How to Be a Good Parent
Powerful parenting tips to help you parent your kids is just the beginning…
Being a good parent takes time, sacrifice, dedication, tears, hard work, and prayers.
Want to raise good kids?
Want to give your kids a happy home?
Then read on.
Make a difference today.
Be a good parent today.
Not a perfect parent, but a GOOD one.
Good Parenting Tips Everyone Should Read
#1 Read to your kids.
Whoa…didn’t expect that one, huh?
No matter your kids age (my oldest is 18!) experts say that reading to your kids has many powerful benefits.
And in modern parenting, reading can be reading online articles together, reading Kindle books, reading Bible verses during breakfast, and even reading biographies during dinner.
Be creative and create a love for reading with your kids…from babies to young adults!
#2 Avoid Criticizing Your Kids
Good parents avoid poking fun at their child’s personal struggles.
They don’t call their children insulting names like “Idiot!,” “Stupid!” “Chubby!” “Ugly!” or just call them plain “bad.”
Degrading words sting and cause permanent damage to children that they could very well carry into adulthood.
#3 Be a Firm, But Loving Parent
Good parents pour out love on a daily basis, but they also know when to give consequences.
Creative consequences can help parents teach kids that certain behavior (stealing, fighting, hitting, lying) is never rewarded.
It takes dedicated parenting to pause daily life and address negative behavior.
It’s rarely convenient to make our kids face consequences for bad behavior, but good parents know that the big picture is what matters.
And our children need to learn now that bad behavior doesn’t get them what they want.
Related: Dear Mom of the Child Who Hits
#4 Invest in Experiences over Toys
A friend of mine shared this article on her blog years ago.
It put into words what had been on my heart as a parent.
Toys break, memories don’t.
Most of my kids’ toys end up getting broken or given away.
But memories from special experiences and trips are still brought up on almost a daily basis.
Kids remember interesting trips and unique moments.
Simple ideas to make this good parenting tip work would be:
- put puzzles together
- go on a bike ride
- go hiking
- go to the zoo
- go camping
- go on a weekend road trip
- have an at-home movie night
- plan a backyard scavenger hunt
- have mani and pedi days
- go on spa days
- attend sporting events
#5 Stop Taking Child Behavior Personally
My husband has been trying to get me to realize this since my 18-year-old son was in diapers.
When your child misbehaves, stop letting it hit you in the gut.
Instead, deal with it.
When your teenager wants a little space, give her some and wait. Most likely she’ll come around in a few hours.
Sometimes our child’s behavior has absolutely nothing to do with us, but we still need to parent effectively.
We still need to give extra hugs…
We still need to make hot fudge sundaes with our kids…
We still need to belt out silly camp songs with our kids one more time.
But we also need to be the one who says “Give me your phone. No more texting and no more screen time.”
It’s called parenting. :)
And we can’t take our kids tantrums, pouting, and bad attitudes to heart.
Because the good days and bad days of their emotions are all a part of them growing up.
Sometimes, it has absolutely nothing to do with us or our relationship with them.
But, sometimes (especially toddlers!) it does!
#6 Get Your Family on a Routine
It’s research-backed…not just my experience-based opinion.
Research shows that completing tasks in the same order repeatedly builds brain power and supports mental health.
Completing tasks in the same order = routine.
Bedtime, waking up, meals etc.
All done on a routine helps kids find security and creates calmness in the home.
A daily routine for your family doesn’t have to be complex.
It can even be flexible, but everyone benefits from a family routine!
And good parenting begins and ends with a solid routine.
We have an entire article dedicated to routines you can dig into here for some more good parenting tips.
Keep the Good Parenting Tips Coming!
#7 Less Screen Time
“Does texting count as screen time?”
“Does emailing count as screen time?”
Now that I have tweens and teens I get these questions…;0)
The truth is more studies are proving that screen time (Yes, that includes social media!) leads to obesity and lower quality of sleep.
I can see this in my own life!
It’s been tough to keep pounds off when I starting working online…which keeps me on the computer screen more hours than I’d like to admit.
So I have to watch my “non-working” hours to be a good example for my kids.
And yes, if I’ve just checked my email or watched an episode of I Love Lucy before bed, my brain takes a little longer to relax for sleep.
Giving our kids specific screen times is a good parenting practice we’re trying to stick to in this modern era of parenting.
But wow…it’s tough!
Kids turn in their phones in the morning and get them back after school and chores are completed.
And movies are saved for leisure or sick days.
Let me know how your family is limiting screen-time in our All things Mommy group!
#8 Be An Example
Kids do follow our example.
When our family had moved to a third world country to do mission work, I was learning “the ropes” from a missionary who had lived in that country for 14 years.
She looked at me and said, “Alison, whether or not we want to be examples we are. They’re copying us.”
She was right.
Several of the ladies had gone out and bought shoes that looked just like mine.
Some of them had clothes made to look like hers.
And our children do the same thing when they’re super young.
The little girls will often grab a baby doll and try to breastfeed the “baby” next to mommy who’s breastfeeding too.
The son will try to be like dad and put on daddy’s big shoes and march around the house and try to speak in a super low voice.
It’s natural to want to be like mom or dad.
So, a good parenting tip would be…
Be what you want your kids to be when they grow up.
When you face tough days, remember your kids are watching.
And that doesn’t mean you have to carry the burden of perfection.
But, letting your kids see you face a problem….even cry through struggles is still ok.
That lets them see that adults learn through trials and heartaches too.
That life isn’t like cartoons and fairytales.
And when you can still look at your kids and smile when a best friend has hurt you…
When someone close to you has died…
When your income has been dashed in half..
When your body is riddled with pain and you’ve spent thousands of dollars to find answers…
But your kids see you pray…
They see the quiet tears…
And they see you go on..
They see you smile and focus on the gift of the family that sits around your dinner table.
They see you look up and thank your Creator for each breath of life.
Be a real, living example to your kids.
Pain, tears, smiles and all.
#9 Laugh With Your Kids
Laughter brings stress relief to the entire family.
Go for the big, belly laughs!
The ones that end in tears.
These normally come from really good jokes, funny movies…
Sometimes we pause a movie and re-play the funny part like 4 times so we get that belly laugh…one more time.
Doesn’t it feel good to laugh?
#10 Be Honest
If you want to be a good parent, you can’t just teach kids the truth, you have to live the truth.
As much as possible, we should strive to be completely honest with our kids.
Obviously, I don’t recommend explaining intimate relations between a man and woman to a three-year-old, but I do recommend trying to answer the tough questions as honestly as possible. (Here’s an embarrassing journal idea that might work for your family!)
Even when your kids ask about your not-so-perfect past.
I would encourage you to avoid keeping secrets.
Don’t paint your past or present with an unrealistic and positive brush.
Just be real.
Kids find great happiness in knowing they have an honest parent who teaches them truth…even when the truth isn’t easy to hear!
Good Parenting Starts Here
#11 Spend One-on-one Time With Every Child
I know this is a crazy-tough when you have three or more kids in the house.
We have six kids, homeschool, live overseas, travel, and manage two businesses.
Life. Is. Busy.
It seems everyone needs your attention at the same time.
But try to squeeze in a few minutes with each child daily.
Every. Precious. Child.
Maybe take a walk with one child, cook a meal with another one, watch a quick cartoon with another child…
Look for any opportunity to give each child your full attention on a daily basis.
By far the simplest way for me to do that is just including my kids in my daily activities.
Some of them help me fold the laundry, others help me cook the meals and another one will walk with me to get a coffee.
It’s completely cool that we have several, small coffee stands within walking distance for our house!
You’re jealous, aren’t you? ;0)
You can also use this idea for spending one-on-one time with your kids on a weekly basis.
It’s simply genius.
Another mom shared it with me ten years ago!
#12 Put Young Kids to Bed Early
Good parenting takes lots of energy and attention.
And you can double and triple that when kids are young.
That’s why I highly recommend putting kids to bed early.
It gives kids and parents an opportunity to re-group and rest for another productive day.
A friend of mine puts her kids to bed at 7 and shares why here.
However, we always put our kids to bed at 8 Pm until they turn 13.
And it was the perfect bedtime.
But the reasons she shares in her article for early bedtimes are the same reasons we chose early bedtimes for our kids 18 years ago.
We’ve stuck with them throughout the years and we’ve seen so many benefits from early bedtimes for the entire family!
It’s definitely a good parenting tip!
#13 Be a Patient Parent
If you desire to succeed in this parenting adventure, you’re going to need wheelbarrows full of patience.
Stay calm and patient during the young years.
Tough days will come.
Tantrums will be had.
Gum will get stuck in your daughter’s long hair.
Your son will get injured doing some crazy stunt.
Kids will toss dirty clothes on the floor…
Rinse and repeat.
But be patient because those kids are learning, growing and you’re making memories with them.
May they remember a patient parent instead of one who grumbled with her face, body language and words every time there were dirty dishes in the sink or soapy water on the bathroom floor after evening baths.
Because life gets messy and isn’t perfect.
But a patient parent is priceless.
How Can You Be a Good Parent?
#14 Be Willing to Sacrifice
Parents can all say “I’ve sacrificed so much!”
But a good parent desires to sacrifice more…
Forget the “I carried you in my womb for nine months” or “I walked your fevered body up and down the hallway in the middle of the night” thing.
I’m glad you did that for your child, but what are you doing NOW?
Loved, well-rounded, emotionally-balanced kids are kids whose parents continually sacrifice for them.
My husband has taken several workdays off to help our kids prep for the SAT.
They have no idea the sacrifice involved in that act of love, but I do.
Kids may never know that mom and dad gave up an anniversary trip so their daughter could get braces.
Kids may never know that their parents didn’t buy a new car so their kids could get a better education.
It doesn’t matter.
There’s great reward in sacrificing for your kids. Rewards that written words can’t describe.
So be a good parent and sacrifice for your kids throughout your entire parenting journey.
#15 Listen Intently to Your Child
Simple parenting, right?
But we are the busiest generation of parents that has ever existed.
One skill that we’re rapidly losing is the simple skill of listening.
Not looking at our phone…
Not checking email…
Not thinking about our next task…
Just quietly, completely and thoughtfully listening to your child’s re-telling of a funny event that happened.
Sitting pensively as your child tells you what she’s studying in school…no matter how boring you think the study of an earthworm’s skin is.
Guilty. right here…ha!
It’s a daily, free gift you can give your child that help add a dash of happiness to your kids’ childhood.
And, it paves the way for deeper communication during the teen years!