Do you often ask yourself, “Am I parenting my child the right way?” or “Is my parenting approach right?” If so, then read on to find out the sure signs of a good parent.
By Shashwathi Sandeep
Parenting can make you go crazy at times and make you wonder if you are raising your child with all the right habits you want him to follow. It may also include moments when you doubt your parenting abilities. This is because you are all the time conscious of the fact that your parenting approach has a direct bearing on who your child will grow up to be. “Your parenting contributes a lot to the overall personality of your child. It is not only what you verbally teach your child but also the kind of behaviour you model, the kind of relationship you share with your child and your spouse, and the environment at home. All these contribute to the development of your child and determine the kind of adult your child would grow up to be,” says Tanvi Sardesai, Counselling Psychologist, Dept. of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, S L Raheja Hospital-A Fortis Associate, Mumbai.
With such a major responsibility that parents have in moulding their child’s personality and ensuring her happiness and success, it’ll help to know the signs of good parenting.
Sign No. 1
Your child feels comfortable talking to you: It is important for your child to discuss his problems and difficulties with you. And, he should be able to do this without being worried about your reaction. When your child feels comfortable talking to you about anything, he wouldn’t need to keep secrets or tell lies. This is one of the many signs of open and positive parenting.
Sign No. 2
She reveals her vulnerable side to you: As Tanvi says, “You must be the child’s safe place. Your child should be able to express her weaknesses to you. She should feel comfortable displaying a variety of emotions around you.” When your child expresses emotions such as anger, sadness, or happiness, she is sharing her deepest emotions with you. It also means that she holds you in high regard and knows that you will be able to guide her in the right direction.
Sign No. 3
He feels sure of himself: You must be able to convey your unconditional love and acceptance to your child. This would encourage him to love and accept himself, which would also boost his self-confidence. “Focus on the uniqueness of the child – in discovering his identity, boundaries and personality. When he knows what he likes or dislikes, his strengths, his comfort zone, his challenges, his goals, and so on, he is motivated from within. And, when motivation is internal, the chances of a meaningful and happy life increase,” suggests Shailaja Kumari Shyamsukha, Holistic Development Coach and a Mental Health Therapist from Mumbai.
Sign No. 4
She does not feel judged by you: Although unintentional, but, in an attempt to discipline their child, many parents begin judging them. Being compared with others makes a child feel that her parents have no confidence in her. When you are non-critical of your child’s behaviour and avoid labelling her, she feels comfortable sharing her concerns with you. She also feels confident about getting a solution from you to her problems.
Sign No. 5
He feels free to be himself around you: When there is an open atmosphere at home, conversations that take place are free-flowing. Although, sometimes, what your child says might seem trivial to you, for him, they are of the utmost importance. Pari Venkatesh, a mother of two from Bengaluru, says, “I have always had a good rapport with my children. I have maintained this relationship where I have always been honest about myself and told them everything about myself when I was their age and I have encouraged them to do the same. So, they are free around me, since they know I will be able to understand them.”
Sign No. 6
She shows empathy and respect: “This would largely come from how you have raised them and the kind of behaviour you have modelled,” says Tanvi. Taking care of their grandparents, respecting your decisions, or even volunteering for a cause – these little things are a sure sign of right parenting. It shows that your child has respect and empathy for others.
Sign No. 7
He feels assured of your unconditional love: “I know for sure that my mom loves me a lot and will always be there for me, no matter what”— if these are the words that your child says time and again, rest assured that you are bringing him up in the right way. When you show your child that you care, he will understand that you will always be there for him.
Sign No. 8
She understands her boundaries: It is good to give your child some freedom, but at the same time, you should also know where to draw the line and make your child understand the importance of boundaries. “I give my children the freedom wherever it is required like going out with friends but with boundaries — they have to be home by 6:00 p.m. or call if they’ll be late. They understand it is for their own safety and follow them,” explains Roopa Suresh, a mother of two from Bengaluru.
Sign No. 9
He feels happy: This is what every parent hopes for. If your child feels happy with his life, you should know that you are doing well in the parenting department.
Sign No. 10
She becomes independent: The time when you really feel that you have done an awesome job as a parent comes when your child asks you to 'let go'. She might need you at times, but she also begins to understand her responsibilities better. It would help her in the long run.
These are a few telltale signs that should make parents realise that they are doing everything the right way. However, every child is different from the others and so are her needs. So, get to know your child better by spending time with her and enjoy this journey of parenting!
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