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Many of you already know that there is no perfect parenting. But. There is good parenting and good parenting requires good parenting habits. As much as we want to provide them the best, we also want our kids to be growing up happy. A happy kid is a healthy kid. True?
What exactly is a habit?
A habit is a pattern or a routine that we keep on doing and is hard to give up.
Why do parents need good parenting habits?
By having that, it allows the parents to instill these good habits into our kids.
So, what exactly are the 7 good habits that parents should have?
The first thing that I always teach my kids is to say “Thank you” to show appreciation and “Please” when asking for something. Wait, we don’t just stop here because you don’t just do for the sake of doing. We need to explain what are things we are grateful/thankful for, what are the things they noticed, how they actually feel and, if any, what other ways can they show their appreciation.
Kids understand this much better if we model that behavior in front of them. For example, sending a Thank You note, helping someone who is less fortunate, sharing your gratitude with the family during dinner time or before bedtime. All these are ways to teach your kids about gratitude too.
Gratitude is an amazing tool that can generate happiness not only oneself but also to the people around them. It improves relationships and makes you more patience. Want to know more? You may read The Science of Gratitude, a white paper prepared for the John Templeton Foundation by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
Be open to share and communicate your feelings
You may wonder why some kids behavior is so good while others not? The reason is either they know how to handle their emotions naturally or they don’t. Regardless, we need to teach them how to identify and express themselves in a positive way.
Therefore, we need to share and communicate our personal feelings to them so that they are able to see and understand what exactly we are going through and how we handle it. From there, they get to learn and from there we teach them.
By sharing and communicating our feelings to our kids allows them to know us better and at the same time reduces our anxiety and promoting good mental health.
Teach them effort counts but not perfection
Very naturally, our firstborn is usually the perfectionist. Why? Because their role models are adults where we do things correctly and with good speed (although not all the time but yeah…). No matter if the kid is firstborn or not, we have to guide them during their growing journey that putting in the effort is way more important than being perfect.
Not that being perfect is a No-No. Being a perfectionist increases their level of fear of the unknown thus preventing them to move forward. They are worried that it may not turn out perfect hence unwilling to try things out. In order to prevent that happening, we encourage our kids to always try it out and move them a little further progressively. Praise them when they did it, and acknowledge their feelings if they didn’t. Don’t ever let them quit!
What do I mean by taking turns? Not the siblings but you as a parent spending 1 to 1 time with each kid. I know you may be thinking you should spend time as a whole family where everyone is present.
Have you ever noticed kids screaming or acting out in order to get attention?
Have you ever did something to get someone’s attention?
As a family, some kids tend to stand out compared to the rest and some will be left “unnoticed”. This is why you need 1 to 1 time with each kid so that you can spend the full attention on them and letting them feel your full presence. It may sound tough if you have many kids but you don’t need a full day with each kid. All you need is to find the opportunity and the time to do something with each kid.
Spending 1 to 1 time with each kid allows you to know your kid better, strengthen the bond, build their self-esteem and fill up their love cup.
Give them real responsibilities
Giving kids real responsibilities make them feel that they are part of the family and being in-charged. They feel dependable as they are taking over the ownership of performing a task and when it is accomplished, they feel the sense of achievement which is the key to their success in the school and in the working world.
Teaching responsibilities can start at home since young. For example, household chores are the easiest task to assigned for them to take responsibilities on.
Praise them with the right stuff
We all love praises. Research in neuroscience has shown that when a person is being praised, our brain will release the neurotransmitter Dopamine which associates with motivation, positivity, and focus thus encouraging the brain to repeat the same task in order to feel rewarding again and again.
Also when you are being praised, you tend to remember what you have done better due to that positive feeling and raises self-esteem. But do be aware not to overpraise your kid as it will have its side-effect. Do use the right encouraging words as those words have powerful positive effects on the kids and they will remember better and repeat that praised behavior.
Let them know home is a safe haven
Have you ever feel lost and didn’t where to go or when you need help, guidance or support but don’t know who to turn to? Was the feeling good?
Same goes for your kids. If you want your kids to come home then let them know that you’ll be always there for them and home is a safe place to go. Be aware and responsible for your kid’s signals. Be sensitive to their needs. Kids need a lot of our support. You and your home is the best person and place to provide that support for them. With that support, kids tend to have better emotional, social and mental development.
Many times we expect our kids to follow our instructions, rules, and regulation but just by telling kids to do it doesn’t cut it. We need to be picking up the good habits because kids are experts at imitating the parents, hence they will follow and pick up that habit too.
Be a good role model but the perfect parent.
Do you agree with the above 7 habits that parents should have? Share with us in the comments below.
If you need parental support, do join me on my Facebook group at The Parent Whisperer – Practical Parenting Tribe where we support each other on this parenting journey.