Hey guys! So if you’re a parent, you’re probably tired, overwhelmed, exhausted and weary! If none of those words describe your parenting life, well then please share your secrets, O GREAT ONE! HA! Anyway, my life is pretty much a combination of those four words. Yet, like parents in all walks of life, I keep on keeping on and I do what I need to do to take care of my kids (most of the times lol). If you’re trying to find out what parenting skills will make your task easier, then you’re in the right place. Read on to find out exactly what you need to do to excel at your parenting jig.
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12 Parenting Skills Every Mom and Dad Should Have
1. Ability to give unconditional love and affection
The ability to shower our kids with unconditional love and affection is by far the most important of all parenting skills. The key word here is unconditional. It means that we love our kids no matter what. Sometimes this isn’t always easy to do. There are days when kids test our patience from morning to night and there are other days when parenting is SO DEMANDING that you literally can’t sit for more than 10 seconds at a time. But we do it because we love our kids. Loving our kids means that we respect them, we make it known to them that they are loved and appreciated, and we accept them for who they are.
Don’t get me wrong. You’re still trying to raise a child with good morals and values and you’re still laying down and enforcing rules. Accepting them for who they are doesn’t mean that you’re going to accept them as a little thief or a big bully. Here’s where tough love comes in and you need to strike the right balance. Parenting is a tough job. Your love and affection should be extended in different ways on different days.
Love and affection isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it means being firm and disciplining your child in an appropriate manner. This is love too. Parenting Skill #1 is being able to give unconditional love and affection but being able to strike the perfect balance.
2. Teach compassion and empathy
A few years from now, our world will be in the hands of OUR children. Imagine our world 20 years from now if we raise children without teaching compassion and empathy. We need to find ways to encourage our kids to be selfless and help those who are in need. We need to stress the importance of being kind and caring to each other. We need to teach kids that everyone has feelings and how to be sensitive towards someone’s feelings. We need to teach them that bullying is NEVER OKAY even if you’re doing it from behind a computer screen.
Guys, that’s OUR jobs as parents. If we don’t teach our kids kindness, compassion and empathy, then who will?
3. To Educate
One parenting skill that every mom and dad should have is the ability to educate their kids. Children themselves must grow with skills of their own and it’s our job to ensure this. Whether we do it ourselves or we put them in the proper learning environment to acquire these skills, a good parent will always stress the importance of learning and being educated.
Education doesn’t ALWAYS have to be academics, just by the way! Some will struggle with the basics in Science and EXCEL in the area of plumbing or vehicle mechanics (and might I add, make millions doing so!). Basically, as a mom or dad, it’s a parenting skill to assess your child’s abilities and be able to harness this and help them pursue what they’re good at and love. Prioritize education, both academics and technical skills, according to your child’s needs.
As a High School teacher, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen parents with children who are failing subjects, still pushing for them to be a doctor or lawyer or engineer. Why? Because society praises these professions. It’s definitely a parenting skill to be able to let go of the idea of living your own dreams through your kids. Going back to parenting skill #1, accept them for who they are instead… the plumber, the architect, the blogger, the author, the chef.
4. Offer Support
Offering proper support to your child is another parenting skill that all moms and dads should have. This means that you’re there as a backbone, as a foundation. You offer support so that your child can grow and thrive knowing that they can count on you. Support can be financial or mentally. It means always offering an encouraging word and always being there for your kids. Are you seeing how all these parenting skills are starting to tie in together?
5. Be a good Role Model
From the minute they are born, kids start learning from their parents. Their entire being and everything they turn out to be in life, depends on what we teach them and the type of parents that we are. Scary much?
The way most kids learn is by observing. They are like little sponges soaking in everything said and done around them. Have you ever heard parents complain about teaching their kids for 93031837 hours and it never sticks, but the minute they say one bad word, they pick it up? Ya, that’s because kids are sponges. They learn by observing behaviours around them MORE than learning through typical teaching methods. And because they’re around you the most, they will adopt your habits and behaviors. This is why you need to do the right thing and be a good role model for your kids! Being a good role model is a must-have parenting skill for moms and dads.
