Raising children is a rewarding yet challenging endeavor that can have parents at their wit’s end more often than they like. If you are looking for ways to improve your parenting skills, you’ve come to the right place. Early life contains a lot of important milestones that are able to measure, such as the baby’s first steps, toilet training, and first words to name just a few.
How to improve parenting skills with 5 tips
As they grow older and begin school, it can be more difficult for you to feel confident that they are progressing. Worrying about how your child compares to their peers is a recipe for disappointment or false pride, and should be avoided as much as possible.
Keep in mind that the parent’s work life balance matters just as much as improving parenting skills. Let’s take a look at some tips that can help you to improve your parenting skills.
1. Make time for every child one-on-one
There are a lot of ways that work for you to help your children feel like they matter, and that they are important to you and other members of the family.
Take an interest in the activities that are fun for them and join in! Does your child love to play with Lego blocks creating new airplanes and forts? Get on the ground and play with them! When you interact with them when they are doing something that they enjoy, you are letting them know that their interests are important to you.
Guided play is important, but it’s also a good idea to let your children play in non-structured ways as well. Imagination games can help them to discover more about themselves, the world, and their place in it. When you allow your child to take the lead when you interact with them, it can provide many benefits in addition to increased confidence.
2. Listen more than you talk
It’s easy as a parent to always feel like you should be giving your child advice, but sometimes it’s even more impactful to just listen to them without saying very much at all. When you are an active listener, asking your child follow-up questions and actively engaging with them, you are encouraging them to feel confident in their interests and thoughts.
Listening also allows you to learn more about your child, and when you let them talk they can explore their personality more and begin to grow more comfortable with themselves. Children need to know that their voice matters, and that is hard to achieve when people only talk at them but infrequently listen to what they have to say.
3. Ask them for their opinion on topics that matter
It’s important to make inquiries about topics that are on their level and are a big part of their daily lives. If they are working on a special project at school that is a great topic to ask for their opinion. It’s important to allow them to speak on their own level and let them give their own answers without prompting them or leading them in a direction that appeals to you.
Rather, make sure that you don’t talk down to your child or try to force your ideas on them. Simply ask them open questions that will allow them to articulate their own thoughts.
4. Model desirable behavior
When you are encouraging your child to be respectful and tell the truth and other important life lessons, it is important that you model such behavior. Don’t be a parent who adopts a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude as this can be damaging to your relationship with your child. As you work to install healthy behavior in your child, it is important for you to take these lessons to heart yourself.
Don’t tell lies to your child or let them overhear you telling lies to someone else because even if you tell them that lying is wrong, we all know that actions speak louder than words. Model the behaviors that you want your children to adopt, from your food choices, exercise habits, integrity, and use of alcohol and drugs.
5. Let them make their own mistakes
As a parent, it can be difficult to watch your child struggle and make mistakes. When you have the right parenting skills, you will be able to stand back and allow them to make their own mistakes, as hard as this may be. Making mistakes is just a part of life, and to try to shield your child from this important learning opportunity can deprive them of developing important life skills. It’s important for children to learn that doing something wrong or making a mistake isn’t the end of the world. When you let them try and fail you are helping them to become more self-resilient and learn how to get back up on their feet after a disappointment. Don’t micromanage them to the point that they don’t develop the skills that are necessary to overcome disappointment.
These are just five of many tips that can help you to improve your parenting skills. Parenting is a job that is constantly changing, but when you have a solid foundation in place, you are able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of your child. Luckily, you don’t have to always get it right – just do the best you can while looking for ways that you can improve, and your parenting skills will continue to grow along with your child.