Parenting Skills That Every Parent Should Have

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated July 12, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Karen Devlin, LPC

Just about every parent wants to see their children grow up healthy, happy, and successful. They ultimately want the best for their offspring and tend to view them in high regard. However, most children require the proper care and guidance from their parents to grow into the healthiest and most successful version of themselves.

One of the best ways parents can set themselves up for success is by implementing the proper parenting skills. There are countless books dedicated to being a good parent and setting one's children up for success. Many parents have read these self-help books with the best of intentions. While they can sometimes prove helpful before parents can truly develop the ideal parenting styles, they must first understand exactly what it means to be a parent and all that it entails.

What Does It Mean To Be A Parent?

It’s Hard To Know The Best Way To Parent Your Children
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A parent is professionally defined as "one that begets or brings forth offspring" and "a person who brings up and cares for another." Bringing up and caring for children is a lifelong commitment that takes work. Gerber Life briefly lists many of the multidimensional aspects of successful parenting and caring for children. These include, but are certainly not limited to, providing for one's child, shielding them from harm, teaching them, and placing the demands of children before one's own.

Parents also affirm the importance of mothers and fathers is knowing when to let go. This can be somewhat challenging for parents, especially as their children grow up. Wanting to be there to protect one's child from certain missteps and dangers is natural for any parent, yet the ability to let go is important as well. Once children reach a certain age, they will have to experience certain things independently and sometimes make mistakes. This is an inevitable part of life. However, what will make all the difference in the world is the child's ability to know that they are loved and cared for by their parents.

While interactions with one's children are a considerable part of parenting, so is each parent's journey. Parents should always be working to improve themselves. For better or worse, each child's original influences are usually their parents. Mothers and fathers should always be striving to set examples of excellence, honor, and integrity.

Many people mistakenly believe that young children are less aware of their environment than their older counterparts, but this couldn't be less accurate. Children do notice and pick up on behaviors, words, and actions. If negative behaviors are frequently displayed to them, children are likely to pick up on at least some bad habits. Conversely, children exposed to positive influences and behaviors are more likely to imitate those behaviors.

Critical Parenting Skills

Responsibility

One of the best things parents can do for their children is teaching them to be responsible individuals. Responsibility is a trait that will serve children well in all aspects of their life. Responsible individuals are considerably more likely than their irresponsible counterparts to succeed in life.

Thankfully, there are many ways for parents to help their children grow into responsible adults. According to AHA Parenting, one of the best tips is by having kids clean up after themselves. At first glance, this may come off as basic, but it's a paramount step that often serves as a gateway to other ways for young people to learn the merits of responsibility.

Children who are made to clean up after themselves will inherently understand the meaning of cause and effect. For instance, someone who makes a mess will have to clean said mess up. This applies to both literal and metaphorical messes. Sometimes parents make the mistake of always swooping in and cleaning up their kids' messes.

They may do this with the best of intentions, but the impacts of this choice can be dangerous in actuality. Children who are never made to clean up their messes may grow up to believe that their parents will always be there to do damage control for them. Of course, this belief is faulty. There are some circumstances where not even parents can save their children.

Communication

Communication is another critical parenting skill that will greatly impact how well or poorly children do in life. Communicating with one's children helps them learn, but the communication style teaches children how they should interact with others.

As children grow and mature, they will take cues from their parents on the appropriate ways to communicate and deal with others. Depending on how parents communicate with their children (and others), the cues above can be better or worse. For instance, children who grow up around parents who frequently scream and swear when angry or frustrated will likely adopt these same habits. Conversely, young people who grow up with parents who can control their language and tone even when they are not happy will probably do the same, at least most of the time.

How young people interact with others will significantly impact how other people perceive them, which jobs they end up attaining, and much more. Therefore, parents are responsible for modeling appropriate behavior and ultimately teaching their children how to effectively and appropriately communicate with others.

Morality

Morality is an important parenting skill because, similarly to responsibility and communication, moral character is another trait that children will pick up on from observing their parents. Integrity, kindness, respect, and courage are some of the many moral values that all parents should be teaching to their children.

It may be difficult for children to see the value of morality in this day and age, especially since parents will not be their only influences. Society and various forms of media often encourage people to break the rules or engage in reprimandable behavior, especially if they can get away with it. Sometimes, children can be tempted to seek the thrill of the illicit. However, the thrill never lasts for long. There are always consequences for bad or poor behavior. The best way for parents to save their children from going down a dark and dangerous path is to teach them to behave admirably by treating others with respect, showing integrity, and being leaders, not followers.

Discipline

Discipline is arguably one of the most controversial parenting skills. Different parents have different ideas on the appropriate ways to discipline their children. Some people choose to temporarily take away privileges, while other parents spank their children. Debates on whether or not spanking kids constitutes abuse have surfaced, and every parent has their idea on the best way to reprimand their children when needed.

Discipline is essential for children because it teaches them what to do and what not to do. It also reminds kids that actions have consequences. Unfortunately, parents can sometimes make the mistake of either disciplining their children too much or not often enough. Both mistakes are equally as dangerous and can have adverse impacts later in life. Children who are always coddled and given what they want may grow up to believe the world will treat them as their parents did during their formative years. Realizing this is not the case can be a very harsh lesson.

On the other hand, the effects of punishing children to levels of extremities can be just as bad. Overdoing disciplinary behaviors can cause kids to rebel against their parents. Children may adopt the mindset of "I have nothing to lose, so why should I listen?" Parents may discipline their children with the best of intentions, but knowing when enough is paramount. Like most scenarios, extremes on either end of the spectrum never end well.

Ultimately, parents who effectively discipline their children should be setting boundaries for them and providing a moral compass.

Love

It’s Hard To Know The Best Way To Parent Your Children

The majority of parents do, in fact, love their children. However, children need to be aware that they are loved and cared for. Parents can show their love for their kids by teaching them and sharing quality time, nurturing, and encouraging them. As young people grow and develop, they will inevitably face obstacles and scenarios that make them unsure. It is at this point when they need their parents the most.

A Final Word

Parenting is no walk in the park. There will be good times and bad times. There will also be instances where parents wonder if they are doing the right thing or truly setting their children up for success. Mistakes will be made along the way, and that is OK. There are only so many parents can do.

As children learn and grow, they will make choices and decisions which impact their quality of life. Parents can apply the best parenting advice in the world, but at the end of the day, the choices made by their children will determine the outcome. However, parents should still do the best they can to teach their children the proper values and let them know that they are loved.

Here at Regain, we pride ourselves on providing the best counseling, therapy, and assistance to those in need of it. Sometimes, parenting can be overwhelming, especially in this day and age. The benefits of seeking out help and guidance often make a considerable difference, and parents should not hesitate to do so if needed. Asking for help is a positive trait and a sign of maturity and self-awareness. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but if you ever feel inclined to reach out to Regain for any reason whatsoever, you can do so by clicking here.

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