How to Improve Parenting Skills
Questions and Answers
Your role as a parent is one of the most important jobs you will ever have.
You are responsible for taking care of your children and making sure they have the tools they need to grow into successful and adjusted adults. Even the best parents have room for improvement.
If you decide you want to make some changes to improve your parenting style,
there are many ways to make yourself a better parent.
Improve parenting skills by developing a consistent method of parenting,
finding support wherever you can and seeking out resources that will help.
Talk to your spouse or partner. If you are raising your kids with your husband, wife,
or other committed partner, get on the same page.
Discuss your desire to improve parenting skills with people close to you, if you are a single parent. They can offer you support if they know what your goals are.
Think of yourself as a role model. Children often mimic the behavior of their parents.
Demonstrate the actions and values you want your children to embrace, including honesty, compassion, love, dedication, hard work and generosity.
Surround your home and life with others who can serve as role models to your children.
Whether these are family members or friends, keeping your kids around people
who are a good influence will help you be a better parent.
Spend quality time with your children. Your children need your full attention on a regular basis.
Plan activities that do not include cell phones, laptops, tablet computers or other electronic
or technological devices. This should be a rule when you spend time together.
Share affection with your kids. Physical contact such as hugs, kisses and cuddles
will make your children feel more secure, loved and connected to you.
Make time for yourself too. If you want to improve your parenting skills, you need to dedicate
some time for yourself so that you can re-charge your batteries and eliminate stress.
Build a support network. Having a group of people you can count on for babysitting,
advice and even a shoulder to cry on will make your parenting better and more effective.
Be consistent. Consistent parenting will make your job easier.
Your kids will know what to expect and the consequences of bad behavior.
Provide a consistent schedule and routine.
Kids are more secure and calmer when they know what to expect every day.
Give your kids consistent praise as well. Be sure to let them know when they have done well
with rewards, celebrations and positive reinforcement.
Access all the parenting resources you can.
There are many experts and a lot of information on tools you can use to improve parenting skills.
Take a parenting class. Schools, community centers, libraries in many communities offer classes
on parenting. You can also check for parenting classes online.
Read books, magazines and websites about parenting.
You can subscribe to magazines such as Parents or Parenting for monthly parenting tips,
or sign up for an e-newsletter from your favorite parenting website.
Browse the child development section of your local bookstore for resources.
Join parenting communities. Groups of parents often get together in church,
or through groups such as the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at schools. Online communities
at sites such as iVillage and BabyCenter allow parents to interact with each other digitally.
Find specific resources if you are the parent of a child with special needs.
You will need a different set of parenting skills if you have kids who deal with medical
or emotional problems. Talk to your pediatrician about how you can get help.
Remember to listen to your children. Better communication always leads to better parenting.
If they are acting out or quieter than usual, take some time to talk to them
about what is going on in their lives.
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