As a parent, you have many things you need to do during the day. However, it is still important to remember that providing a safe and healthy environment for your children is key in their development. Here are 7 tips for being a better parent and raising children who have character.
1. Be an Example to Your Children
Children are like sponges. They absorb the behaviors they observe from their friends and especially their parents. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but it is up to you to be an example of the person you want them to become.
2. Have Dinner as a Family
One dying part of the culture in America is the family dinner. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, food has the power to bring people together like nothing else. The dinner table is an excellent place to talk to your children about what happened during their day, teach them manners, and provide an open platform for discussion.
3. Listen to Your Kids
When you listen to your kids, they learn how to listen to you (or anyone). Look them in the eyes while you speak to them. Again, children absorb many behaviors that you might not expect, and listening is a character-building trait that many children lack.
4. Make Being a Parent Your Most Important Job
Many times, we get caught up in work, activities, social functions, or visiting family. However great these social functions may seem, we sometimes put them over the importance of being a parent. Unfortunately, we too often leave the actual raising of our children to their school teachers, church leaders, or even leave them up to their own devices. Make sure your kids know that they are a priority in your life and do your best to foster an environment of love and safety.
5. Take a Look at Your Own Parenting Skills
Keep track of the activities you do with your children, how much time you spend together, and how much of an interest you take in their lives. Try to set aside time to do some fun activities with them every day.
6. Be aware of What Happens at School
Being involved in your child’s academics is critically important to their development. This doesn’t mean that you do their homework and sit in class with them, but it does mean that you should get to know their teachers’ name, who they hang out with during the day, what subjects they like, and what ones they struggle with, or how to communicate with the teacher.
7. Lead with Love
The word “discipline” means “to guide.” However, when we think of discipline in a traditional sense, we think of strictness or punishment. If we guide our children with love, we will give them the confidence they need to succeed in life.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that no parent is perfect. Don’t beat yourself up over your shortcomings or compare yourself to others. Instead, set realistic goals and focus on things that are important to you and your family.