How to Be A Good Parent

Our sons who gave us the Storyworth gift

Our sons gave me a Storyworth account for Christmas (www.storyworth.com) and this requires me to answer questions every week that they selected for me. The question they chose for this week was a particularly good one so I decided to share it as a blog post for interested others. Some of the questions I have answered so far in connection with Storyworth are:

  • How did you get your first job?
  • What was your first big trip?
  • What is the biggest lesson you have learned in life?
  • What was the most trouble you got in growing up?
  • What did your parents argue about when you were growing up?
  • Do you have any regrets?

When I have answered a year’s worth of questions, the responses are published in a book that I give to my children. I think this is a great gift idea and I encourage you to check it out as a possible gift for your loved ones. At least for your loved ones who like to write. This gift is not for everybody!

Here is this week’s question: “What is your best advice when it comes to raising children?”

The best advice I can give about raising children is to love them unconditionally, no matter who they are or what they do. It’s important to be respectful to your children and meet their needs as best you can. Each child a parent has is unique so it’s best not to compare them, or say that one child’s behavior is superior to the other child. Each child has his or her own gifts.

Of course, if a child does something wrong, such behavior such be discouraged. Parents are key role models, though, so if a child misbehaves it’s important to reflect on one’s own behavior and think about whether you, as a parent, did something that makes your child behave the way they do. For example, if a parent lies to people, a child might say, “Well, that’s what I am going to do too.” Or if a parent is disrespectful to others, his or her children might think that’s okay. So take care to be on good behavior, especially around your children.

If you love and respect your children, they will most likely feel good about themselves.  Because they feel good about themselves, they will be more likely to treat others with love and respect. With this foundation, they will be more likely to have loving relationships and enjoy life more.

It’s also important to spend time with your children and do fun things with them, like take them on trips to different cities, states or countries. Take time to go with them to amusement parks, ski resorts, museums or concerts. This will give them a storehouse of happy childhood memories to take into their adulthood and it might help them weather tough times as a adult, such as when a pandemic comes along!

Instilling a love of reading is also important. Reading books to your children is critical, especially when they are young. Taking them to the library to choose books of their own to read is also critical. Letting children spend too much time on video games or watching TV is not a good idea.

It’s important to be supportive of a child’s interest. For example, if your son or daughter wants to play sports, learn a musical instrument or join a theater group, that should be encouraged. However, if your child decides that this interest isn’t for him or her long-term, that choice should be respected too.

A parent should respect the choices a child makes as they grow into an adult. If you did a good job as a parent, the choices your child makes will mostly be good ones. When they are not, that is a good learning experience. 

In summary, my best advice on raising children is

Be loving and respectful. This will build your child’s self-esteem and help them get along with others.

Be a good role model.

Read to your children and encourage them to read themselves when they are older. 

Do fun things with your kids so they have a storehouse of happy childhood memories.

Encourage your child’s interests but don’t force them to pursue something that isn’t for them long-term.

Let your child be himself or herself and respect who they become as an adult. 

Our sons as children having fun on an out-of-town family trip

4 thoughts on “How to Be A Good Parent

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