Melissa Riley

5 Things you can do to become a better parent

If you are even just stopping to read this means that you care enough to try to do something. We all know what a large impact parents can have on their children. Parents can be the most influential people in a child’s development and can be the difference between becoming thoroughly effective members of society or not. As any parent will tell you, no child comes with an instruction manual in a combo pack with the crying bundle wrapped in a soft blanket. All anyone can do is try their best do be there for their children.
  1. Spend time with your kids
Try and remember the happiest moment with your parent. Was it something like they gave you a toy and you ran off and played by yourself, or was it a time when they actually made time for you and got down on the floor and played Legos, or played with dolls with you? A child can learn crucial interaction techniques through the time that they spend with their parents. This allows them to also understand the distinction and the separation between adults and children as well as the bonding that can make your child a better person in the long run. “Do things together, such as reading, walking, playing and cleaning the house. What children want most is your attention. Bad behavior is usually an attempt to get your attention,” (Family Doctor).
2. Talk with your kids/ get to know them
If there is no communication between children and their parents there is confusion and misunderstanding that could have been prevented. You can also learn about them and their needs to better lead them and guide them. How will you know that they need help with homework if you don’t even bother asking them about how school is going and what classes that they are taking?
3.Remember they are watching you
Ever heard the phrase ‘nature verses nurture’? Well nurturing can also just be the simple copying mechanism that children fall back on when they want to learn, as well as to better understand the world around them. Children are sponges they take in everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that you do. They will learn something as simple as how to chew their food, or something as critical as how you interact with other adults.
4.Do the things that you want them to learn
If you want your child to learn some things make sure that they see you doing those things, even having them help you in some cases. An example of this is if you like a clean home, do not make it seem like it just magically happens. Let children see the process, they may be less likely to ruin it. If you have them help you they may find pride in a job well done.Express your own feelings sensitively. We can’t help but get angry sometimes. Learn to recognize the first signs of anger and let your children know how their behavior makes you feel. For example, let them know that “I worked hard to make this dinner. It makes me angry when food is wasted.” When you take a moment to acknowledge your feelings and appreciate what you are doing right, parenting becomes less of a chore and more of a pleasure, (Smith).

5.Try to break bad habits early
If you have a bad habit that you acknowledge it as a bad one that you would prefer that a child not take in. It is a good idea to attempt to try and break those habits. On the smaller scale habits like slouching or eating with your mouth open can be fixed before a child ever catches on, or if they see you struggling with fixing the problem, they are less likely to pick it up as a habit of their own.

There's not just one right way to raise children. But here are some guidelines to help your children grow up healthy and happy: show your love, listen to your children talk, make your children feel safe, provide order in their lives praise your children, criticize the behavior, not the child, be consistent, spend time with your children, (Family Doctor).
Remember that no one is perfect and no one will be the most perfect parent no matter how hard you try, but these tips can be a guide for the wonderful time that you spend with your children. Another thing to remember that all children are different and there is no formula for exactly how to raise a child.


Works Cited
Faina Smith, Michelle Godfrey and Peggy Kaufman. “Nurturing Your Family - Taking Care of Yourself –Ask the Experts.” One tough job. Children’s trust fund. 2007. March 31, 2012.<http://onetoughjob.org/your-family/care/ask-the-experts>.
Family doctor. Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff.09/2000. Family Doctor. March 31, 2012. <http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/parenting/parenting-tips.html>.