Being a parent and parenting are two fundamentally different things. Every couple or an individual who has a child is logically a parent. However, not all parents understand the importance of parenting. Parenting is the process of building your children’s fundamental beliefs, confidence, behaviour, and approach to life. There is no definite guide to this process; however, some walkthroughs to make better sense out of it doesn’t harm anyone. Here are ten parenting tips that might come in handy for you:
- Focus more on your child's skills and strengths. Punishing a child for a certain act or being slow to process information is not effective. Your role as a parent is to find ways to help your child develop to their full potential. When you encourage your children, they will naturally acquire new skills or talents for covering up any deficiencies.
- Never compare siblings. Setting one child as a benchmark of approval and scolding the other child to be more like him/her can have a deeply negative impact on that child. This is never fruitful. Doing so creates a sense of rivalry, insecurity, and the constant need for validation to impact that child's confidence and attitude permanently.
- Don't give in to anger, ridicule, and sarcasm. Anger is anyway a negative emotion that should be avoided even with adults. Ridicule and sarcasm are looked at as being witty with adults. However, it can have a very negative impact on children. It would shape how they treat others too.
- Give constant positive affirmations to your child. A child is always in need of attention. If they don't get positive attention from their parents, they will resort to seeking negative attention. For a child, attention is attention – good or bad. Don't let your kid feel ignored; appreciate them for the smallest of accomplishments, tell and show how proud you are of them through humble gestures.
- Make peace with the fact that life is not going to be the same. As a parent, the most vital thing is to realize that you are a parent now. Your life will change significantly. Your lazy Saturdays would be replaced with soccer practice or recitals. At the same time, you would also need to take out time for special date nights or bonding moments with your partner, so you don't lose your affection in the process of being parents.
- Take all the help that you need. Don't try and go solo on this one. Parenting comes with a handful of challenges where you'll always be on a roller coaster ride. As a parent, you would have moments and instances where you think about parenting duties in a negative light. At such times, taking professional advice will help you keep your sanity.
- Monitor your children's internet use. You don't need to be educated about the scope of material that is available in cyberspace. This makes it a dangerous tool for children to be misguided or witness things they can't comprehend. Invest in a program that gives you control over what websites your child can visit.
- Be the person you want to see your children be. Consider your children to be copy machines. They will mimic everything that you do. If you aren't on your best behavior, you tell them that this kind of activity is okay. Always keep a check with yourself, and don't lose your act in front of your children.
- Don't give up on your kid. As a parent, there will be moments you feel extremely helpless and feel as though you cannot help your child after a certain point. It could be about a behavior trait that you have been trying to improve, but they don't flinch. The only secret to change that is to keep at it. Perseverance in parenting is an essential tool and mind-set. With parents' faith in children, even the most troublesome children can become the finest gentlemen and women when they grow up.
- Be their safe heaven. Your children should know they can trust you entirely and confide in you. Try and be attentive to their smallest signals and understanding what they're trying to communicate. Be sensitive to their needs, and don't discard them frequently. Make your child feel that you validate him/her as an individual.
To conclude, I would reassure you that it takes time. Parenting is a process that you learn with experience. A lot of trial and error misses and laughter are part and parcel of the journey. Don’t get overwhelmed, and take it one day at a time.