What Makes a Good Parent?

by Bob Walsh

There’s no definite answer to that question. Parenting isn’t either “right” or “wrong”. But you can still identify elements of good parenting. In this article we’ll look at several principles that are part of the answer of what makes a good parent.

How Were Your Parents?

Some people are lucky when they have had good parents themselves – this is without a doubt the best way to learn parenting skills. If you’ve grown up in a happy household, you’ve naturally immersed yourself in good parenting skills.

Be A Good Parent

But many people haven’t grown up with “ideal parents” – and then it takes your own, well-balanced judgement to become a good parent. Fortunately, you do not need to repeat your parent’s mistakes. Many people fall into that trap and then say: “Well, I do this because my parents messed me up.” But that’s not a reason – it’s an excuse, and not even a good one. You’re an adult now, and you’re responsible for your own life – and if you’re a parent, you’re responsible for your child’s life too.

Make a conscious choice to say: “I’ll be the best parent I can be, no matter what my past was like. I live in the present, and I use it to create an awesome future for my family.”

Do Good Parents Sacrifice For Their Kids?

Another thing that makes a good parent is to be willing to exchange. And I use the term exchange here, even though many other books and websites say: sacrifice.

This is not simply looking at parenting through semantically rose-tinted glasses – it’s a fundamentally different way of living parenthood.

Sacrifice means that you give up something you value for your children.

But I really don’t think you need to do that in order to be a good parent.

You don’t need to sacrifice your own needs, desires or wishes for your child. Instead, you exchange one thing for another, and you want to make it a good deal for you and your kid.

Be A Good Parent

So you’ll exchange going out at night with friends to taking care of your baby at home. But ultimate, you’ll exchange the joys of parenthood against the joys of being responsible for nobody else but yourself. And let’s face it: even going out at night with friends has it’s downsides – sometimes you have a quarrel with friends, sometimes you wake up the next day with a hangover, sometimes you go somewhere you don’t actually feel like going, but you just go for the sake of your friends.

But that’s not the end of the answer to what makes a good parent.

Be A Role Model

What you do matters more than what you say. Everybody can talk the talk for a while – but it’s a completely different thing to walk the walk. If you want your kid to eat healthy; eat healthy. If you want your kid to be responsible, be a responsible person in your own life and own up to your mistakes. If you want to be kid to be disciplined, be disciplined yourself. If you want your kid to be kind to others, show kindness to others.

Your kids already learn from you before they understand language. And even after they understand language, they still learn by watching you more than they learn by what you tell them.

Be A Leader

A lot of parents now are opposed to “authoritative” parenting. But kids need authority, kids need a leader. If you’re a leader that doesn’t mean your kid will grow up to be a follower. It means that your kid learns how to be a leader and how to make decisions in life.

Of course, listen to your kids, show them that you care about them, are interested in their point of view and value their opinions – but ultimately making a decision is up to you, the parent.

You’ve now read about different elements of what makes a good parent. In your opinion, which one matters most? What would you like to add?

Be A Good Parent

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