When you’re a parent, you have a choice about what you see, understand, and what you consider to be important for your child. But a parent’s true authority, however, is derived from the fact that his or her skill is helping his or her children navigate the passage of childhood toward adulthood. The essence of his children, therefore, and in the basic understanding of the matter, is entrusted to his care.
For the parents to keep their children safe, guide them through rough waters, and help them flourish, is an act of preserving the connection with the cosmos which is the birthright of every child. Doing such requires that a parent should be creating an environment that serves three purposes: whether or not is it safe physically, or is it emotionally supportive of the child’s growth into a unique human being, and is it structured to include limits or boundaries. In addition, let me cite twenty things every good parent can do to his children:
ALLOWS HIS CHILD TO EXPRESS HIMSELF
Why this is very important is simple—it is one of the primary needs of every child. Every parent should own up to his or her own opinions and feelings as much as possible and to let his or her child have his or her as well. Parents must also find ways to encourage their children to express their own selves.
ALLOWS HIS CHILD TO QUESTION AUTHORITY AND VALUES
While this may be difficult for most parents, yet it is one way they can make their children to become independent thinkers who can make wise decisions that must sometimes go against a prevailing opinion.
USES HIS CHILD’S BEHAVIOR AS A WAY OR OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH RATHER THAN PUNISH
A good parent understands that his child’s misbehavior is almost certainly not an attempt to personally destroy or thwart him. He sees it as a signal that something needs attention which is an opportunity for both him and the child to learn. Punishing a child by a parent is to express his exasperation and anger at least as often as an attempt to teach.
To discipline a child is to understand first the meaning of the word itself. It comes from the Latin word “disciplina” which in English means to “instruct” or simply a “method.” When you discipline your child you should see to it that you’re teaching him something. There’s a huge difference between discipline and punishment. Punishment is purposed on making someone suffer while discipline is aimed at helping someone to discover the natural consequences of misbehavior and to set up circumstances in which he or she can make amends or redress wrongs.
PROVIDES CLEAR INSTRUCTION WHEN TEACHING NEW BEHAVIORS
It is not advisable for parents to assume that their child knows what they know and that their child can connect a lot more of the dots than is possible. It is important for a parent to give clear and specific instructions followed by asking the child to rephrase them for him just so he or she would know he or she has been understood.
PERSEVERES WHEN THINGS GET ROUGH AND TOUGH
To withdraw out of frustration or in anger is a clear sign that a parent has given up on his child in a difficult situation. A good parent wants to let his child know that she’s yet okay and that he will be available to her in working such a problem out for as long as it takes.
OFFERS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND SUPPORT
A good parent will not love his child more or less because he acts or performs in a particular way. The child must know and feel, in the first place, that his parents can love and support him not for how he’s acting, but for who he is.
STAYS IN THE PRESENT
A good parent is there to interact with his child from the perspective that he can grow and learn and that mistakes are valuable as teaching opportunities. It is necessary for parents to stay focused in the present and to avoid negative references to what is the past.
When you’re judging someone’s performance, then you may be a professional critic. A professional teacher, on the other hand, is someone who works to help a student in reaching his performance potential. A good parent is taking delight in his child’s high performance, but he’s not overly invested in it. He’s neither a critic nor a professional teacher but what’s most important to him, above all, is his child’s growth and self-esteem. When he has something critical to say to his child, he sees to it that the context of the discussion is one that is supportive and mutual.
ALWAYS PRESERVES A CHILD’S SENSE OF HIS OWN WORTH
A good parent doesn’t call attention to his child’s faults or mistakes in a public way. If a parent makes to practice such an act of shaming and devaluation, his child would feel condemned because of who he is, not just what he has done. And once the child feels he’s condemned as a person, he would be thinking about what’s the use of trying to learn to do things differently or to try to please a parent who has given up on him.
AVOIDS MAKING COMPARISONS TO OTHERS
Sometimes, all parents wish their children were different. But it is not a good idea for a parent to use comparisons as a way of manipulating his child. A good parent tries to engage his child in intentional dialogue for that matter, by which to also include a behavior-change request, and to let him know what changes he would like to be seeing.
LAUGHS DEEPLY AND OFTEN
It is advisable for parents not to take themselves too seriously. Parents should have broad shoulders, are good sports, and not easily offended by their children. A good parent has a good sense of humor, laughs deeply, and one who is more than capable to weather life’s many a storm.
SAYS YES AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE
Don’t make your child becomes convinced that you, as his parents, only know the word “no.” To say yes is a way for a parent to honor his child as well as to give him encouragement. Saying yes, most particularly when there is a positive connotation to it, is to allow your child to experience the power of making things happen and to glory in his parent’s express permission.
CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR FUN
The value of having fun together can never be underestimated. When you’re having fun, you’re maintaining and enhancing a sense of well-being. Family outings are important, as well as a trip to the zoo, picnic, beach, or watching movies.
HONORS HIS CHILD’S COOPERATION
It is a natural for a child to eagerly please his parents. A good parent can use such an opportunity to capitalize on this impulse by celebrating with enthusiasm whatever he sees that pleases him. The parents should only be accentuating the positive, that is, if what they want for such a parenting to be within the context of pleasure and positive expectations.
HELPS HIS CHILD UNDERSTAND THAT DECISIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
A good parent makes sure his child learns by watching how he is going to respond to a situation that needs difficult decisions to make. It is important for a parent to pause and reflect before making decisions and by doing so he can as well teach his child the same approach.