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Fundamental Abilities For Each And Every Parent
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Some people believe that parenting is instinctive and comes to people naturally. This might be true to a certain extent but we live in an ever changing world that sometimes forces us to learn new skills in all areas of our lives and parenting is no different. What comes to us naturally might be great but sometimes what comes naturally is simply the repetition of mistakes made on us by our parents. It is important to take a step back to look at your own style of parenting as honestly as possible to figure out if there aren't any areas in which some changes might be needed.
It is imperative that you set the very best possible example for your son or daughter. It's much easier to tell kids to do or not do something than it is to be a good role model, but this is what they really need more than anything else. It is easier for kids to learn through observing others than it is for them to learn simply by being told things so it's very important that you always match your words and your actions.
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 say "don't do this" and then do the thing themselves will find that their children still emulate their actions more than they listen to the words that have been said to them.
It's normal for parents to feel overwhelmed, to sometimes get mad and to feel frustrated once in a while. When this happens, it's time to take a break. It is important to have some resources in place so that there is someone available to watch your kids when you need to take some time. This can be your partner, a friend or relative or even a trusted babysitter. Make your list as long as possible so that if someone is busy you have someone else to call. Even if you're not at the breaking point, you have to give yourself some free time to spend on your own. Sometimes you don't need a lot of time for this, just fifteen minutes spent walking around your block can be enough to help you feel refreshed. You will be a far better parent when you regularly take time for yourself and don't make yourself focus on being perfect all of the time.
As a parent there are going to be some styles that come naturally to you but, particularly if you tend to vacillate between extremes, there are some styles that deserve some modification. Parents, for example, who are rigid and authoritarian are typically reflecting the style in which they were brought up. Today, though, kids need to be taught to think for themselves and if you are too strict this won't happen, your kids will either be extremely docile or extremely rebellious. On the other hand, if you are too permissive, your kids won't have a good understanding of boundaries and will likely grow up to be very undisciplined.
Studies show that kids thrive the most in an environment run with "authoritative parenting" which is partly authoritarian and partly permissive.
This article has outlined a few of the parenting skills you should develop in order to be the best parent possible to your children. Each parent faces unique challenges and these will be based on your personality and the personality of your kids. Try to keep in mind that parenting is a long process that is constantly changing as your kids grow up and that having some reliable guidelines in place is helpful for everyone.
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