Parenting is the care-giving and grooming of a child. And while it is one of the most fulfilling jobs you can ever do, it also happens to be a most difficult one. More so, while most people aspire to be parents someday, they are often least prepared for what they are about getting into. Bearing a child is undoubtedly a wonderful gift for many, but it is also a great responsibility they must be ready to take.
It is without doubt expensive to raise children, and also quite demanding. But if you know what to do, parenting can be just as easy and fun as you desire it to be. Therefore, how can we make it easy for us?
Be financially secure
Raising children does not come cheap; the greater your financial power, the greater will be your ability to give your children the best life. You can’t raise a healthy family if you can neither feed them nor afford to satisfy their basic needs. Having a well-paying job, meeting the essential needs of your family, and giving your children the best formal education will allow for positive psychological and emotional growth, and improve their sense of emotional security.
A child with healthy self-esteem will show positive determination, intellect, kindness, cheerfulness, and self-control. But to a large extent, self-esteem is largely dependent on the feedback we get from those around us. A child who feels wanted, valued, and appreciated will go on to become a confident man or woman later on in life. However, a child who feels unwanted and worthless will feel unsafe in this world, and may begin to fight for his or her own security, hating and complaining.
How would you feel if you had a boss who always found fault in you, and never complemented you? You definitely would not feel very good. In the same way, your child will feel inadequate and incompetent, if you constantly make them feel that they are annoyingly imperfect. Practicing the act of complimenting your children will make them feel wanted and loved. Feeling wanted and loved consequently gives rise to self-confidence and cheerfulness. A child who is confident and cheerful is a healthy child.
Set family values
Discipline is essential in every home. A home without discipline is like a skyscraper without a foundation; it will crumble to the ground. Discipline helps children know what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, what is expected of them and what is unexpected of them. As a result, a child develops self-control and learns the family values. Your child may learn that he or she is expected to lay their bed first thing in the morning, flush the toilet after use, desist from using foul languages, and watch the television only after completing their assignments.
When your children misbehavior, spanking them is not exactly the best. If constructive criticism proves ineffective, there are other forms of punitive measures a parent can administer. The consequences of misbehavior can be loss of privileges; for example, your child may be grounded, be barred from watching TV for a week, or be deprived of their usually fun holiday.
Be physically present
Studies found that time spent with your children improves their psychological and emotional well-being. Sitting at meals with your child, watching a movie together, skiing together, taking a tour, playing cards, and window shopping together, these are the things that your kids will remember when they grow up.
Be a good role model
In my article, “Strengthening family relationships”, I stated that children look up to their parents from the very day they are born. If you are a good role model, your child will emulate those positive attitudes you exhibit, and be a wonderful child. However, if you are a bad role model, your child will emulate your vices. Studies have found that abused children have the tendency to become aggressive children.
Be their confidant
You may be the father or mother of your child, it does not mean that you cannot be the person they would want to talk to about most things. Communicate with your children on the deep level. Allow them to air their views without reproach. Let them share their ideas and concerns, while you listen and give constructive feedbacks. Also, share your ideas with them, and show them that you value their inputs. Your child should be able to feel safe and free sharing their personal woes with you, instead of keeping them buried within their souls. When you are neither corrosive nor harsh, but gentle and warm, you make your child feel that in spite of their imperfections, you love them unconditionally.
Respect your spouse
One of the greatest things a man can ever do for his children is to love and respect their mother. And the same can be said of the woman to her husband. Children who see the love, respect, and togetherness that exists between their parents are likely to grow up feeling safe and secure in what seems a loving family. The children will also go on to do the same when they grow up. Therefore, to be a great parent, you may want to start by being a great spouse.