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How to Be a Good Parent: 9 Essential Tips
Sun, 17 December, 2023

Dear Parents,
As a high School Counselor with wide experience with children, I have seen the impact of parenting on children’s academic, social, and emotional development. I know how challenging and rewarding parenting can be, and I want to share some tips with you to help you become the best parents you can be. 

Effective parenting is not a natural talent that some people have and others don’t. It is a skill that can be learned and improved with patience and practice. Effective parenting is driven by love and purpose, and all parents can achieve it with the right mindset and strategies. 

So, how can you become an effective parent? Here are nine essential tips that I have learned from my own experience and from observing other successful parents: 

Support 

  • Show your children that you care about them and their interests. 
  • Help them with their schoolwork, attend their events, and praise their efforts and achievements. 
  • For example, you can help your child with their homework, cheer them on at their football game, and celebrate their good grades. 

Discipline 

  • Set clear, consistent, and reasonable rules and expectations for your children. 
  • Explain the reasons and consequences of your rules and enforce them gently and fairly. 
  • For example, you can tell your child that they have to do their chores before they can watch TV, and that if they don’t, they will lose their TV privileges for a day. 

Routine 

  • Establish a regular and predictable schedule for your children and yourself. 
  • Include time for meals, homework, chores, hobbies, and bedtime. 
  • For example, you can have a routine where your child wakes up at 7 am, has breakfast, goes to school, comes home, does their homework, has dinner, plays, and goes to bed at 9 pm. 

Trust 

  • Trust your children to make good decisions and respect their privacy and autonomy. 
  • If they break your trust, talk to them calmly and respectfully to understand why and how to prevent it from happening again. 
  • For example, if you find out that your child lied to you about where they were going, you can ask them why they lied, explain why honesty is important, and ask them to apologize and promise not to lie again. 

Involvement 

  • Take an active part in your children’s lives and activities. 
  • Show interest in what they are doing, learning, and feeling. 
  • Find a balance between being involved and giving them space to explore and grow. 
  • For example, you can ask your child about their day at school, join them in their hobbies, and respect their need for alone time. 

Positive Focus 

  • Help your children develop a positive outlook on life and themselves. 
  • Encourage them to be optimistic, hopeful, and grateful. 
  • Reassure them that things will work out and that you are always there for them. 
  • For example, you can help your child cope with a bad grade by telling them that it is not the end of the world, that they can learn from their mistakes, and that you are proud of them for trying. 

Guidance 

  • Provide your children with advice and direction for their future success and happiness. 
  • Support their goals and dreams without imposing your own. 
  • Let them make their own choices and learn from their own experiences. 
  • For example, you can help your child choose a college major by discussing their interests and strengths, giving them information and resources, and letting them decide what they want to study. 

Responsibility 

  • Teach your children the value of hard work and accountability. 
  • Assign them age-appropriate tasks and chores and expect them to complete them. 
  • Reward them for their efforts and contributions. 
  • For example, you can give your child the responsibility of feeding the dog, doing the dishes, or mowing the lawn, and thank them or give them a small allowance for doing so. 

Love 

  • Love is the most important element of effective parenting. 
  • Express your love and affection to your children every day. 
  • Hug them, kiss them, tell them you love them, and show them you are proud of them. 
  • For example, you can cuddle with your child on the couch, write them a note in their lunchbox, or surprise them with their favorite treat. 

These are the nine tips that I believe can help you become an effective parent. Of course, parenting is not a one-size-fits-all formula, and you may have to adapt these tips to your own situation and preferences. The most important thing is to be consistent, flexible, and loving. 

I hope you found this blog post helpful and informative. Please feel free to share your feedback, questions, or comments with me. I would love to hear from you and learn from your experiences. Thank you for reading and happy parenting! 

- Bindu Bista