Motherhood, or let’s say, Parenthood, can be chaotic! Juggling everything else along with our children, can be a daunting task. And at the end of the day, we are often left with mixed feelings about how we did as a parent. Amidst all the parenting chaos, here is the voice of reason. I am writing today about some essential parenting skills we all need to work to inculcate in our everyday lifestyle. These good parenting skills not only help our babies become incredible people, they also help our own self-faith as a parent and a human being.
Essential Parenting Skills
All the skills I mention here are incredibly simple and extremely sensible. And yet, we find ourselves failing at it. I am not the one to constantly undermine my efforts and treat my children like royalty. But in some things, I strongly agree that parents need to put aside excuses and put in more efforts.
It has taken me a while to figure these things out. I was definitely not as good a parent right after my first child was born. Over the years, with experience and life’s lessons, I have figured out a few things.
1. Practice and Evolve Your Parenting
Parenting is a job just like any other. You worked hard to improve your cooking skills, management skills, negotiation skills – treat Parenting the same way. Grow as a parent. There are many resources available online and offline to help you. Learn from other parents, read parenting tips, become a part of parenting communities, read books on parenting. All these will help you hone your parenting skills and you will get better at your job with each passing day.
2. Don’t Smother Your Kids
It is very essential that we guide our kids in the best way possible. But guidance can be done from a distance,. Don’t overprotect you kids. Let them explore and figure out things on their own. Allow them to stumble, fall and get up. Let them try on their own and make a mess. Let them learn to help clear it up. If you never leave their hand, they will never be ready for real life.
3. Respect, Not Just Love, Your Children
I might have said this time and again, but this really needs a lot of repetition. In spite of our best intentions and endless love for children, we fail to garner the respect that they deserve, just like every single person does.
4. Do Not Compare Siblings/Friends
Again, a phrase I often repeat. It made a huge chunk of my parenting mantras. Celebrate your child’s uniqueness and do not compare them to others. The worst method of teaching something is to point out how well the other person does the same thing. It will only lead to building up of resentment.
5. Communicate With Your Children and With Your Partner
Lack of communication is an often overlooked mistake that most parents are guilty of. We think we understand a situation, but sometimes we might not. It is best to talk things over with your children. And for effective parenting, it is also necessary to communicate with your parenting partner as well.
6. Accept Your Child’s Development
Very, very tough to actually accomplish! You might think you are a chilled out parent and you have the best kids. But the next day, a friend comes along showing off their children’s recent achievements and you forget all about being the non-pushy parent. You begin to drive your child to do better in academics or sports or something else. Accepting the fact that your child has their own pace of development, physical or mental, is a very important parenting skill.
7. Listen To Your Children
By listen, I mean, keep the phone down or look away from your laptop, and actually listen to what they are saying. Distractedly nodding your head when they are talking to you is one of the main reasons for kids’ tantrums. You wonder why your child is behaving so difficult, but in reality they are only trying their attention-seeking behavior on you.
8. Learn to Laugh, Relax and Let Go
We probably don’t have to do half as much as our parents did. Life was much stricter back then. The best way to enjoy our modern lives is to learn to go with the flow. Don’t let little things stress you out too much. Stay flexible. Let go of things with a shrug and a laugh and simply move on. Parenting is a big challenge. If you do not bend with the wind, you will break! Try to look at the funny side of small disasters 🙂
9. Be Prepared for Emergencies
With kids, you don’t know what will happen next. But using your own and your support system’s experience, try to stay prepared for a crisis situation. Medical emergencies are a big part of a parent’s life. They throw your otherwise perfect life, off balance. Try to remain on top of things by stocking up on supplies, keeping a list/guide of tips that have worked before and keep handy all emergency contacts and phone numbers. The difficult weeks of indisposition will pass away with much less frenzy.
10. Spend Half the Money and Twice the Time
Ok….you can spend twice the money and twice the time as well LOL! The point is to not use money as an alternative for your time. I did an entire post about guilty conscience spending because I realized most of us ended up doing that!
Every child needs a different parenting style at times, but these basic parenting skills remain the same. They might seem very predictable to read but are not always very easy to implement. But practice makes perfect! Just put in some effort and you will see some results – in your own contentment with life and your children’s behavior.