Parenting at any stage of development can be an arduous task. Newborns come with their own set of difficulties just as much as 10, 11, or 12-year-olds do. For new parents with little experience raising kids, each year of development might seem more difficult than the last. How can loving parents provide the right child-raising strategy to help their children grow up into well-adjusted adults? Luckily, you aren’t stuck without a frame of reference. There are so many excellent tips, steps, methods, resources, and words of wisdom out there from experienced parents and child development professionals alike. In this small guide, Fatherhood Reloaded breaks down our top three favorite resources for raising children at any age. Take a look!
Follow the 10 Principles of Good Parenting
These 10 principles are the key to understanding how to become a good parent. All of these principles are designed to help parents understand the (often unintentional) effects their actions can have on their children. These principles include:
- What you do matters.
- It’s impossible to be too loving.
- Be involved in their life.
- Change your parenting strategies to fit your unique child.
- Always establish and stick to rules.
- Help your child become independent.
- Always be consistent.
- Avoid extremely negative discipline.
- Explain your rules, thoughts, and decisions.
- Treat your child with respect.
Focus on Your Own Happiness and Mental Health
Children observe our words and behaviors all of the time. If a parent has serious emotional problems, it is very likely that their children will also have emotional problems. Unhappy people or those with untreated health problems also run the risk of being less effective parents. Happy children, to put it simply, have happy parents. Take care of your mental health and see a professional if you believe your lack of joy is stemming from an underlying psychological issue. The earlier you deal with these problems, the better your life will be with your young ones. Just as well, take the time to help your children manage their own emotions and create a household built on communication and openness.
Try to Lead by Example
This might sound strange to many people. Your relationship with your partner or spouse, however, should be prioritized over your children. The reason? Families that center on children often create very anxious and tired parents, as well as very demanding and entitled children. Far too many families sacrifice their marriages for their children, when the best gift you could possibly give your children is a happy, healthy, and stable family. Just as well, showing your children what a healthy relationship looks like will stick with them until they are old enough to date and get into long-term relationships themselves. Lead by example. If you believe your relationship is getting rocky, nip the issue in the bud and consider couple’s therapy.
Leading by example also applies to things like education. Your child may not understand the importance of college if you didn’t follow up with your own, for instance. However, if you decide to enroll in an online program to get your master’s in teaching, business or information technology (which you can do from home and at your own pace), you plant the seed for your child to blaze their own educational path. And it’s all done by setting a good example.
There’s no “one size fits all” rule when it comes to raising kids. The only thing you can do is use every resource you have at your disposal so you can try to make the right decisions. The most important thing is to love them, regardless of their missteps, and be there to help them stand back up and try again.