Every parent strives to be great because parenting is not an easy job. To be a great parent is not a skill taught in the school. Rather, it is a skill one has to learn while at it by making a deliberate effort to. Most parents aspiring to be great did not have best examples to follow or something good to learn from their parents. Due to things people encountered or experienced in their formation years, experience have made many to aspire to be great parent to their children.
A parent is someone who believes in his child and who is also his child’s cheer leader. Mathew Jacobson once said, “Behind every young child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first.” A great parent loves his children unconditionally and can go any length to make them happy. T.P. Chia speaking about parenting said “Parental love is the only love that is truly selfless, unconditional and forgiving.” In essence nobody on earth can ever love more than one’s parents.
So who is a great parent? A great parent is that parent who goes out of his way to give his children the best of everything they need. The great parent is the father or mother who makes decisions in the best interest of the children. Even though this definition is not absolute, there is no gainsaying the fact that a great parent is the one who makes his children the center of his attention by attending to their needs and welfare. Such a parent exhibits good parenting skills in order to raise positive children who are the pride of the society.
A great parent always strives for perfection but parenting is not always about perfection because there is nothing like a perfect parent or a perfect child. Only God is perfect. There are no one-style-fits-all parenting guidelines. A great parent will decide on the parenting style to adopt taking many circumstances into consideration. Successful parents share attributes that give their children the best option for success and delight.
There are basic traits that are recognized in a great parent. Some of these traits are inherent while others are developed with experience and time. The following are some of the traits a great parent must have:
A great parent must be a good role model to his children. Being a good role model to the children presupposes that a parent must be self-aware in knowing that children can mimic their characteristics whenever they face or react to situations they have seen their parents in. Israelmore Ayivor said, “A good example is the best gift you can offer to your children. In your absence, your example is present, which means you are present always.” Great parents should know that the children are constantly learning from the examples they established. As such, great parents must always be on their own best behavior.
Great parents must always walk the talk. They should not only tell the children what they want them to do but should also show them how to do it. Always be the person you want your child to be because children watch what their parents do. Parents should always have it at the back of their mind that they are a mirror to their children.
Parents should always endeavour to encourage their children at all times. Showing the kids they are loved and cared for is an attribute of every great parent. Encouraging the children can erase the doubts they have about themselves. Encouragement and support go hand-in-hand. Children with a good support system tend to grow up confident, energetic, relaxed and comfortable in whatever they set to do. Such children are not easily influenced by negative pressures. A great parent will always support his children by guiding them to achieve their ambitions and endeavors. A child with a good support system can always become the best they can be.
One of the characteristics of every great person is knowing when to say sorry. Showing remorse for actions is not a sign of weakness but strength. A great parent should always apologize whenever he is wrong or makes mistakes and take responsibility for such actions. By so doing, such parent teaches his children that saying sorry is a distinguishing feature of a great mind and person and such children will learn to own up to their wrongdoings therefrom.
Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. Because he knows the qualities of greatness, a great parent will always teach his children to be kind, considerate, compassionate, empathetic, respectful, lovable and sympathetic.
Children should be taught to be good, obedient and law abiding citizens. According to a Burmese proverb, “Parents are the first teachers of the children.” A great parent will teach his children what they need to succeed in life. Being a parent and a child’s teacher is not an easy task. It is not an unintentional process. Parents should execute this duty intentionally and deliberately with the end purpose in mind. This is so because once a child begins schooling, he comes in contact with several other people from diverse homes that he spends the greater part of his growing up years with. If a parent fails to teach his children, there is a likelihood that the child may be taught by others to the ultimate chagrin of the parents.
James L. Casale said, “Imagine the progress in education and a child’s school and life success if parents embraced their role as their child’s first teacher and role model.” Parents should always teach the children morals, ethics and academic progress that will make them good and successful citizens.
GOOD LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Great parents are good leaders. Such parents should always lead by example. Showing example is the best way to lead. Parents should engage their children with activities that can build their leadership abilities. These could be errand and chores around the home and the neighbourhood. Parents should always encourage their children to actively participate in school or other group activities around their environment whenever such situations arise. Whether in church or clubs, lessons learnt from such places develop children immensely. While doing this, parents should serve as a guide by knowing when to throw their weight when necessary.
Patience is a virtue so all great parents must be patient with their children and their development. A parent who is patient can address challenges of parenthood calmly knowing that children can be messy, noisy and exasperating at all times. A parent can lose his patience with the children but learning to take a deep breath and break from the particular challenge can help parents a lot. Some problems of parenthood can be fixed immediately. However, there are ones that may take a longer time to fix. A child that is amenable at six years may not be the same at sixteen. Therefore, parents should understand that time and effort takes care of every problem.
Children feel safer when they have reliable and dependable parents. They always feel secured knowing that their parents are there for them. A great parent will always endeavor to be available. He should be an encyclopaedia and a problem solver to his children. By so doing, trust and faith, key qualities in every relationship, is built thereby cementing a bond that should last a lifetime.
In conclusion, there is no hard and fast rule to being a great parent. The role or job is not an easy one but it may be easier if one builds these traits, develops them with constant practice and determination. Great kids thrive and sparkle when they have great parents.
This article is dedicated to all the fathers in the world.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY.