What are some parenting skills?

Developing strong parenting skills is essential for becoming a more effective mother or father. Every parent aspires to nurture their children’s potential, ensure their happiness, and guide them towards fulfilling their dreams, ultimately contributing positively to society.
With the abundance of information available, parents invest significant time sifting through blogs, parenting tips, and personal accounts in an effort to find the best ways to raise their children. While this can be informative, it often proves to be a time-consuming and confusing process, as each expert offers their unique approach to unlocking parental strengths.
The resulting pressure to be a perfect parent can be overwhelming for well-intentioned individuals. However, amidst the myriad of approaches, successful parents share common skills that are adaptable for nearly anyone.
This article aims to simplify these key strategies and provide practical ways for incorporating them into your daily parenting routine.

Why are some parenting skills Important?

Parenting skills encompass a range of characteristics and abilities that enable effective child care. These skills involve providing adequate attention, facilitating growth, imparting education, inspiring, and more, all aimed at ensuring the child’s overall well-being and happiness. Every parent possesses their unique set of parenting strengths, which can include skills acquired in various areas of life.
By leveraging other strengths, such as those from one’s career, individuals can transform these abilities into parenting skills. For example, if resilience is a strength at work, it can be applied to parenting, benefitting the child and becoming a valuable parenting skill.

How to Assess Parenting Skills:

The most effective way to gauge your parenting abilities is by directly engaging with your child. Ask them if they feel genuinely heard and listened to, and inquire about their perception of the time you spend with them. Seek to understand if they comprehend the reasons behind the rules you establish. These questions, among others, can help identify which parenting skills are well-developed and which may require attention.
Observing changes in your child’s behavior when you modify or develop new parenting skills is another insightful approach. If the alterations result in positive changes, it is likely that your updated skills have had a beneficial impact on your child.
For a more comprehensive assessment, consider taking a specialized test like the FRIENDS Protective Factors survey. This survey evaluates your family’s resilience, support for your child, nurturing abilities, and understanding of your child’s developmental stages. Although often used in cases of neglect, this survey serves as a valuable tool for assessing both strengths and weaknesses in your parenting.
Seeking input from your spouse can also provide valuable insights into your parenting style. Your spouse, having experienced childhood themselves, can offer an adult perspective on your strengths and weaknesses. They may compare the strategies you employ with those used by their own parents, allowing for an examination of differences to determine their impact, whether positive or negative.

List Skills That Good Parents Have

Each parent possesses a unique set of skills, and honing positive skills contributes significantly to effective parenting. Certain skills, in particular, have proven to be pivotal in shaping a strong and positive relationship between parents and their children. Parenting experts widely recognize these skills as indispensable for successful parenting:

Emphasize Positive Behavior Over Correction:

Parenting experts advocate prioritizing the acknowledgment of a child’s positive behavior instead of focusing solely on correcting negative behavior. Contrary to common belief, continual scolding and reprimanding can exacerbate undesirable conduct. This counterintuitive reality stems from the fact that constant criticism may lead a child to internalize a negative self-image, viewing themselves as inherently flawed. Consequently, they may become demotivated to change. By highlighting and reinforcing positive behaviors, parents can instill a sense of appreciation and recognition in their children, fostering the belief in their inherent positive qualities.

Encourage Altruism in Your Child:

Children derive fulfillment and happiness from helping others, a trait that is often more pronounced in them than in adults. As adults tend to become more self-centered over time, steering children away from selfishness can contribute to their overall happiness. By introducing them to the concept of giving, involving them in volunteering and donating activities, parents can instill a sense of satisfaction and purpose in their children. This approach aligns with the idea that success and happiness are rooted in contributing to the well-being of others, emphasizing the importance of collective achievement over individual success.

Avoid Yelling at Your Kids:

Yelling at children is often a reactive response to their occasional misbehavior, yet recent research highlights its counterproductive effects. Instead of improving behavior, yelling can make children perceive themselves as inherently bad. To foster better communication, strive to understand your kids and assist them in creating reasonable plans to address issues. Manage your anger by proactively developing action plans, practicing deep breathing, walking away when necessary, and refraining from making threats.

