Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of your life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. No matter what age your child/children is/are, your work is never done. To be a good parent, you need to know how to make your children feel valued and loved, while teaching them the difference between right and wrong.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to create a nurturing environment where your children feel like they can thrive and develop into confident, independent, and caring adults.
For example: An eighth grader is easily distracted, irritable. His grades in school are suffering. He’s argumentative. Should parents push him more, or should they be understanding so his self-esteem doesn’t suffer?
“With a 13-year-old, the problem could be a number of things,” Steinberg says. “He may be depressed. He could be getting too little sleep. Is he staying up too late? It could be he simply needs some help in structuring time to allow time for studying. He may have a learning problem. Pushing him to do better is not the answer. The problem needs to be diagnosed by a professional.”
Good parenting helps foster empathy, honesty, self-reliance, self-control, kindness, cooperation, and cheerfulness, says Steinberg. It also promotes intellectual curiosity, motivation, and desire to achieve. It helps protect children from developing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, anti-social behavior, and alcohol and drug abuse. Awesome parenting is all about adapting your repertoire of parenting skills to fit your child’s needs. It is about keeping pace with your child’s development.