“There is no job more important than parenting. This I believe.” – Ben Carson
Everyone has different styles and rules that they like to follow when it comes to proper parenting. For some people, discussing the “proper” way to parent can be an entirely contentious issue. I suppose that I have a simpler idea of what it means to be a good parent.
So I’ve compiled 5 points that I believe are indisputable traits of a good parent or guardian.
Love Your Children
This should go without saying, right?
Unfortunately there are some parents out there that see their children as more of a curse then a blessing. A curse or an instrument of some sort to carry on their own egotistical legacy. Something of that sort. It’s also possible that some parents feel burdened and weighed down by their children. Sure, maybe that’s frustrating if it’s affecting your life somehow, being a parent isn’t always easy. Just love your damn children, because it’s not their fault.
A kid that is love will grow up to feel happy and whole. With someone there to love them and support them, they will feel secure about their lives. They will grow up with a positive outlook on life. They will be saved from some debilitating emotional anxieties when they grow up. Love them like you were loved as a child, and try to improve upon that experience as best as you can. What were you missing growing up?
Love them and do your best to never hurt them.
Nurture Their Intellect and Creativity
Whenever you get the chance, spend time with your child in a meaningful way. Interact with them. Introduce them to stimulating new experiences. If they watch television, try to introduce them to television that inspires or teaches.
I love to read books to my daughter, it’s my favorite thing to do with her. I even went as far as to buy my old favorite book, “The Monster at the End of This Book” for my daughter. I would say it’s because it’s intellectually stimulating stuff, but that would be a lie. I just have a kid now, so I can buy kid’s stuff for myself again! Woot woot.
Care For Their Needs
Just do your best to provide for your children. Put them first. This goes hand in hand with loving them. This little person needs you. Do your best to care for them. Make sure they don’t go hungry and that they have a roof over their head. Do your best to make sure that they’re safe. We can’t control everything that happens to our children, but we can sure help the odds of things not happening to them.
Raise Them to Prepare Them for the World
They need to be able to handle the world when they leave your care, prepare them for the future. Encourage their education and interests. Encourage them to establish healthy relationships and love, love, love them all the way through. As they grow older, begin to gently and slowly allow them more freedoms so that they can begin to make decisions for themselves. Allow them to choose certain interests of their own and don’t constantly push your own interests on them if they’re disinterested. They need to become their own people. Teach them skills which will allow them to feed themselves, and take care of their adult responsibilities. Lead by example. If you don’t know something, learn it and teach them.
You’re training them to have a better shot at life then you had after all, and if they do the same when they have a child then, wow! That’s going to be one bright grandchild! You’re investing in your future generations, not just your little darling.
Love Yourself Too
When you care about yourself and take care of yourself, you’re better able to love and provide for another. So don’t forget yourself when you’re busy taking care of your loved ones. Always remember that you’re deserving of your own love, appreciation and gratitude for all you do. Your child’s never going to be able to give you the self-love that you really need to show yourself. They might help fill the void momentarily but you truly need to love yourself, or risk becoming over dependent on them and possibly suffocating them too. Self-love is always important! So love yourself.
To Sum It All Up
Your goal is to provide for your children a better life than you’ve had as a child, to the best of your abilities. Emotionally, physically and mentally. We can not control everything that life will throw at our kids, but to the best of our abilities we should be trying. To top it all off, remember to love yourself and forgive yourself of your mistakes as a parent. You are still a human and we will all make mistakes. We can only help our children through life by giving them the tools and opportunity to live it well but we can not protect them from everything that life can bring. Be gentle on yourself if you want to be able to be really strong for your child. Love yourself, so that you can love them with 100% of your heart.
Nothing else matters nearly as much as these important traits in a parent.