amazing people that are out there.
6-get them involved in doing good for the community. While they may groan and moan about it now, they’ll thank you for showing them different sides of the world some day. I may not have enjoyed all the community activities my parents dragged me to, but they have instilled in me a desire to make sure my kids know that the world is a better place when we all work together.
What is the essence of parenting to you?