How to Be a Better Parent

Goda Brzozauskaite
  • Apr 12, 2022
  • 5 min read
reading with parents

Not only is parenting challenging at times, it also requires a lot of learning and patience. For many adults with children, a question of how to be a better parent arises often, but they may struggle to get the answers and guidance. Therefore, this article will highlight the different types of parenting styles and the ways in which you can improve your parenting skills.

Analyze Your Parenting Style

Did you know that your parenting style plays a significant role in shaping your child's behavior? With that being said, researchers have found that there is a strong link between parenting styles and the overall effects that these styles have on children. Interestingly, these parenting styles also tend to carry over into your child's adult life. Here we list the four parenting styles to help you identify your very own: 

Authoritarian parenting

Children are to obey all the rules set out by their parents with this particular parenting style. Often, if they fail to follow these sets of rules, they are punished. Notably, with these styles, in particular, the rules are the rules, and more often than not, they are not up for discussion or negotiation. This parenting style also expects children to behave in an exceptional manner with little room for errors. 

Authoritative parenting

Similar to authoritarian parenting, these parents set rules that ought to be followed. However, they allow room for questions and feedback from their children. They tend to listen and communicate more with their children and offer them support if and when needed. Notably, when children fail to follow the rules, authoritative parents tend to be more forgiving and nurturing as opposed to punishing. 

Permissive parenting

Permissive parents have little to no demands for their children. These parents are said to avoid confrontation and give their children space to be themselves. They also communicate with their children and nurture them while taking on the role of a friend more than that of a parent. Permissive parents tend to be more lenient and allow a significant amount of room for error. 

Uninvolved parenting

Uninvolved parenting consists of fewer demands, minimal communication, and low responsiveness to the needs of their children. Notably, these parents are also referred to as negligent parents as they are often detached from their child's life in terms of guidance, structure rules, and most times, support. These parents tend to focus more on making sure that their children's basic needs are met and, pretty much, nothing else. 

The Impact of Parenting Styles on children

  • Authoritarian parenting – This parenting style produces children who are obedient; however, these children tend to be generally unhappier and have lower self-esteem compared to their peers.
  • Authoritative parenting styles – This parenting style results in children being happy, independent, and quite successful in their lives and relationships with others. 
  • Permissive parenting – Children with permissive parents tend to struggle academically and have problems with authority. 
  • Uninvolved parenting – These children, in particular, tend to have extremely low self-esteem and are less competent compared to their peers.  

If you decide that you might want to reconsider your parenting style, it’s a good idea to get more information before changing your behavior. Read literature about different parenting styles, and if you would like to get more assistance on that, seek family therapy.

Tips on How to Be a Better Parent

Here, we will highlight some universal parenting tips that will help you improve your relationship with your child and help them grow. 

Lead by example

Children tend to observe their parents' behavior from a very young age and, at times, mimic them. Therefore, if you would like your child to behave in a certain way, communicate better, follow the rules and the likes you have to be the example of what you expect of them. This then also leads to you becoming the best parent to them. 

Motivate more, criticize less

When your child does something that makes you proud, celebrate them as opposed to the action. For instance, if they win an award at school, instead of saying, “well done on getting an award,” say, “I am proud of you, and you’re so hardworking.” This will then motivate them to constantly do better even when you are not around. 

Allow them to make mistakes

Whether you are parenting a 6-year-old or a teenager, teach your children that it is okay not to be perfect at everything and that making mistakes is okay. Therefore, when they make a mistake, teach them about the consequences of their actions and encourage them to do better in the future. 

Explain the reasons behind punishment

When your child does something wrong, instead of just punishing them, offer an explanation as to why their behavior was wrong; this then allows them to see that their actions have consequences. Thus, enabling them to make better decisions in the future and encouraging you to be a better parent without yelling. 

When you make a mistake, forgive yourself

As a parent, you are bound to make mistakes from time to time. However, you, too, are not perfect, and you have to forgive and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Do not be hard on yourself and remind yourself that mistakes are a part of life. 

Ask for help

When you feel like you need a break or some advice, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Speak to a friend or family member. If someone offers to look after your kids while you take a well-deserved break, accept their help. You may find that taking these occasional breaks may make you a better mother or father. 

Teach them values and not rules

Although it is important to set certain boundaries for children, there is often more focus on creating rules instead of teaching them to differentiate between right and wrong. Therefore, teach your children the basic principles of life that you personally believe in. This will, in turn, lead them on the right path and further enable them to make better choices in the future. 

Encourage them to be creative

Allow your child enough space to be free, and allow their imagination to run wild. This could be achieved by dancing, singing, drawing, coloring, and the likes. Interestingly, when you allow your child to be creative, you may find that they are able to express themselves better. It will also allow you to understand them better without being judgemental. Creativity also encourages better communication between parent and child. 

Be a loving parent

Set aside time to spend quality time with your child and shower them with as much constant love and affection as possible. The ways in which you could do this is by giving them hugs, kisses, reading them a bedtime story, or even cooking their favorite meals. Notice what your child values the most. If they are always asking you to go to the park together, but you are too busy and instead try to show attention with expensive toys, they might still feel as if their needs are not fulfilled. 

Notably, showing affection to your child will likely build their confidence while allowing them to face any challenges presented to them head-on. 

Trust your gut

Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to your children and family, you know best. Therefore, you could get advice from different people regarding parenting, but ultimately, you have to make decisions based on your own gut feeling. 

If, for example, you see a new trend that says it’s not a good idea to complement your children, but you don’t completely agree with that, don’t feel that they necessarily know more than you. Notably, parents have been raising children for decades and turned out quite fine, and so will you. 

Teach them to be accountable

Accountability is extremely important in life, in addition to allowing your children to make mistakes. Teaching them how to acknowledge their faults aids them in identifying where they fall short and further encourages them to work on becoming the best version of themselves.

Teach them respect

Teaching your children respect ensures that they treat everyone they encounter with kindness. It also teaches them to be less judgmental and allows them to accept people for who they are. Above all else, in order to teach respect, you have to show respect. Therefore, ensure that you practice the respect you are trying to teach your child.

Online Counseling for Parents

Parenting therapy was specifically designed to work effectively with parents with their parenting-related issues. This type of therapy also encourages individuals to identify their own past and present experiences that may be affecting the way they are towards their own children. 

For instance, you may have had an uninvolved parent, and now you find that you too are uninvolved in your child's life. Therefore, this type of online therapy would then help you find ways to be a better parent than your parents

If you are experiencing ongoing parenting issues, be it due to mental health and particular parenting styles or even if you would like to learn more about parenting without necessarily having any problems, parenting therapy will serve as a great help. Also, online therapy is an extremely comfortable and affordable way for parents to reach out for help. 

The Bottom Line

Evidently, parenting can be rewarding and challenging at the same time for many parents. Notably, these challenges could either stem from mental health-related issues, parenting styles, or even past experiences. 

However, if you find that you are struggling with parenting, you could always reach for help, and if you are considering online therapy, we are here to help. 

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