Well, kids really don't come with instruction manuals and when I held my first son in my arms I muttered to myself for the first time after birth, "now what?" The nurse must have heard me because she just turned to me and said softly, "just love him". That moment changed the whole world for me. As a new dad that was both my happiest and scariest day of my life! When someone becomes a parent, their child does not come with an instruction manual. Most of us learn by trial and error, books, or from tips passed on from our parents. Parenting is a hard job and it gets harder as our children get older. Our children face many pressures today that we as parents never had to deal with when we were young. That means we have to change our parenting technique to adapt to today’s society and its pressures. Today we need to take a different approach to raising children. Parents need all the help they can get for each stage of their child’s life. You can be an effective parent in today’s society, using common sense, and a few other professional tips will help you be the parent you want to be.
To be an effective parent you first need to know yourself. You want to know why you do the things you do, and you might already know. Your children want to know why you react and act the way you do. Do you have good reasons for the actions you take when you are parenting your child? Your children will want to know, and they will ask you why. If you know yourself and can understand why you do certain things you are more capable of being an effective parent.
Talk to your kids. Begin listening to them and talking to them when they are young. If you make it a practice of listening and talking to your child it will be much easier to talk to them when they are teenagers. Talking and communicating with your children is important in keeping track of their emotions and state of mind when they are older. If you have open communication with your children, you can find out what is on their mind and you can let them know what is going on inside your head too. Listening is just as important when your children talk. Try not to get upset or interrupting your child when they are trying to communicate with you. Teenagers especially are not talkative, so if they begin to open up, take the time to listen!
Become involved. Let your children and teens know you are interested in what is happening in their lives and the things they feel are important to them. Do not be a dictator. Gently guide your children into making the right decisions. Give your children other options if you do not want them to take part in a particular activity. Substitute another opportunity and allow your child or teen to take part in the decision process. Giving your child a choice will help them respect you and make it easier when they have to make decisions alone.
Last, your children will mimic what they see. You are the most important person in your childs life and their very first role model. This is a daunting responsibility when you sit back and think about it. The one thing they are most sensitive to is hypocrisy. Do you have higher expectations or ideals for your teen or child than for yourself? If you want your children to listen, you will need to listen to them. If you want your child to eat healthy, they will need to see you eating healthy. Your child will almost always follow the example set by their parents.