Mental Health

Parenting

Relationships

Mandy Kloppers

5 signs that you are a good parent

In an ideal world, we would all be good parents but unfortunately, no one is a perfect parent all of the time. We are all works-in-progress and we make mistakes but seeking to do the best for your children is an excellent attitude. We all slip up from time to time but the signs below are meant only as a guide. The best parents are the ones who can self-reflect and make an effort to improve and learn from past parenting mistakes.

Authoritarian parents tend to foster negativity and rebellion in their children but an authoritative approach (freedom within limits) nurtures a child’s self-esteem and curiosity about the world. It also helps them to learn to self-regulate and be more disciplined.

 

You don’t take your frustrations out on your child

Projecting your negative emotions onto your children is bad for their self-esteem. Learn to regulate your emotions by going to the gym, learning to meditate or speaking to a therapist. When you project your negative emotions and frustrations onto your children they feel helpless and often feel ashamed or to blame. Protect their mental health by ensuring the time that you spend with them is quality time.

You love them unconditionally

A child’s self-worth and acceptance should never be dependent on achievement or whether they behave or not. Always separate the child from their behavior, for example: if they break a window by mistake it is far better to say ” your behavior was naughty” rather “than you are naughty”. These small differences can make a huge positive impact upon your child’s confidence. A child wants to feel that you love them no matter what as they will make mistakes and they are learning as they grow older. When you fundamentally like who they are and the person they are, they will sense this and their confidence will grow they will feel fundamentally acceptable and lovable. I can’t stress this enough.

You listen to your children and their opinions

Respect your children. They may be small and they may be learning but they are still people. It’s unhealthy to smack children – it’s physical assault. When you spend time finding out what your children would like you validate them as people. When it comes to dinner time, you could give them two choices and allow them to choose one option. Freedom within limits shows your children that you care about them and their wishes. It’s an extremely validating way of raising your children. Of course they cannot be involved in the major decisions such as moving house or issues of that nature but wherever possible include them in the decision making process. There inclusion can be age appropriate but the more you request their opinions they’re more confident they will be.

 

You explain things instead of having rigid rules

Authoritarian parents make all the rules and are not flexible in the way they are carried out. There is no room for maneuver or collaboration. Eg “Because I said so!”

Dictatorial parents will encourage rebelliousness from their children. Collaboration and compromise our used by good parents to get the best out of their children.

 

You do your utmost to act in their best interests at all times

Parents are people and we all make mistakes, but remember that your children rely on you to be fair and reasonable. It’s hard to always be the adult and do the right thing but you are role models for your children. They will watch everything that you say and do and will learn through observation. If you are kind and considerate, your children will tend to be too when they’re older.

Be a good role model to your children and they will grow up to be healthy balanced adults. Parents do not fully realise the damage they can cause to their children especially under the age of seven. Children’s nervous systems are developing and their brands are being wired according to what they witness growing up.

It’s true that parenting is one of the most important jobs in the world as parents create our future Society.

Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash