As parents, we all want to do what we can to raise happy and successful children. Sometimes, however, life gets in the way and we lose sight of what we need to do to help our kids grow up to be joyful, content adults. Based on decades of research, these are a few of the most important skills we need as parents:
- Show unconditional love.
There is nothing more important for children than knowing that their parents love them no matter what they do or say. You might not like the words or the actions but they need to know that you love them always.
- Be a good listener.
Give your child the time and attention to tell you what is on their mind. Knowing that you are there to listen to them about seemingly small things will give them the confidence to come to you when there is something more serious going on in their life.
- Dedicate quality time together.
Set aside interactive time with your child–play games, tell stories, go out for lunch, or just toss a ball around.
- Be open to learning.
There is nothing more empowering to a child than when they teach their parent something new. Remember, just because you’re older doesn’t mean you know the only way to do everything.
- Be firm but fair.
Often parents are more concerned with being a child’s friend rather than the parent. However, children need boundaries to learn what’s allowed in life so they can be responsible members of society.
- Be patient.
Yes, you could button their shirt, tie their shoes and zipper their jacket in the time it takes them to open their eyes but just be patient and let them figure it out for themselves. This way, they’ll learn to do it on their own and become self-sufficient.
That fight your daughter is having with her bestie? It might seem trivial to you but put yourself in her shoes and try and understand why she’s so upset. Remember, you were a child once too, and you had dramas that your mom probably didn’t relate to either.
- Maintaining healthy relationships.
We all rely on good friends and family in life and healthy relationships are the cornerstone of a happy life. Model how to keep those important people in your life and, if you’re married, your spouse should be at the top of that list.
- Reinforce positive behavior.
Instead of catching your child when they’ve done something wrong, catch them being good and praise them when they’ve done something positive. Check out this “I caught you being good” jar. (http://frogsandsnailsandpuppydogtail.com/i-caught-you-being-good-jar-positive-reinforcement/)
- Demonstrate gratitude.
There’s a quote that sums this one up the best. “It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.” Nothing brings more joy in life than gratitude and, when your kids see how grateful you are for all the things and people in your life, they will follow your path.
Check out Lunchbox Love for Kids so you’ll always have the perfect message the share love, encouragement, gratitude and fun with your child..