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Good Parenting Qualities and Characteristics You Can Develop

Parents use good parenting qualities and characteristics to raise healthy, well-adjusted kids. Read about good parenting traits you can develop on HealthyPlace.

Good parenting qualities are characteristics that any parent can develop and use to raise happy, successful, well-adjusted kids. Parenting characteristics are learned. They don’t magically appear to only a few moms and dads who have a gift or a store of secret knowledge. Qualities of good parenting are attitudes and actions used every day in interacting with kids and helping them mature.

Parenting is a skill. The attitudes and actions that make up good parenting qualities are learned and developed over time, from birth to adulthood and all the ever-changing stages in between. As with all other areas of life, no one has every skill. We have strong skills and not-so-strong ones. This means that as a parent, you already have strong skills, and you can learn and build other skills. Developing good parenting qualities, traits, and skills will allow you to parent your children in a positive manner that fits with your values.

Every parent, every child, and every family is unique with different parenting styles and parenting goals; therefore, there isn’t one simple formula for good parenting qualities. You’ll pick and choose skills and character traits that resonate with you and let them guide you. One concept, though, is universal: good parenting focuses not on what the parent wants their kids to be like but on nurturing them to explore and grow into the person they want to be.

Nurturing and encouraging kids to develop who they involve both parenting skills and parental character traits.

Good Parenting Qualities: Skills to Learn and Use

The following attributes are behaviors and actions—things that parents do or provide that encompass good parenting:

Outwardly express love, caring, affection

Studies show that providing guidance in a loving, affectionate way is the most important quality of good parenting. Encourage, nurture, show affection with words and actions, praise kids’ actions and achievement. This will let them know that you love them no matter what.

Communicate genuinely and clearly

Communication is a broad category that includes expressing interest in kids, explaining rules and their consequences, listening to them with your full attention, and more. Your body language talks to kids as much as or more than your actual words. No matter what you’re doing, including disciplining, your communication should tell kids that you value them.

Demonstrate understanding (rather than arguing with kids or lecturing them)

When kids are upset for any reason, you don’t have to fix things, and you certainly don’t have to give in if they’re upset with your consequence. Reflecting how they’re feeling or asking them to tell you about what happened won’t change the situation, but it will help kids process it in a healthy way, including accepting negative consequences for their actions.

Maintain consistency

Children need to know that they can trust that rules and routines will stay the same from day-to-day. This builds a sense of security and confidence.

Foster independence and development of passions

A newborn is entirely dependent on parents for survival. As babies reach developmental milestones (well before age one), they are already moving toward partial independence. Giving kids choices and letting them do age-appropriate activities by themselves helps them develop healthy self-confidence and a belief they can accomplish things and meet goals.

Nurturing their independence also helps them identify and develop passions. Let them choose activities to do, and give them appropriate leeway to explore on their own. Rock climbing classes? Cooking or baking? Let them decide.

Good Parenting Characteristics: Ways to Be with Your Kids

Good parenting also involves parental character traits. These traits are inner qualities such as attitudes, values, and motivations. Even though these aren’t behaviors and skills that can be practiced, they can be enhanced by acting in ways that are consistent with them.

  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Love
  • Sense of humor
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility

A final characteristic of good parenting is that mothers and fathers who use good parenting qualities and skills know that they are role models for their children. What you do makes an impression on your kids. When you use the above skills and demonstrate the character traits, kids notice and they emulate your actions and qualities. You can practice good parenting for your kids simply by developing the characteristics and using them.  Be the way you want your kids to be, and do what you want them to do.

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article references

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2019, June 27). Good Parenting Qualities and Characteristics You Can Develop, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/parenting/parenting-skills-strategies/good-parenting-qualities-and-characteristics-you-can-develop

Last Updated: August 8, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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