If you ask 20 people what the most effective parenting habits are, you will get 20 different answers.
That’s because the only effective parenting habits are the ones that work for each individual parent. Kind of like the old adage ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’… People gauge things differently.
4 Highly Effective Parenting Habits
As parents, we all want to find that magic formula that makes our kids grow up happily into contributing, responsible adults. So, even though no such formula exists, there are a few things that can definitely help…
Reading to you children opens up a whole new world to them that can be very engaging. When you read to your kids, you have the opportunity to instill this as a lifelong habit. Reading is known to make better students, more creative thinkers, and contributes to tranquility. These are all excellent reasons to make this an essential parenting habit.
Talk Less, Listen More
Sometimes, this can be really hard to do.
Listening is a learned skill that requires patience and practice. As parents, we feel like we have gone through this all before, and to save time, we often try to hurry up the process of whatever our kids are saying. By assuming we know what our kids are experiencing or going to say next, we can harm to process of communication.
Instead, take a few deep breaths and actively listen to their questions, concerns and their perspective. This one essential parenting habit can lead to open communication and encourages your kids to tell you the more important stuff as they get older.
Research shows that just spending 30 minutes per week playing or interacting alone with your child can really make him or her feel appreciated and cared for. Unstructured time that allows children to be leaders can build confidence, helping them learn the skills necessary to figure things out on their own.
Manage Screen Time
Every parent struggles to strike that perfect screen time balance.
OurPact is a really amazing application that helps parents find that perfect sweet spot. You create agreements about screen time rules (eg. no devices at the dinner table) and schedules (eg. no devices past bedtime), set up the rules in the app, and then when you want, your child’s devices shut off. This is a great way to create more time to enjoy together as a family, distraction-free, and encourage healthy device habits from a young age. No more ‘five more minutes’ arguments? Yup. You can sign up here… (Psst… Its free!)
Enjoy ‘Me Time’
You know how they tell you to put on your oxygen mask before your children in case of an emergency on a plane? It seems totally blasphemous and against every parental instinct in the world, but there’s a reason for it.
If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your kids.
Being “on” 24/7 is not healthy for anyone and parenting can definitely feel like that most days. Make sure you give yourself permission to take a few hours off, have a little “me time”, or go away for an overnighter with your spouse or friends. Remembering who you are, besides a parent, can renew your energy and self-confidence, making you the best parent you can be!
There are many ways to become a positive and effective parent. This is my short list that helps me and my family maintain a sense of closeness, predictability, and respect for one another. I think the key is balance. Striving to do everything right isn’t realistic, but doing a few really important things well can make all the difference!
Do you have any tips are suggestions that you’ve found to be effective parenting habits? What has worked for you and what hasn’t?