Every child has basic needs and it is the responsibility of the parent to give them what they need. Children cannot yet provide for themselves because they do not know how to take care of themselves.
Parents are responsible for their children until the children reach the age of 18. And even when their kids turn 18, most parents still help their kids by giving them financial support, advice, a place to live in, and so on.
The Importance of Good Parenting
Everyone wants to be a good parent, but not everyone has mastered the art of good parenting. This can be due to certain factors such as lack of guidance, wrong moral values or beliefs, bad upbringing, or simply lack of good character.
If someone is not being a good parent to his child, the child will suffer consequences as he grows up. This is why it is extremely important for parents to make an effort to become great parents to their kids.
Kids, especially the really young ones, completely depend on their parents for a lot of things like basic needs, love, care, support, and guidance.
It is both challenging and fulfilling to become a parent. If you talk to any parent, they will tell you stories about the challenging and fulfilling aspects of their lives.
Some would tell you that not being able to get a good night sleep when a child is born is one of the challenging parts of parenthood but simply seeing their little bundle of joy makes their heart brim with love and makes every sacrifice and difficulty worth it.
Parenting is also one of the most crucial jobs in the society. It is a big responsibility that does not only affect your child, you as a parent, and your family as a whole but also the society which include the people around you.
Provide Them with Their Basic Needs
To be considered a good parent, you need to provide your kids’ basic needs which are listed in the paragraphs below.
1 – Basic Physical Needs
To survive, a person needs food, water, air, and sleep. These are the most basic physical needs that a child needs and parents should provide.
You need to provide your kids with nutritious foods that will keep them healthy and strong. You also need to set a regular sleep and wake routine that will help their body rest.
It is also the responsibility of the parent to teach kids proper personal hygiene including taking a shower or bath, brushing their teeth, changing their clothes, combing their hair, and so on.
For babies and really young children, parents need to do these things for their kids until the kids are old enough and can do these things by themselves. The parents also have to make sure that the kids go to the doctor and dentist regularly for regular medical and dental checkups.
2 – Safety and Security
Kids also need to feel safe and secure. A child needs to feel safe from physical harm and danger which is why it is the responsibility of the parents to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to live in.
As a parent, you need to find a home located in a safe neighborhood. This is to make sure that your child is always safe no matter where he is.
You also need to make your child feel secure both with their basic physical needs and with emotional needs. It is important that parents have a steady source of income that will help them provide for their kids. The parents should also show their love and support to their children to keep them from feeling insecure.
3 – Education
Children also need to go to school, and it is the responsibility of the parents to pay for their kids’ basic education. By providing them with basic education, you are helping them become productive and successful individuals who have the right knowledge and skills to work.
Besides, going to school teach your kids how to mingle with others and how to follow rules and regulations. Having good education will also help them secure a good job in the future.
4 – Affection
Aside from biological needs, children also need affection from their parents. This makes them feel loves and appreciated and keeps them from feeling lonely and isolated.
When parents show affection to their kids, it makes them feel a sense of belongingness, which is an important feeling that every human being should feel, especially children who are just starting in life. If you show affection to your kids, you are teaching them how they should interact with other people.
You can show physical affection to your kids by giving them a hug, kissing them on the cheek, patting their head or back, or telling them you love them every day.
Aside from a direct show of affection, you can also make your child feel loved and appreciated by showing them that you care. You can talk to them and ask them about their needs and feelings.
Finally, always make sure that your child’s affection is reciprocated to encourage an affectionate behavior not only towards you but towards other people.
5 – Self-esteem
Self-esteem is a high form of self-respect which can be gained when one gets respect from others. If you respect your child’s abilities and skills, he will become more confident.
He will also feel more valued, which will help him find his place in the society. If a child feels worthless, it will make him feel unneeded, which can lead him to do bad things and create trouble to get attention.
Your child’s self-esteem needs can be met by giving him love and support. It is also important to emphasize your child’s good traits and characteristics by giving him a sincere praise.
Young children need their parents to tell them how wonderful they are. As they grow older, you can start telling them criticisms but be sure to do it in a loving way. Giving constructive criticism with the aim of helping your child improve is always good to make your child better as long as it is done right.
6 – Self-actualization
Self-actualization is realizing your individuality or what you are destined to do. As a parent, it is important that you encourage your child’s interest at a young age.
If you see that your child is interested in art, you can enroll him in a beginner’s art class and buy him basic art supplies. If they ask questions about a certain topic, you should try to give them answers as much as you can to let them know that you acknowledge their interests.
Encourage them in whatever interest they currently have at the moment that will help them find their place in this world as they grow up.
