There is no such thing as a perfect parent, and there is no such thing as a perfect child. Developing positive parenting skills will definitely point you in the right direction, but don't expect perfection -- it doesn't exist. All kids, as well as all parents, are on the same ride -- learning as you go. And after sifting through advice, suggestions and trial and error attempts, it all comes down to one thing -- there is more than one “right” way to be a good parent.
Open communication needs to be a priority in any relationship, including between a parent and child. You can't be effective if you haven't properly communicated what you need and what you expect from your child. One of the most positive parenting skills you can have is an open line of communication. Expectations need to be clear, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for discussion. Making sure the door is always open for your child to express their needs and feelings can't be emphasized enough. Be open, honest and nonjudgmental, and your child will grow up to be the same.
Be flexible and think back to when you were a child, when you fell short of a parent's expectation through no fault of your own -- yet, you had to own the failure, there was no compromise, it was simply black and white. Resolve to let go of unrealistic expectations, and understand that your child is a work in progress -- as are your parenting skills -- and that by being flexible. you can both grow and face challenges together, as they come your way.
Being a Participant
One of the most positive parenting skills you could have is to be an active participant in your child's life; standing on the sidelines isn't an option if you want happy, healthy and well-adjusted kids. Making time and making the time count is what your kids will remember when they are parenting their own kids. It's not easy -- on the contrary, with long commutes, both parents working, sports and other after school activities, it takes a concerted effort to make family time, but it is well worth the effort.
Throughout the course of your child's life, you will be faced with all sorts of parental challenges that will leave you sleep-deprived or frustrated beyond belief. But you will also be blessed with moments that will take your breath away in ways you never dreamed possible. Positive parenting skills are all about being a positive influence in your child's life and giving your child the tools to be a loving, responsible, successful and compassionate adult.
- MedlinePlus: Parenting
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: So Where Do We Start?
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: RPM3: How Responding, Preventing, Monitoring, Mentoring and Modeling Can Help You to be a Successful Parent
- KidsHealth: Nine Steps to More Effective Parenting
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