Mental health, emotional wellbeing & personal development

3 Fundamental parenting skills

3 Fundamental parenting skills

There are 3 fundamental parenting skills. Without them, having an easy life with your children will be an impossible task and will most likely lead to unruly and rebellious children.

Using these 3 fundamental parenting skills does not mean that parenting will always be perfect and easy but it will mean that you have a good foundation to work from and the best chance at a good relationship with your children.

  1. Legitimacy

It is crucial for a parent to be seen as legitimate by their children. By that I mean that they need to have integrity and practise what they preach. A hypocritical parent who lives by the motto, “do as I say, not as I do” is asking for trouble”. If a child feels that there are rules but that these rules are in their best interests and this is explained to them as much as possible (and age appropriate), the more likely they are to listen to you. If their parent is punitive and unnecessarily, this will cause a backlash. A parent may get away with this whilst their children are young but they will be breeding anger and contempt in their children and this will emerge when they become teenagers.

2. Consistency

Parents need to be consistent with their messages. They can’t have one rule for one sibling and different rules for another. The rules need to be known and they need to be consistent at all times so that children know what is expected and what the boundaries are. Authoritarian parenting styles never work and research has proven this time and time again. Rather freedom within limits (authoritative style not authoritarian/despot style) works far better and encourages cooperation rather then rebellion.

3. Being reasonable and fair

Unnecessary discipline and harsh punishment will create rebellion and unhappy households. Parents need to be reasonable and listen to their children and their needs. Just because children are younger and need guidance, they still deserve to be heard and to be treated with respect.

If a child feels they are being heard they are far more likely to cooperate and listen to their parents when required. It is important to take a child’s feelings into account when making decisions and implementing rules and discipline. A child who is not allowed to express their emotions will suppress their feelings but this emotional energy will come out in anti-social ways, in some form or another.

Parenting is a tough job and we all mess up but if you follow the above guidelines you will be ahead of the pack in terms of doing the best job you can to raise happy balanced children.

Mandy X