6. Practice Positive Parenting
There are several different types of parenting techniques. There’s authoritarian/disciplinarian, permissive/indulgent, authoritative and uninvolved.
The authoritarian parent focuses strictly on obedience to his/her rules without considering the child’s feelings or thoughts. The child is not seen or heard and the parent has a ‘my way or the highway‘ point of view. These types of parents use punishment rather than discipline which can cause harm to the child in the long run.
The permissive parent is a parent who has rules but rarely enforces them. There are hardly any consequences for bad behaviour and this type of parent is too lenient. Quite often, this parent is seen as a pushover and kids can notice this and take advantage. This type of parenting will also cause harm to the child.
As the name suggests, the uninvolved parent has little concern for participation in the child’s life. This type of parent does not set rules provides the child with little to no love, attention and support.
The type of parent most should aim to be is the authoritative parent. This type of parent puts a lot of effort into maintaining a positive relationship with the child. There is love, attention and support. There are established rules with known consequences if they are broken, and the child is viewed as an individual with thoughts and feelings.
It is a parenting skill to have that perfect balance between fun time and serious business with your kids. Often, this is something I struggle with. It’s sometimes difficult to determine which discipline technique we should use and when exactly it should be enforced. Don’t you just wish parenting could come with a manual?
7. Make good decisions
Ultimately, our kids are in our hands, and if we screw anything up, we’re quite possibly screwing up their lives! AHHH!
This means that we should always think before we act and make good decisions. Before making any big decisions, we should always think about how it will affect our kids and their lives. This should be a good indication of what we should choose to do or not. Once you become a parent, your decisions affect your kids. It is a parenting skill to be able to make good, sound decisions.
8. Prepare kids for life beyond the home
Always remember that one day your kids will need to be able to function without you. Whether it’s because they’re moving out on their own or because you’re no longer here (sniff sniff), it is our task to prepare them. They should be taught basic skills, life lessons and good morals and values. It takes good parenting skills to raise a child that can thrive and flourish in his workplace. It takes great parenting skills to raise a child that is respectful, helpful and considerate. And it takes amazing parenting skills to raise a child who is a faithful spouse and a good parent himself/herself.
Your time with your kids is precious. Use it to nurture them into the adults that you want them to be!
9. Learn from Others
We are in an age of technology where knowledge is right at your fingertips. It’s so easy to click Google and search for parenting tips and skills. Many knowledgeable people have done decades of research to show what is working in the parenting world and what is not. Use this knowledge. You no longer have to work by guess. It takes parenting skill to admit that you don’t have all the answers and be open to learning something new.
10. Practice Self Care
This is definitely a parenting skill that I struggle with. You might think that this doesn’t exactly sound like a skill but for many of us, it is! So often we are up making breakfasts, packing lunches, doing drop-offs AND PICK-UPS, driving kids to after school activities, doing homework, staying up all night with sick kids, cleaning puke stains, mastering potty training. The list of tasks goes on and on. And in the midst of it all, the most important person is often forgotten, YOU.
Do you know that safety briefing that you get on your plane before the flight takes off? You know, the one where your flight attendant will explain to you where the safety exits are and how to use your oxygen mask in the event of an emergency? Well a major part of that is the fact that they tell you that you need to put on the oxygen mask on YOURSELF before you can help your kids or others! Yea? You can’t properly take care of your kids and family if YOU are not okay. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
That’s it, guys! I hope these tips on parenting skills will help you UP your parenting game. Remember that there’s always something new to be learnt that will make you into a better parent. Practice positive parenting, show love and attention, set rules and boundaries and enforce them but most importantly, remember that your child is a person… a real person with real feelings and real emotions. Discipline should always be about making your child into a better person and not about being a punishment itself. Use every opportunity as a teaching moment and lastly, don’t let your phone usage get in the way of you being a parent. Be present and rock at parenting. You can do it!
Are there any other parenting skills that you’d add to this list? What about you as a parent? Is there any area in particular that you struggle with? Share with us in the comments below! We can all learn from each other and I’d love to hear from you!
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Until next time,
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