Effective parenting requires a lot of work. A good parent tries to act in the child’s best interests when making decisions. The parent’s intention is just as important as their actions in defining what makes a great parent.
A great parent doesn’t need to be perfect. Nobody is perfect, including kids, so keep this in mind when you set your expectations.
Trying to be a perfectionist is not necessary for successful parenting. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make efforts to achieve that objective. Set high expectations for yourself first, then for your kids. Act as a significant example for them.
Top Effective Parenting Hacks
The following list of 10 helpful parenting advice will help you raise better kids, develop positive parenting techniques, and prevent poor parenting.
1. Love them and Demonstrate it Through Your Actions
Express your love. There can never be excessive love for children. You can only make loving choices or gestures, like giving or being lenient, when it comes to showing love. For instance, it could be giving gifts, being easygoing, having loose rules, or being overly protective.
Using things other than true love can lead to raising a spoiled child. Simple gestures like hugging your child, spending time with them, eating meals together, and listening to their problems are all good examples of how to show your child you care.
These acts of love can result in the release of feel-good hormones like oxytocin. The child will develop resilience and a closer bond with you as a result of these neurochemicals, which can also give us a profound sense of calm, emotional warmth, and contentment.
2. Act As A Good Example
Go the distance. Don’t just command your child to do what you want. The most effective method of teaching is through demonstration. Because we can imitate others, humans are a unique species.
We naturally have the skill to comprehend, copy, and adapt to how others behave. Children, especially young ones, closely watch and pay attention to everything their parents do.
Therefore, model the behavior and attitude you want your children to exhibit by treating them with respect, being an example of good character, and showing compassion for their feelings.
3. Ensure Your Child Has A Safe Location To Go
You can reassure your child that you will always be there for them by being aware of their needs and cues. Support and rejoice in your child’s uniqueness. When your child leaves and returns, ensure that your home is a warm and safe place for them.
Children who have parents consistently present in their lives tend to experience better emotional control, improved social skills, and enhanced mental health.
4. Make Use of Firm but Kind Positive Parenting Methods
Newborns possess around 100 billion brain cells (neurons), with loosely connected neural pathways influencing various aspects of their thoughts, behaviors, personalities, and other characteristics.
Their life experiences play a crucial role in shaping, strengthening, and “sculpting” them into the individuals they become.
Spend quality time with your family as a whole, particularly during your children’s early years. This will allow them to benefit from their own discoveries and impart valuable lessons to others.
But if you only give your child happy experiences, they won’t grow in the way they need to. Sing the absurd song.
Observe the park. Laugh with your child. Respect them by concentrating on them. Go through an emotional breakdown alongside them. Stay positive and collaborate to find a solution together.
These positive interactions help your child retain memories of you and strengthen the neural connections in the brain that underpin those memories.
Staying positive about discipline can be tough, especially when handling behavior problems. If you use constructive punishment as opposed to harsh punishment, it is however possible.
Being a good parent requires you to instill in your kids the concepts of right and wrong. The foundation of successful discipline is setting boundaries and consistently upholding them.
Be kind and firm when establishing and enforcing rules. Keep an eye out for what’s causing the child’s inappropriate behavior.
5. Reflect On Your Childhood
Many of us aspire to parent differently from how our parents did. Even those who had happy childhoods and good upbringings occasionally wish they had changed certain aspects of their upbringing. Our parents’ way of speaking often influences how we communicate.
Reflecting on our childhood can help us understand our parenting style. Create a list of changes you’d like to make and imagine handling them differently in real-life situations.
Be mindful of your actions and make adjustments if similar issues arise in the future. Practice is needed—lots and lots of practice—to consciously alter one’s child-rearing methods.
6. Engage Your Child and Encourage Brain Integration
Most people already recognize how crucial communication is. When talking with your child, listen carefully to what they say. It will strengthen your bond and encourage them to seek your help when needed, knowing you’re there for them.
