Raising honest, morally sound, hardworking, and successful children is arguably the biggest challenge all human beings will face during their lifetime. It is also the most important one. After all, what we teach younger generations will either inspire them to make the world a better place for themselves and others or do exactly the opposite.
Still, even if it seems like a daunting task, don’t forget that your grandparents had to do the same with your parents. They had to do the same with you, and you turned out okay. Most people do.
But if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, here are three useful parenting tips you can use.
Holding On and Letting Go
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It is a great way to shelter your children from danger and provide them with physical and emotional security. But what about when they are outside? How can you be sure they will know how to take care of themselves and make the right decisions when you are not standing right beside them?
These are difficult questions with a wide variety of complex answers. Still, the important thing is to find a balance between giving your children the freedom they crave for and deserve while at the same time enforcing rules and embedding in them a sense of discipline and obedience. Remember, even if you can’t always be with them, a positive influence will guide them throughout their lives.
Consistency and Being Fair
The Michelin Star Rating system grants high-quality restaurants either one, two, or three stars. This is based on a long list of criteria, including the personality of the chef, the level of service, the quality of the food, and the consistency of the dishes on the menu. It is in this final one that we will focus on.
In simple terms, food consistency, as defined by Michelin, refers to dishes that taste the same no matter how many times you eat them. For example, if you order a cheese pizza at a high-end Italian restaurant 100 times, it will taste the same in all those instances.
When it comes to parenting, consistency means different things. First, if you have more than one child, there are no favorites. Naturally, this is easier said than done, and providing unconditional love to two different people is a challenging task. But you should at least give it your best shot, especially when both kids are around.
Second, you and your spouse need to be on the same wavelength. If one decides to exercise punishment for bad behavior, the other shouldn’t undermine him and do something else.
Role Models and Open Communication
One of the biggest pitfalls all parents must avoid is falling prey to a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude with their children. While most legal guardians know this, many of them don’t follow it. Instead, they expect their kids to do the right thing when they don’t. When the little ones express disagreement or disappointment, the reply is often something very harsh and ineffective, such as “because I am your father and I say so.”
If you want to raise your kids the right way, show them what the right way means. For example, teach them how to cook healthy food high in nutritional content and engage in physical activity. If you want honesty from them, then be transparent with them as well. Listen to them as much as you speak and allow them to voice their opinions and concerns. As long as this is done in a polite, respectful manner, it will only help them grow in confidence. It will also make them respect you more.
Open communication also signifies understanding that sometimes your child doesn’t want to speak or is not ready to. Rather than forcing something that isn’t quite there, you can be a bit more patient, give it some time, and let them speak when they are good and ready. This will let them know that you value their feelings and are willing to compromise because you care about them.
Know when to protect your kids and when to set them free. Be consistent with how you treat them. Finally, show, don’t tell. Communicate as often as possible. This will give them the best chances for happiness and future success.