How to be a good parent and raise a well-balanced child

How to be a good parent and raise a well-balanced child? Now there’s a question worthy of consideration, surely?

It’s a question that’s important because children are the adults of tomorrow. So how you nurture your children does matter.

Parenting is one of life’s great experiences. I can tell you that from personal experience. I’ve had many fine experiences in my life so far, but none have been better or given me greater pleasure and satisfaction than being a parent.

However, parenting is also an interesting experience because nothing in life before you become a parent prepares you for the enormity of the role you’re taking on.

How to be a good parent:

1. Your gift to the world:

Anyone beyond the age of sexual maturity can become a parent fairly easily, assuming you can find a willing partner.

And yet you don’t receive any training for the role at all. None!

You spend 12–14 years at school, and not once does the curriculum cover how to be a good parent. Even if you go on to college or university, the course will not cover parenting at any stage.

And you’ll only realise the magnitude of the task you’ve taken on the day you bring your first child home from the hospital. That’s the point at which the enormity of the challenge will begin to sink in.

Certainly, that’s the way it was for me and my wife, Joan.

Parenting is undoubtedly a great experience, but it’s also a great responsibility.

Your children are your gift to the world.

They’re the future. They’ll be the adults and taxpayers of tomorrow, and they’ll take the baton from your generation and carry it forward.

So how they’re nurtured matters, and the nurturing process must be taken seriously.

2. Your home environment matters:

How to be a Good Parent

Preparation begins with the place in which your children will live their early lives. Your home environment matters, both physically and emotionally.

A parent’s power to create a loving, stable home with a healthy and positive atmosphere and an environment in which children can develop, thrive, and grow is so awesome that it must be used both consciously and responsibly.

So, discipline yourself and control your emotions.

Give your children the light and warmth of love, hope, good cheer, and constant encouragement.

In your home, the physical environment matters, of course, but the emotional environment matters even more, in my opinion. If there’s a bad vibe, children will pick up on it, and it will affect them over time.

3. Be positive, enthusiastic, and supportive:

Raising children can be challenging at the best of times, but remember this: They didn’t ask to be born.

That they’re here on this earth is your responsibility, and you owe it to them to be the best parent you can be.

So you must make a conscious effort to be positive, enthusiastic, and supportive at all times.

This can have an enormously positive impact not only on the emotional well-being of your children but also on their ability to experience the joys and pains of childhood in healthy and constructive ways.

Enjoy every minute with them because the years will fly by all too quickly.

Giving them your time is far more important than any material possessions you might buy for them. Money spent is no substitute for time missed. Happiness is created; it can’t be bought.

Fill your house with joy and laughter. That’s the soil in which healthy children will flourish and grow.

4. Ensure they have a balanced life:

Encourage your children to strike a balance between their schoolwork and the pursuit of the things they genuinely enjoy doing. In that, I’m referring to sports, games, drama, music, and all forms of creative pursuits.

Recognize the importance of an education that will both stretch them and broaden their minds.

Ensure they have a sound grasp of concept-based subjects.

Foster their creative, sporting, and vocational talents.

If something appeals to them, then encourage them to give it a try.

Yes, it might prove to be a five-minute wonder, but equally, it could prove to be something on which their entire future is built.

Just think about Elton John playing the piano or Jimmy Page learning to play the guitar. Imagine if their parents had said, “No, we’re not wasting money on that; you won’t stick with it.

If they find something that they not only enjoy but are good at too, then that will help them build self-confidence and sociability.

And make sure you help them develop their ability to think, speak, and write clearly. These are life’s most important skills.

If they can also develop a dash of style, then that’ll really make them stand out amongst their peers.

5. Establish boundaries and a moral framework:

Set boundaries and make sure they know the penalty for any transgression. And should they cross a boundary, they must know that you’ll ensure that they pay that penalty.

However, it’s not about punishment, it’s about making sure that they learn to make good choices because, ultimately, the choices they make will dictate the quality of the life they lead.

Above all, provide them with the moral framework within which they can lead their lives respectably.

And remember, if you want them to live by the moral code you establish, then you must live by it too. Children will always notice what you do, even if they don’t hear what you say.

How to be a Good Parent6. Keep expectations realistic:

Have high yet realistic expectations of your children.

However, temper those expectations with realism.

Parental expectations are good for children in so far as they help motivate them to strive to achieve and do their best.

Stretching a child can help them realize their full potential, but any stretching must be consistent with the child’s natural ability. Setting them up for an obvious failure would do them more harm than good.

7. Place responsibility on their shoulders:

As they grow and mature, be sure to give them some regular chores to do and gradually place responsibility on their shoulders.

Pocket money should be earned. That ensures they realise that there’s no such thing as a free ride. Money is what we get for doing things for other people. That’s the real nature of work, and it’s a lesson they must learn as early as possible.

Placing responsibility on their shoulders and making them earn their pocket money should instill in them a strong work ethic, which they’ll need if they’re to succeed in life.

Please don’t make the mistake of making it all too easy for them.

Doing that may seem like you’re being kind to them, but in fact, you’d be doing them a great disservice.

Making it all too easy is foolish.

8. Enjoy their achievements:

Enjoy their achievements, but don’t be too disappointed if they don’t quite manage to live up to everything you expect of them.

As long as they’ve done their best, then that’s all you can reasonably expect of them.

However, never, ever let your work or your social life take precedence over you attending their parents’ evening, sports day, school plays, or any of the other significant events in their young lives.

You may not think it matters to a child, but, trust me, it does. I can tell you from my personal experience that it matters a lot to them.

9. Create that rare bird:

If you can do all of these things, you will produce that rare bird, otherwise known as the well-educated, polite, balanced, and confident young person with a strong work ethic.

Achieve that, and the world will be grateful for your contribution to the future.

Never underestimate the importance of good parenting.

Parenting is life’s most important role, and it matters far more than any career. It’s the most important work you’ll ever do, whether you’re the mother or the father.

And when you realise that your children have grown up to be decent human beings, you’ll be glad you took it all seriously.

Lessons in parenting:

At the beginning of this post, I said that we don’t receive any training in parenting.

Actually, that’s not quite true.

Once we become parents for the first time, our parents become the role models we try to emulate. We tend to follow their approach to parenting and do what they do.

So by becoming a good parent yourself, you’ll not only produce well-balanced children, but you’ll also ensure that they have a good role model to follow when they have their children.

Become a good parent, and at least two generations will benefit from you taking your role seriously.

So the world benefits twice. Now that’s a real legacy, surely?

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