But there’s another reason for communication. You support your child as they develop by helping them integrate the different parts of their brain.
Integration is similar to our body, where different organs must work together to keep us healthy. There will be fewer tantrums, more courteous behavior, more empathy, and overall better mental health when different parts of the brain are integrated.
Talk about upsetting events to do that. Request your child’s explanation of what transpired and how they felt to promote attentive communication.
7. No Matter What, Never Spank.
There is no doubt that for some parents, spanking can result in momentary compliance, which can occasionally provide much-needed relief.
However, this approach does not impart morality to the child. It merely instills in the child a fear of consequences from without. The kid is then inspired to behave appropriately so they don’t get caught.
When you spank your child, you are teaching them that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems. Children who experience physical punishment are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior with other kids. This increases the risk of them becoming bullies and using violence to handle conflicts.
In later life, they are also more likely to cause delinquency and oppositional behavior, poorer parent-child relationships, mental health problems, and victims of or abusers in domestic violence.
Positive discipline and positive reinforcement are just two examples of better alternatives to discipline that are more effective in parenting.
8. Pay Attention To Your Well-Being
To avoid parental burnout, pay attention to your health.
When a child is born, things like your own needs or the health of your marriage are frequently put on hold. They will develop into larger issues in the future if you ignore them.
Spend some time enhancing your marriage. Fighting is more likely to occur between stressed-out parents.
Ask for parenting assistance without hesitation. It’s crucial to have some “me time” for stress management and self-care to refresh the mind.
Parenting and family life will be greatly impacted by how parents care for their kids on a physical and mental level. Your child will suffer as well if these two areas are unsuccessful.
9: Take A Shortcut By Making Use Of Results From Recent Psychology And Neuroscience Studies
I don’t mean using tricks to cheat your child when I say take shortcuts. I’m talking about using what scientists already know about parenting.
One of the most extensively studied areas of psychology is parenting. Numerous parenting strategies, practices, or customs have been examined, validated, improved, or debunked by science.
The Science of Parenting is one of my favorite science-based parenting books, and it contains some of the best parenting suggestions and information for raising children that are supported by science.
Scientific knowledge doesn’t have a universal formula. Each child is unique. Even in the best parenting approach, you can choose from various effective techniques based on your child’s personality.
To discipline children, spanking is a good example. There are many better alternatives to punitive discipline, such as reorientation, using logic, and giving your child “time-in” to reflect. You have the freedom to choose the best way to discipline your child without using punishment. However, you can also choose “traditional” methods like spanking or punishing and still get similar results.
Keep in mind that children with different temperaments may respond differently to various parenting styles based on their susceptibility. Some children may handle strict discipline better, while others may struggle with it.
Children who show resilience may turn out well despite harsh discipline, but it doesn’t mean those methods are beneficial. In some cases, these kids may succeed despite poor parenting, not because of it.
With well-researched and superior parenting techniques available, it’s best not to take chances with inferior methods.
Parenting may not always be as straightforward as following scientific advice. It may require more effort in the short run, but it saves time and pain in the long run.
10. Maintain Your Parenting Objective And Keep Things In Perspective
Your main parenting goal is likely for your child to do well in school, be responsible, independent, respectful, have positive relationships, be kind, and be happy overall.
However, daily challenges might overwhelm you, as discussed in “The Whole-Brain Child” by Siegel and Bryson. But have you thought about how much time you spend on these aspects?
Instead of just trying to get through each day, consider how your feelings of annoyance or anger affect both you and your child. Rather than reacting negatively, view challenging moments as opportunities for teaching and learning.
Focus on teaching your child instead of controlling them, and even difficult situations can become valuable experiences for their growth.
By following these approaches, you not only maintain a positive outlook but also work towards building a strong bond with your child. In conclusion, parenting is rewarding but comes with challenges. Your efforts now will bring long-term benefits, and it’s okay not to have all the answers. Being a good parent is about doing your best and continuously learning along the way.