Every parent wants to know how he or she can become better at dealing with his or her kids so that they turn out to be better human beings. Parenting is one of the most challenging jobs in the world because you shape the destiny of human beings, and these human beings later on shape the destiny of the world. What you teach your kids as a parent, how you interact with them, how you teach them values and how you set boundaries for them depends a lot on what you think better parenting is.
“Better parent” has different definitions for different people. Having said that, there are some global and universal benchmarks that can help you become a better parent. For instance, no matter to which culture you belong, teaching your 10-year-old how to smoke or beat up his or her siblings without reason is a really disgusting parenting example and only a person with a twisted mind would disagree. Listed below are a few ways you can become a better parent.
Respect your kids as individuals
As individuals your kids have their own identities, their own opinions and their own sense of space and freedom. Respect that. Simply because they are your kids and they live in your house doesn’t give you the right to violate their privacy, abuse them physically or mentally, or disrespect them just because you want to do that.
Don’t expect adult logic from your kids
Your kids are after all kids and sometimes they don’t understand the implications of their deeds. In order to become a better parent, you need to draw a line between when they should use their judgment and when they should respect your judgment whether they like it or not. Sometimes kids simply refuse to understand and in such situations it is not wrong to show them who is the boss. Of course the first preference should be trying to explain why they shouldn’t do certain things and why they should do certain things.
Keep communication with your kids two-way
Don’t just lecture them all the time, you must also listen to them. If something about you troubles them, you should be open to feedback because after all just as you are putting up with them, they are putting up with you and the understanding and adjustment have to be mutual.
Be there when your kids need you
Nothing is more important than your kids. Be there when they really need to talk to you. Something that seems trivial to you might be of immense importance to them. This is how they gain a sense of self-respect and confidence. They must know that when they want to talk, somebody is there to listen to them and acknowledge their problems and apprehensions.
Don’t meet every demand of your kids just to seem like a better parent
Kids sometimes don’t know how to draw boundaries when they start making demands and you don’t have to meet every single demand of theirs. Lay down some ground rules and stick to them. These rules must not be just for them, they must be for every member of the household, including you and your spouse. For instance, if there is a moratorium on gadgets and video games, then that moratorium must be applicable to every member of the family so that your kids know that you’re always fair with them.
Involve your kids in decision-making
Your kids will feel important and close to you when you seek their advice during critical moments like preparing domestic budget, deciding what to buy and what not to buy, or funding various projects. Ask their opinion and let them come up with their own thoughts on the subject under consideration. This strengthens your family bond.
Allocate time to your kids
You don’t always have to be around your kids and even they will get fed up of your constant presence. Decide a day or time and then definitely spend that day or time with them. It’s better to start this routine early so that by the time they grow up, it is a part of their system. For instance, if every Saturday in the afternoon you decide to spend some quality time with your family and kids, then stick to that schedule unless there is some emergency that you cannot avoid. Even on a day-to-day basis, if possible, there has to be an “all-family” time at least once a day. It can be the morning breakfast or the evening dinner. Make it a rule that everybody is present at that time and stick to it yourself too.
Set a good example for your kids
In order to become a better parent first of all you need to become a better person and set a good example for your kids. Be polite with everybody (it doesn’t mean people can bully you), be honest in your day-to-day dealings with people and affairs, don’t curse, respect your spouse, help others, exercise restraint when spending money and definitely stay away from drug and alcohol abuse. Remember that what you want your kids to be, first you have to become that.
These are a few things that can help you become a better parent.