The Basics of Healthy Parenting

What is healthy parenting?

Parenting is a challenging and rewarding job, but it can also be frustrating if you feel like you’re not doing enough. That’s why it’s crucial to understand what you need and what your kids need in order to have a happy and successful childhood.

The basics of healthy parenting are simple and don’t require a PhD in psychology: Listen to your kids, respect their opinions, and teach them how to problem-solve.

1. Avoid Labeling Children: Parents often intensify comparisons between their children, such as one child being a better student than another or a more talented athlete than the other. These kinds of judgments can cause problems later in life, and they can affect a child’s self-esteem.

2. Be Consistent: Set clear boundaries and expectations, and enforce them consistently.

A consistent schedule of rules and consequences can help children follow them, while avoiding feelings of shock or threat. Be sure to let your children know why they need to follow those rules, and that you will be there for them as they learn.

3. Consider the Reasons Behind Your Child’s Behavior: Instead of focusing on negative behaviors, consider what may have been going on in your child’s mind at the time they behaved that way.

4. Be Firm, but Not Harsh: Everyone messes up sometimes, and it can be hard to keep your cool when you’re in the heat of the moment. But being harsh when your child tries to get their way can actually be detrimental.

5. Focus on Your Relationship With Your Child: Taking the time to connect with your child and make them feel heard can help build strong, loving relationships, says Dr. Sara Bates, a licensed clinical psychologist in San Francisco.

6. Give Your Child Opportunities to Show Off Their Skills: Giving your child responsibilities, learning to cook a meal by themselves, or getting them started with exercise are all great ways to build their confidence.

7. Create a Positive Environment: The best way to help your child develop healthy behavior is by making them feel safe and loved, says Dr. Laurence Steinberg, author of The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting.

Keeping the home clean and organized is important, but it’s also critical to remember that you need to spend time with your child and be available when they need you. This includes being consistent with your schedule and making sure your child knows that they can call you if they have a question or need support.

8. Be Compassionate: Having compassion for your child is a powerful and effective tool in resolving conflict.

9. Remind Yourself of the Values You Want to Instill in Your Child: A reminder on your fridge or wall can remind you of the core values you want to instill in your child.

10. Keep Pace with Your Child’s Development: As your child grows older, you can adapt your parenting to suit them.

It’s important to remember that every child and parent is different. It’s easy to follow advice from other parents, doctors, family and friends. But every child is different and needs different things in order to have a healthy and happy childhood.