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In A Better You

The Importance of Parenting Skills in Raising a Family

Good parenting skills separate responsible parents from those who take their obligation less seriously. Good parents will make an effort to develop the abilities and skills they need to raise their children. A parent’s childcare skills (or the lack, thereof) will have a positive or negative effect on a child’s character and behavior as he grows.

Disciplinary skills, patience, respect, love and open and honest communications are just a few of the many skills parents need in raising children. Such skills can have a tremendous impact on a child in helping him or her grow into a responsible and caring adult. These skills and others are extremely important for young parents to develop in order to give their kids a head start towards a happy future.

Benefits of Effective Parenting Skills

Most parents vary in the expectations they have from their children as they grow. When children are small, parents may be more concerned about their physical care and welfare. During early childhood, parents need disciplinary and supervisory skills to help protect the safety of their children. Upholding a good disciplinary standard for your kids can protect them from accidents and harm.

As your child grows, he will need help and guidance in making moral decisions that will shape his character. By having good communication and listening skills, you can develop a good rapport with your child, enabling you to provide the guidance he needs. Through open and honest communications, you can cultivate a relationship of mutual trust that will benefit you both for years to come.

Adolescence can be a very difficult time for a parent as teens begin to make decisions on their own. Many teens reject parental authority or supervision during this time and test former boundaries. This is a time when parenting skills are needed most. Such skills as patience, tolerance, respect and love can help smooth misunderstandings that may arise. Parents will need to have a good balance between being firm and allowing greater freedom for teens to experience life and learn as they grow.

Parents will use different skills in the various phases of their children’s lives. As children grow, parenting skills will come in handy for academic, social, vocational and moral training. Moral education is an important aspect of parenting; however, it is often lacking in modern society. Teaching children the difference between right and wrong early on in life strengthens their convictions and helps them make smart decisions as they grow. By honing parenting abilities and skills, you can be more effective in raising your kids into confident and responsible adults.

Positive Parenting Skills

When it comes to effective parenting, there is no “one size fits all” list of parenting skills that will work for every parent. Some parents may find the use of certain skills more effective in raising their kids than others. Parents may need to adapt certain skills to work better on different ages or personalities. The following gives a brief synopsis of some fundamental skills that can help parents get positive results in raising their families.

Discipline

One of the first lessons children learn is to obey. Discipline is a means by which parents can teach children this objective. Parents who set firm boundaries for their children and enforce discipline to ensure they stay within these boundaries will be able to enjoy a happier home environment.

Parents often differ in their concept of discipline. Some parents believe in spanking their children while others prefer putting them on time out or taking away privileges. Disciplinary measures may be stricter when children display very bad behavior that’s harmful to them or others and more lenient for minor cases of disobedience. Parents may also tailor discipline to suit a child’s age, mental capability and personality. Discipline helps to set a child’s moral compass and provides him with a moral foundation and standard on which to grow. Through fair and consistent discipline, children and teens learn respect, values and self-control.

Communication Skills

Communication and listening skills are paramount for parents to learn. As a parent, it’s important to develop an open and honest line of communications with your kids from the time they are small. This entails learning how to talk to kids – not at them – and learning how to listen when your kids speak to you. Good communications also entails being able to explain important concepts to your children, reasoning with your children and patiently answering their questions.

Verbal praise means a lot to children, especially when coming from those they love. Learning the art of positive praise is part of developing good communication skills. In like manner, parents should learn how to express displeasure without demeaning or talking down to their children. By being truthful and respectful when communicating with your kids, they will learn to express themselves in the same manner.

Most children learn how to talk by emulating their parents. If you have bad speech habits or use foul language, make an effort to clean up your speech before your child is born. It’s much easier to teach children good speech habits from the start than try to correct poor language skills later on.

Moral Education

Children will learn their sense of values from the home environment. Teaching children moral education is part of a parent’s responsibility. A parent’s personal sample is one of the best tools for imparting this training. Children who see their parents living such moral concepts as honesty, integrity, diligence and conviction are more apt to adopt those values in their own lives as they mature into teens and adults.

Moral education doesn’t need to follow a specific curriculum to be effective in a child’s life. Your training does need to be consistent and real in order to take root in your son or daughter’s heart. A parent’s ability to impart moral values to their children depends a great deal on the moral standard they have adopted for their own lives. If your moral values are weak, chances are your children will learn little about values from you as they grow. By strengthening this area in your own life, your children can benefit from your personal sample.

Respect

Children and teens respond better to parental authority when they are treated with respect. As your children grow into adolescence, they may embrace beliefs and opinions that differ from your own. In their quest for independence, it’s not uncommon for teens to rebel against their parents’ wishes. Although you may not agree with your teens on everything, you can treat them with tolerance and respect. Being tolerant and respectful of your teen’s opinions will teach him to respect the opinions of others. Tolerance and respect are qualities that can help parents maintain a good relationship with their adolescents during this crucial period in their lives.

Love & Affection

Few – if any – parents can build a strong relationship with their kids without the parenting skills of love and understanding. Parental love is a fundamental element in raising a family. A parent’s love will go a long way towards building a child’s character, confidence and self-esteem. Love also encourages children to do what’s right and grow into responsible and caring individuals. You can express love physically for your children through parental cuddles, hugs and kisses. Children can also feel your love when you take time to listen, show genuine interest in them and shower them with encouragement and praise.

Love doesn’t mean indulging your children or letting them get away with wrong behavior. Sometimes older children and teens need “tough love” whereby parents enforce certain rules or restrictions on them to protect them from making wrong choices that will ruin their lives. Through tough love, older children and teens learn to follow the rules and take responsibility for their actions.

Understanding

Many parents need to develop the attribute of understanding when it comes to dealing with their teens. This can be accomplished by looking at situations through their teen son or daughter’s perspective rather than their own. The old adage of “walking a mile in their shoes” can aptly apply to helping parents better understand where their young people are coming from.

Experience is the best teacher in developing good parenting skills. The more experience you gain as a parent, the more you will appreciate how valuable these skills are. Today’s parents face many new and difficult challenges in rearing their children. Taking time to learn and hone parenting skills gives parents an advantage in raising their children to be responsible, caring and productive members of society. Parents who have developed these skills and regularly put them into practice have the satisfaction of knowing they are doing their best to create a happy and loving home environment for their family.

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