Being a parent is one of the most rewarding, and challenging, roles we can have in life. We are charged with raising, teaching and inspiring our kids to be their very best – and that is a big job!
As our kids grow and learn, we also grow and learn as parents. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s best for our children and how to show them the love and support that will help them grow into confident and successful adults.
Our Beyond Speech social workers are sharing some tips on how we can be the best parents we can for our kids!
1. Make Time For Our Kids & Always Show Up
Being physically present is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.
Whether it’s attending school events, participating in family activities, or simply being present during hard times, showing up shows your child that they can rely on you.
Trust is a big part of the parent-child relationship and when you show up your kids quickly learn that they can always trust you.
2. Listen To Them & Communicate Well
Listening to your child is an essential part of teaching good communication skills and building a strong relationship.
Modeling good listening and communication helps them learn that they can express their feelings and be heard by you. This builds trust and stability for them – a really important part of overall self esteem and well being!
During conversation with our kids, ask open-ended questions, give your full attention when they are speaking, and don’t be afraid to pause before responding or take time to reflect on what they said.
Listening is not only key in communication but also shows respect for your child’s thoughts and opinions.
3. Provide Unconditional Love & Set Clear Boundaries
Being a parent means loving your child without question, conditions or expectations.
Our little people come into this world as clean slates and the love we show them helps to create the beautiful work of art they will become!
When they know that our love for them is simply given and not earned, they feel truly supported, safe and secure. This environment is exactly what they need to be able to learn, grow, make mistakes and figure out life from a safe space.
And while loving unconditionally is paramount, it’s just as important to set clear boundaries around behavior, social interactions and relationships.
When our kids know and understand healthy boundaries, they will be able to continue to create them in their lives. Boundary setting is an important skill and by modeling and teaching this skill to our kids, we are giving them important interpersonal communication tools they will use forever.
4. Model Positive Behavior & Encourage Independent Thinking
We talk a lot during our therapy sessions about modeling the behaviors we want to see in our kids and this isn’t just for the sake of behavior.
When we as the parent model positive and appropriate behavior for our kids, they naturally learn to mimic those behaviors in their daily lives.
As part of modeling positive behavior, encouraging our kids to think critically and independently will help build that self esteem and confidence! When we are helping them think through topics and situations with thoughtful questions and open conversation, we are showing them HOW to form opinions and independent thought.
5. Celebrate Achievements & Boost Their Self Esteem
We don’t have to be the trophy-for-everything parent to celebrate our kid’s achievements! Something as simple as a big huh and “That was so great!” can do a long way in helping our kids feel proud of themselves!
This confidence building is an important part of them growing into self assured adults
In general, one of our greatest jobs as parents is to help our kids feel that strong sense of self that leads to greater confidence in the future. Confident kids grow into confident adults and this lays a strong foundation as they grow, learn and become who they are meant to be!
6. Spend Quality Time Together & Remain Flexible
Most of the time what our kids want more than anything is our attention!
This means making sure we are setting aside time throughout the week just for family or one-on-one. This could be family game nights, movie marathons, outdoor activities or a dinner date for just you and your child.
When our kids know that they will always be able to have quality time with you, they will feel supported and secure – two very important pieces of healthy development!
It’s also important that as you’re planning time with them you remember that it may not always work out the way you intended and flexibility is important!
Perhaps schedules have changed or other commitments have come up – be sure to communicate with your child and allow them to help you plan an alternative time or activity for you to do together.
This goes back to modeling positive behavior! When we show our kids what being flexible looks like, and that it’s a good thing, they will be more likely to show flexibility in their own lives.
7. Show Affection, Love, Acceptance But Remain the Parent
Our primary job as the parent is to be our child’s main source of love, acceptance and security.
When we demonstrate physical affection, provide unconditional love and show them that they are always safe and supported, we are doing an incredible parenting job!
Our children should know that we will always be their safe place to land – this is the ultimate goal as parents.
In addition to feeling secure in our love for them, it’s also so healthy and important that we remain the parent. As parents we set boundaries, teach hard lessons and redirect behavior and we do this all with our child’s best interest in mind.
Kid’s thrive and feel well supported when there is structure, clear boundaries and limits. Their still-developing brains are learning second by second how to function well. When we give them clear boundaries and rules, that is freeing up space in their brains for bigger learning!
As parents, it’s our job to provide our children with guidance, support, love, structure—all while still allowing them room to explore who they are as an individual person growing up into adulthood!
If you have any questions, concerns or would like to speak with one of our licensed Social Workers, please reach out! We are here to help!
You can send a message here – Contact Beyond Speech – or call us at 779-435-0724