Good parenting skills help children become healthy, productive and successful adults. The health of a growing child includes both physical and emotional health. Couples who are approaching parenthood may feel daunted by the prospect of developing the skills they need to be successful parents, but parenting skills, like other skills, can be improved with practice and dedication.
According to AllAboutParenting.org, discipline is one of the most important and most controversial parenting skills. Discipline should be applied evenly to each child in the family. A child may complain about the unfairness when discipline is applied, but another parenting skill is the ability to explain why the discipline is fair. A related skill is the ability to withstand the cries of a child when the child wishes to do something that a parent has denied.Older children may use sweet voices and adorable upturned eyes in order to get their way. Part of the set of discipline skills is standing firm.
Teaching skills can evolve as the child matures. Early in a child’s life, the ability of a parent to explain things in words the child can understand is important. Words that are well beyond the child’s capacity to understand will not help the child to understand. On the other hand, constantly talking down to a child may hinder the child’s language growth. Finding the time to answer a child’s questions is another important skill. Often this can require patience as the child repeats the question “Why?” This education goes beyond explanations for how things work in the world and descriptions of objects. Skillful parents also explain relationships, emotions and concepts such as love and spirituality.
Children may seem to have a heightened sense of fairness and what is right and wrong. Another skill that good parents display is the ability to give their children good moral foundations. This may be helped along in various ways, through the all-important skill of being able to communicate effectively with the child and ensuring the child receives spiritual and moral teachings. According to Robin Hewitt, co-author of "The Joyous Gift of Granpdarenting," parents may not necessarily give children the same moral foundation as the grandparents, but a moral foundation is important in providing the child a moral compass. (See References 2)
Another set of skills involves the ability to provide adequate food and shelter for the children. While a child does not need a wide array of toys, the ability to provide for children is an important skill set.
The ability to impart ideas and concepts to a child is perhaps one of the most important skills, along with the ability to listen carefully to the ideas and concepts the child is attempting to communicate.
- AllAboutParenting.org: Parenting Skills
- “The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting;” Doug and Robin Hewitt; 2008
- “The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting;” Doug Hewitt; 2006