Many parents assume that everything they have to know about raising their kids is self evident, but sometimes it’s necessary to pick up some new skills. This is because no one is perfect, and there are bound to be one or two weaknesses or areas of improvement you could work on. The world changes at a really rapid pace; for example, a lot of parents today did not grow up using the internet but they have to carefully watch their kids’ activity on it to make sure their kids aren’t adversely affected by the online world. Let’s look at some important parenting skills that all parents should possess.
Consistency is so important when it comes to disciplining your children. Many people have problems getting this under control but if you can’t do it you can be sure that your kids won’t see any reason to take your directions seriously. You need to think long and hard before putting your rules and punishments in place; making threats and promises that you don’t live up to is disastrous. For example, if you’ve taken away television privileges for your son for a week, don’t give in a few days into the punishment. Otherwise, you’re sending the message that your word doesn’t mean much and can safely be ignored. Your kids are going to test you so it important to stay firm. Every parent worries about keeping his or her child safe but he or she must also realize that there is no way to watch that child every second of every day. That’s why its vital for you to give them the information they need to get started as well as make sure that they know how to get to you or another adult who can help them if they need it. As soon you think your child will be able to retain the information take steps to make sure that she or he knows her or his full name, address and phone number. They should also know how to reach you at either home or work. You might consider letting your child carry a cell phone (only for emergencies) so that they can contact you or dial 911 if the need arises. They make cell phone plans just for these purposes. If your child is at a location where someone like a friend or relative is closer than you, make sure he or she knows how to reach this person.
As their mother or father you are naturally the first role model your children will have and if you are a good one, you stand a better chance of your kids actually meeting your standards. Parents who simply tell their kids not to do something, like using profanity, but then are always doing that thing themselves will find that it is the actions and not the words that the kids heed. One particular skill that you and your kids would do well to learn is time management. Parents who have issues with this particular skill usually raise kids who have those same issues. Children (and adults too, if we’re being honest) find it very frustrating when they run out of time to complete something on which they are working like a homework assignment or even something more fun like playing a computer game. It’s a good idea to instill at least a basic understanding of time management as early in your child’s life as you can. Since you’re the parent here and, therefore, in charge of the schedule, it is important that you learn how to effectively manage time yourself.
Lots of parents have problems when it comes to saying no to things their children want. Being able to say "no" in way that’s firm but not unkind is a skill that you need for your own well being, as well as that of your child. Children should be told, as much as possible, why it’s not a good idea for them to have everything they want. If they eat too much ice cream, to use one example, they might get sick in the moment and, over time, gain too much weight. Even when your kids don’t care about your explanation or seem to not understand it, it is still sinking in somewhere in their brains so it is definitely worth repeating. In cases like these, especially if your children keep asking, it is important to be as persistent and patient as possible.
Some aspects of parenting are natural to us but there are always going to be some areas where we need to work on our skills. Do not expect that you will be perfect but also do your best to learn from your mistakes. Remember: just because you’ve behaved in a certain fashion in the past or because your parents behaved in a certain way that does not mean that you are doomed to repeat those things; you can make the adjustments you need to make. Parents, along with other things, never stop learning.