How to be a good parent

What Makes You A Good Parent?


It appears the media wanted to focus on parents this week because there have been a few articles and researches published targeting our parenting skills and habits.

Don?t parents have such a hard time laugh!!!

The Daily Mail published the following articles:

Too much TV is bad for children: The heart attack risk facing young couch potatoes. (I agree)

Playing music as a child will help you stay sharp in your old age.

Crying babies are more likely to grow into problem children.

Hmmh!! I thought it was all over with reference to reading articles in the newspapers aimed at parents until I read a psychology journal ?Why mothers are better parents than fathers? by Satoshi Kanazawa an evolutionary psychologist at LSE  while writing an essay for one of my positive psychology courses.

Can I share a secret with you?

It?s not easy being a parent (from my experience) and I’m seriously working hard at being a good one, but it?s one of the best jobs in the world and I’m determined to be and do the best for my children.

The aim of this post is identify the qualities of a good parent and give you the opportunity to have your say as a son, daughter, parent, grandparent, great grandparent…… on what makes a good parent.

Although there would always be reports, valid scientific research( for eg.?Why mothers are better parents than fathers? by Satoshi Kanazawa), evidence, surveys, polls, statistics?… out there;

Let’s just take a few minutes to celebrate and appreciate the good work parents do(in context).

Believe me there are so many wonderful and fantastic parents out there doing the best they can, giving up their time, sacrificing their careers, instilling discipline and good character, providing physical, emotional, spiritual support for their children…… and we need all the encouragement in the world.

Once again this is a light hearted post and it generated a lot of suggestions from my friends/colleagues at work and also from reading an article by Dr. Robert Epstein(Cambridge Center For Behavioural Studies) in The Scientific Mind.

In no particular order here?s a compilation of things that makes you stand out as a good parent.

Parents always:

  • Love their children unconditionally.
  • Support and accept their child/children.
  • Show physical affection and as much as possible spend quality one-on-one time together
  • Listen to their children
  • Talk to their children
  • Teach them respect and good manners.
  • Have realistic expectations of their children
  • Take positive steps to ensure they reduce stress for themselves and their children.
  • Teach their children about failing, struggles/difficulties of life but endeavour to  promote positive interpretations of events.
  • Stick to routines and adopt new ones when the need arises.
  • Maintain a healthy relationship with their spouses/partners and model effective relationship skills with other people i.e friends, neighbours, extended family…
  • Treat their children with respect and encourage him or her to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.
  • Give up their vices.
  • Boost their children?s confidence
  • Promote learning and provide educational opportunities for them
  • Remind them of how special they are.
  • Provide for them, as well as have a steady income and plan for the future
  • Make extensive use of positive reinforcement and enforce discipline only when other methods of managing behaviour have failed.
  • Model a healthy lifestyle and good habits, such as regular exercise and proper nutrition, for the children.
  • Support spiritual or religious development and participate in spiritual or religious activities.
  • Read books to their children.
  • Take precautions to protect their child and maintain awareness of the child?s activities and friends. 
  • Recognize the child for the individual that he or she is.
  • Support them through mood swings, lifes difficulties, failures, physical changes…………
  • Avoid being too pushy or forceful on careers or pursuits of their children but rather guide them and see as they develop interest in certain aspects of life.
  • Reward their children.
  • Get involved in their child?s schooling and take recommendations from teachers.
  • Celebrate the small things in a positive way. 
  • Avoid comparisons and labels because our rates of development differ from one child to another.
  • Avoid being ‘THE PARENTING POLICE’ by feeling superior to or making fun of the shortcomings of other parents.(I just had to get that out lol!!!)
  • Get to know their friends, meet their parents and be proactive in getting to know the environment their children feels comfortable in. 
  • Lead by showing good examples and character.
  • Trust their gut instincts.
  • Embrace and uphold constructive change.