Raising your child to be a happy, healthy and functioning member of society requires more than just keeping them alive. It's also more than just feeding and clothing them. Of course, these are vital parts of being a parent, but there are many important things that you can incorporate into your parenting skills arsenal that will keep your family happy and help you turn your child into the person you both want him to be.
Love and Affection
It goes without saying that you love your child, but an important parenting skill involves showing your love to your child. The love of a parent helps a child's brain grow, which enhances the areas associated with memory, learning and stress response, notes researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine. Nurturing your children is one of the best and easiest things you can do for them. Cuddle with your kids while you read a book, have regular board game nights, eat meals together as often as possible, listen to your child's problems and help him find solutions and give him plenty of hugs, kisses, back rubs or simply put your arm around him.
Discipline is an important part of parenting because it helps your child learn right from wrong and grow into a responsible and moral person. Setting firm boundaries and following through with consistent consequences is the best way to discipline your child, according to the All About Parenting website. Discipline should change as your child gets older. A time-out might work for a toddler, but a teenager will probably respond better to removing driving or texting privileges. Make your rules and their consequences clear and easy to understand by everyone in your family, so that no one is surprised when you hand down a punishment.
Setting an Example
You can't expect your child to avoid using bad words, but be respectful and follow the house rules if you don't. If you let fly several cuss words when you burn dinner or are rude to the drive-thru clerk because your order was wrong, your child is likely to behave the same way. Hillsborough County Public Schools suggests modeling responsibility and a good work ethic as well as abstaining from using drugs and alcohol. Showing your child how to live a moral and happy life is one of the most valuable ways to ensure that he grows up to live the same kind of life.
Whether you are married to your child's other parent or not, the way you treat and interact with each other is a vitally important parenting skill. Children want their parents to love each other and be together, avoid conflict and refrain from saying bad things about each other in front of the kids, notes Psychology Today. Whether you are happy together or co-parenting, speaking kindly to each other, solving arguments in private and showing the kids that you forgive one another is a parenting skill that your children will thank you for.