Show Them Your Love and Care
Parents do not have to be told that they should love and care for their kids because they do and feel this naturally. However, it is important to show your love and care to them the right way because some parents have a hard time doing this.
All parents love their kids but some find it difficult to show this love. If you are like this, you can find some useful tips and ideas by reading the paragraphs below.
1 – Give Physical Affection
You need to show physical affection to your child to let him know that you love him. This is like their proof that you mean what you say when you tell them you love them.
There are several ways to show physical affection, such as the ones listed below:
It is important to show affection to your kids from infancy to adulthood because every human being needs affection and physical contact especially from their loved ones.
Your show of affection may change as your child grow older but be sure to let them know that you love them in any way you can no matter what age they are.
2 – Be Generous with Praise
Another way to show your love to your kids is by giving them praises. Praising your child is telling them that you are proud of what they have achieved.
This in turn will make your child feel good about himself, which will boost his self confidence. Confidence will help them be more empowered and independent and will encourage them to explore the world on their own.
Little kids need a lot of praise. It is important to praise them more than you give them negative feedback.
And if you are going to give them a negative feedback, be sure to phrase it positively and in a loving way. For example, if your child does not clean up his mess, you can say, “Mommy would feel happier if you pick up your toys after playtime.”
To praise your kids, it is important to do it with actions, like clapping your hands, giving them a hug, or smiling widely at them. It is important to be specific with what you are happy about so that they would know what they are doing right.
Instead of simply saying “Good job!” or “Well done!”, you can be more specific by saying “You did a great job picking up your toys!”
3 – Do not Compare Your Child to Others
Some parents make the mistake of comparing their child to their siblings or other children, thinking that this would encourage them to change their ways.
However, this can only do more harm than good to your kids. You need to understand that kids are unique and different in their own way.
If you want your child to change something in his behavior, you need to discuss this one-on-one with your child without the need to compare him to his brother or friend. Comparing them to others will only give them inferiority complex, something that they would carry with them as they grow up.
Moreover, comparing your child to his siblings will only promote sibling rivalry. As a parent, it is your job to encourage a loving relationship between siblings and it is difficult to achieve if you show favoritism.
4 – Listen to Your Child
You are also showing your love and care for your child by listening to him whenever he has something to say. This does not only show love but also respect because you are showing that his thoughts and opinions matter by listening to him.
Parents think that the kids should be the ones who always have to listen to them. However, it is also the responsibility of the parents to listen to their kids for better understanding.
If you create this kind of environment at home, your kids will not be afraid to go to you when he has a problem even as he grows older. If he knows that he can talk to you about small things, he will not hesitate to talk to you about bigger things.
You should set aside time to talk to your child every day. You can do it over dinner, while driving your child to school, before bedtime, at breakfast, and so on.
5 – Remember that You Can Never Love Your Kids Too Much
Some say that loving your child too much can only spoil your child. Keep in mind that too much love is not the reason why kids become spoiled.
It is natural for parents to be overcome by love with their kids. It only becomes a problem when you give your child material things in place of love, or when you show it the wrong way.
For example, if your child is behaving badly, you should show tough love instead of being too lenient. There are different ways to show love and it is important that you show them the right kind of love to keep them from becoming spoiled little brats.
Adapt Your Parenting Based on Your Child’s Development
Children undergo different stages in their life. They are also different from everyone else. This is why you need to adapt your parenting style depending on your child’s needs.
There are really no hard and fast rules when it comes to parenting styles. Just make sure that you understand your child’s needs and what you style of parenting you need to make sure that your child will grow up to be a kind, bright, and productive individual who is an asset in the society.
1 - Understand that Your Child is Unique
This does not mean that you have to change the fundamentals of parenting just because your child is different. What you can do is to tweak them a little bit based on your child’s personality and strengths and weaknesses.
For example, if your child is naturally shy, do not force him to sing or dance in front of relatives or friends like what most parents do with their kids. Do not also force him to enroll in different classes or participate in numerous school activities. Just let your shy kid bloom naturally.
As a parent, it is your job to simply encourage them to try new things but never force them to do anything they do not like just because other kids are doing it or just because you want your child to be more outgoing or friendly.
2 - Learn About the Different Stages of Child Development
If you know and understand how a child develops physically, emotionally, and mentally as he grows up, you will find it easier to adapt your parenting style based on their needs for each specific stage.
For example, you need to almost everything for your infant because they still lack motor skills. On the other hand, toddlers want more independence but still need help. Adolescents want more freedom from their parents and want to be with their friends more but also want to feel love from their parents.
Your parenting style needs to be flexible as your child is growing. You also need to understand that kids develop differently so do not compare your child to other kids.