Promote Independence in Children:

While recognizing the benefits of independence and responsibility, it’s essential to avoid helicopter parenting, which can hinder a child’s development. Helicopter parents tend to over-supervise, often doing tasks for their children that they can handle independently. This parenting style may negatively impact a child’s focus, academic success, and overall well-being. To avoid helicopter parenting, allow children to make age-appropriate decisions, let them experience failure, avoid excessive focus on them, and ensure they understand the consequences of their actions.

Assign Chores and Responsibilities to Kids:

Scientific studies, including the Harvard Study of Adult Development, emphasize the long-lasting benefits of assigning chores to children. Beyond childhood, these individuals tend to be more resilient and happy. Chores impart essential life lessons, cultivating responsibility, a strong work ethic, cooperation, and a sense of duty. Recognizing the positive impact of chores, even highly successful parents endorse this practice, as children who contribute to household tasks are more likely to become successful adults.

Maintain a Strong Marital Relationship:

While seemingly unrelated to parenting, the quality of your marital relationship significantly influences your children’s well-being. A healthy marriage, characterized by minimal conflict, contributes to the happiness and success of your children. Emotional well-adapted children often result from a supportive spousal bond. Effective relationship-building strategies include collaborative decision-making, kindness, avoiding comparisons with other marriages, focusing on each other’s strengths, and regular communication.

Set Logical and Age-Appropriate Limits:

Not all rules are restrictive; logical and age-appropriate limits help children learn about right and wrong. Rules provide a framework for positive behavior and teach children the reasons behind the rules, promoting understanding rather than blind obedience. Dealing with negative emotions resulting from rules helps children learn how to handle challenges, contributing to their development as responsible adults.

Encourage a Positive Attitude Towards Challenges:

Drawing on the research of psychologist Carol Dweck, fostering a growth mindset in children contributes to their long-term success. Successful individuals perceive challenges positively, recognizing that growth arises from overcoming difficulties. Parents can influence their children’s views on challenges by teaching them to embrace difficulty, view challenges as opportunities for growth, and even find enjoyment in overcoming obstacles. This positive outlook on challenges and resilience is cultivated during childhood and adolescence.

Ensure a Sense of Security:

Early childhood security correlates with academic success and healthy relationships in later years. Parents can boost a child’s sense of security through actions like displaying affection, expressing appreciation, respecting and listening to the child, keeping promises, setting consistent boundaries, giving full attention when talking, and reminding the child of unconditional love.

Cultivate Social Skills in Your Kids:

Research by Mark Greenberg and his team, tracking 750 adolescents, underscores the significance of social skills in long-term success. Socially skilled kindergartners are more likely to grow into confident adults. Parents can play a crucial role in helping children develop vital social skills such as conflict resolution, cooperation, politeness, active listening, emotional management, respecting differences, asking for help, giving feedback, and complimenting others.

Dedicate Quality Time to Your Kids:

In a busy world, finding time for loved ones, especially children, is challenging but crucial. Quality time, rather than quantity, is emphasized. Spending a few focused hours with undivided attention is more impactful than being partially present throughout the day. Scheduling one-on-one time, engaging in activities, involving older children in errands, replacing screen time with family time, and being present during significant milestones are ways parents can dedicate meaningful time to their children.

Guide Without Micromanaging:

Psychologist Diana Baumrind’s parenting style categories—permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative—highlight the importance of finding a balanced approach. While permissive parenting can lead to chaos and spoiled behavior, authoritarian parenting may result in secretive and resentful children. The authoritative approach, balancing love and acknowledgment with reasonable rules, tends to foster successful adults. Striving for authoritative parenting involves guiding children without micromanaging, allowing for flexibility while maintaining age-appropriate rules.

Be a Positive Role Model:

As children start imitating actions from as early as age 3, being a positive role model is essential. Parents should be aware that actions often speak louder than words, and children are likely to imitate behaviors they observe. While perfection is not expected, parents should strive to model positive behaviors, acknowledging their efforts to reduce negative habits and communicating their expectations for their children to avoid replicating those behaviors.