What Is Good Parenting?
Good parenting is a broad concept, encompassing multiple aspects of your and your child’s lives together. Good parenting is an accumulation of actions and interactions that you have with your child. It is driven with purpose and end goals in mind. Good parenting aims to develop in children character traits like independence, self-direction, honesty, self-control, kindness, and cooperation. To that end, good parenting creates a foundation for a child’s healthy, positive development.
Good parenting also involves parents living their lives as role models. Kids listen to and watch what their parents do, taking everything in. As they absorb their parents’ actions and words, they begin to emulate them. Good parenting means being aware that your children are watching, learning, and copying you. Now that you’ve seen a description of good parenting, we’ll go a bit deeper into a good parenting definition.
What Does Good Parenting Mean?
Good parenting focuses on the overall health and wellbeing of kids. Good parenting focuses both on the here-and-now of a child’s life and on raising kids who are successful in their lives as they mature and become adults. To that end, good parenting approaches kids with love, warmth and acceptance. Healthy parenting means nurturing the whole child, attending to physical, mental, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.
A definition of good parenting acknowledges that parenting is both an art and a skill. While good parenting doesn’t mean perfect parenting (that’s impossible), it does mean that parents do their best to interact positively and respond to their kids’ needs every day. Every parent’s best varies from day to day or even hour to hour within the same day. What’s important is that a parent has a child’s best interests at heart no matter what ("‘Good Enough Parenting’ Has Its Time and Place").
Having a child’s needs and interests at heart isn’t so difficult when you know the elements that comprise good parenting.
What is Good Parenting? Elements of Good Parenting
The following elements are present in good parenting.
Parents are supportive of their children, assisting them with school and activities when needed, attending their events, and asking about their lives.
Parents set guidelines and rules that align with their values and purpose. Rules are consistent, clear, and explained. Consequences are gentle and logical.
Routine, as well as structure and consistency, provides stability and a sense that the world is logical and predictable. It fosters healthy, positive development.
Parents trust their kids. If kids break that trust, parents talk openly, discipline, and explain why they are disciplining. Also, parents act in ways that their kids can trust them and what they say and do.
Good parenting means being actively involved in kids’ lives. Setting aside time to do things together, attending school events and other activities, and staying current with what’s happening in kids’ lives are some aspects of involvement.
Parents help children have a positive perspective rather than a negative outlook. While processing negative events and situations is important, good parenting involves helping kids find positivity and forward direction.
Guidance. Good parenting involves guiding their children to be successful, but it does not involve controlling, micromanaging, or hovering over kids.
Responsibility. Parents give children age-appropriate tasks and chores. As kids grow, so do their responsibilities in order to foster success and a healthy work ethic.
Above all else, good parenting is driven by love. This helps kids feel valued and facilitates healthy self-esteem and a belief in themselves and their abilities. When parents openly show love and affection, children learn to be caring and kind to others.
Good Parenting: Parents Matter
As a parent, know that you are important. You are an asset in your children’s lives, helping them develop character. Good parenting is a skillset that can be nurtured and honed; it isn’t something some parents can do while other parents can’t. Driven by love and purpose, all parents can practice good parenting.
Developing parenting skills involves patience and practice. And it’s well worth it. Good parenting nurtures kids academically, socially, and emotionally. The above elements of good parenting are protective, helping kids be mentally healthy; indeed, good parenting practices can prevent anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and alcohol and drug use and abuse throughout childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood.
It’s important to note that we’ve been talking about good parenting. It’s something parents do. It’s not about judging parents and labeling them as good (or bad) parents. Good parenting has less to do with the parents and more to do with the raising of kids.
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Peterson, T. (2019, June 27). What Is Good Parenting?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/parenting/parenting-skills-strategies/what-is-good-parenting