3 - Be Patient During These Transitions
Patience is one of the keys to good parenting. As what has been mentioned earlier, kids develop differently. Some children develop faster than others.
Your child is also undergoing major changes in his life and you have to be patient with them during these major developmental transitions.
According to studies, there are dramatic changes in the brain as a child is undergoing these physical and psychological changes and these changes and reorganization in the brain do not happen smoothly.
You have to practice patience because this will be challenging not only for the child but also for you as a parent. The good news is that these changes will not last forever.
For example, that dark stage that your teenager has will be gone by the time he reaches adulthood. Your terrible two may seem too clingy at this point but this will all change when he starts to go to school.
These are all temporary and the best thing that you can do is to enjoy every moment you have with your child no matter how difficult you think it is. Always find the good in every bad situation because that is how you can survive these dramatic changes.
4 - Consider Your Child’s Temperament
If your child is naturally energetic and boisterous, you need to provide him with activities where he can spend his energy. If your child is an introvert, just leave him alone when he is by himself because that is how he wants it.
If your child is impatient, you should find different ways to teach your child how to be patient. If your child is already patient, then you should encourage this character trait so that he can take this with him as he grows up and become an adult.
You have to consider your child’s character traits and his strengths and weaknesses when it comes to finding the right parenting style.
5 - Your Role as a Parent Will Change Over Time
As your child develops physically, mentally, and emotionally, your role as a parent also changes. Some parents are reluctant to let of certain roles that they used to play in their child’s life, but it is important to allow your child room to grow.
For example, when a child is young, the parent is the sole focus of the child’s life. But as he grows up, he parent becomes one of the many people that the child cares about, which include their siblings, friends, and classmates.
Another major shift that parents will experience is in terms of having control over their child’s life. Parents control almost all aspect of their child’s life, especially infants. But as your child grows older, it is important to let go of this control and allow your child to control his life.
Keep in mind that that your influence is important during childhood so be sure to have the right kind of influence on your child’s life.
Be a Good Role Model
If you want to teach your kids good manners and behavior, you need to start with yourself. Your role as a parent does not end by loving them and providing them with what they need. You also have to make sure that you are living a life that is worth imitating because this is what your kids will see while he is still living in your house.
Here are some ways to be a good role model to your child.
1 - Practice What You Preach
The motto ‘do as I say and not as I do’ does not apply to parenting. It is important to practice what you preach if you want your kids to develop good behavior and manners.
For example, if you want your kids to eat vegetables, you should also practice this behavior by making sure that you prepare vegetable dishes and eat them. Do not think that you are above your rules because it is even more important for a parent to follow his own rules so that the child will not hesitate to do the same.
They will surely ask why you are not doing the same thing if you are breaking your own rules or if your actions are different from what you are saying.
2 - Always Be at Your Best
Young kids are like sponges that absorb everything they see and hear around them. This is why it is important to be at your absolute best when in front of your kids.
For instance, it is okay for adults to sometimes say ‘swear’ words jokingly, but do not do this in front of your child. Maybe you are like this when you are joking around with your spouse or friends but always use proper language in front of your kids.
You many not notice it but your kids are copying your words and moves. How many times have you seen a young child acting like one of his parent?
You have probably seen a number of young girls mimicking their mother applying lipstick or young boys imitating their father while tinkering with the car or motorcycle. Kids are observant so be cautious with your words and actions.
What is suitable in front of adults is not always acceptable in front of kids.
3 - Take Care of Yourself
If you show good health habits in front of your kids, they will most likely follow your footsteps because they have grown up watching you doing it.
For example, if they always see you brushing your teeth after every meal, it will be easier to teach them this habit especially when they see how clean and white and straight your teeth are.
You should sleep early, wake up early, drink lots of fluids, eat nutritious foods, and always look your best so that your kids will do the same. They would want to be like mom or dad who always looks great and smells great.
4 - Open Up to Your Child
Parents are not perfect so it is okay to let your child know that even parents make mistakes. You can say something like “I think I might be spending a lot of time on the internet. And maybe I should exercise more.
Do you want to come along?”
By sharing your mistake and letting your child know that you are willing to own up to it and change it, he will be more willing to do the same thing because he knows that mom and dad are not omnipotent beings and that they also make mistakes from time to time and the most important thing is to admit your mistake and change it.
They will learn a lot if you also confide in your child. Just be careful what you share and how you share it because you do not want to burden your child with adult problems.
5 - Always Respect Others
If your child sees you being respectful to others, your child will follow suit and do the same thing. It is also important to be respectful when it comes to dealing with your child.
Showing respect goes both ways even between parent and child and no matter how huge the age difference is. If you treat your child, and others, with respect, your child will also grow up to be a respectful person.