By Wes Fessler
There is no responsibility greater than that
of being a parent. Successful parenting requires more than providing for the physical
needs of one’s children—it means being committed to their developmental
well-being and overall success. A goal of this magnitude requires parents to give of
themselves everyday. Successful parents are those who lift their children to heights they
may never attain themselves.
10 Qualities of Successful Parents
||Identify good qualities in your
Make a conscious effort to identify and compliment your children for their good
qualities. Sometimes it is necessary to take a pause from the rush of life and enjoy the
wonderful qualities that your children possess. Don’t think for a moment that a
mental note is enough. Point out your children’s good qualities and let them build
||Make time daily to spend with your
Life has a way of consuming all of your time. It is easy to become “too busy”
to do anything with your kids. If you can’t find the time, make the time. No matter
how busy you are, or how tired you may be; there is no reason to deny your children of 30
minutes of your daily time. Give your kids thirty minutes every day for whatever they
wish to do.
||Communicate positively with your
Talk to your kids in a positive way. Talk to them in a friendly manner about whatever
subject they wish to discuss. Avoid falling into the trap of speaking to your kids only
when you need to discipline them. Kids get your attention most easily when they are
getting into trouble, but don’t make this the only time you talk to them because
your speech will be less than pleasant. Give your children the benefit of positive
communication and they will be more likely to talk to you in good times and
Involve children in household activities and
Don’t allow children to become isolated in some remote corner of the house. It is
important to allow your children a reasonable amount of privacy, but don’t
encourage them to become reclusive in their rooms.
Although this will be a subject of controversy, I would suggest
keeping as many electronic “toys” in common family areas. Keep televisions,
computers, and phones out of children’s rooms whenever possible. Additionally the
daily time allowed to use these attention demanding items should be regulated. Encourage
family time and whenever possible do the unthinkable…talk to each other.
In addition to household activities, plan fun events outside of the house
in which the kids can be involved. Plan simple, but exciting activities that everyone can
enjoy. Also plan vacations and trips together when possible. Allow your children to
contribute their ideas for your times together. Make a habit of giving the children
something to look forward to with the family.
||Listen attentively to your
Be aware of the way you listen to your children—especially when you are busy. Take
care to assure your children that you think that what they say is important. At times
when you are preoccupied, it is easy to make the mistake of answering your children
without paying full attention to what they are saying. When you find yourself answering
your children by saying, “uh huh,” “yeah,” or a similar manner of
thoughtless speech, take note of it and pay closer attention to your children. As a
parent, you would surely take offense if your children answered you in this way. Be sure
to look at them when they are talking to you. This may take a little extra effort, but it
will make you give them the attention they deserve, and your children will see that you
believe that what they say is important.
||Be willing to change.
Part of being a successful parent is knowing when to change something about yourself.
Don’t allow your determination to be a good parent prevent you from being one.
Everyone wants to be a perfect parent, but there truly is no such thing. Parents do make
mistakes from time to time. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes as a parent, as
long as you can admit it to yourself and make changes for the better.
||Protect your children’s
Caring for the safety of your children may seem to be so obvious that it does not need
mention. It is amazing how many parents fail to care for even basic elements of their
children’s safety. From parents who call upon their young children to cross a busy
street after school while they sit in their cars, to others who let their children roam
the streets without any knowledge of where they are, it can be disturbing to see how some
parents deprive their children of basic safety. Never gamble on the safety of your
||Do not allow your children to disrespect you
or your spouse.
Being a good parent does not mean you must allow your children to disrespect you or your
spouse(or partner). Be certain that your children understand what you expect of them in
regard to respect.
||Don’t argue with your spouse in front
of the children.
In heated moments, this may seem difficult to avoid; but there is nothing that can be
gained from arguing in front of your children. When something becomes a big enough issue
that an argument is unavoidable, be aware that the children are watching and find a way
to bottle it up and discuss it in private. There is nothing wrong with your children
knowing that you have disagreements with your spouse (or partner), but unless you want
your children to be a part of the argument, it is best to take care of the disagreement
privately. Don’t put children in a position where they will take sides or hear
utterances that will be apologized for later. Whatever it takes keep your children out of
||Tell your children you love
Never refrain from telling your children you love them. Ignore any thoughts in your head
that tell you not to do so. It is difficult to tell your children you love them too much,
but it is easy to tell them too little. Don’t let such a simple thing be a
cause of regret. Tell your children you love them.
Learning and Growing
Successful parents are not perfect parents. It is important to know
that in parenting, certain mistakes are inevitable. It is unrealistic to expect to be
right all of the time. Successful parents, however, are those who frequently consider
what is best for their children and are willing to adapt themselves toward positive
Many parents may always have the best intentions for their children, there are times when the hadling of parenting issues can use some improvement. Successful parenting requires regular self-evaluation in areas that are
important to the children. All parents have ideals and personal beliefs about what is
most important for their children. Unless they are written down, however, some of these
most important values may be overlooked as parents evaluate relationships with their
These ten qualities of successful parents are a starting point for self-evaluation. They
are qualities that apply to almost any parent. You may also wish to make a list of
qualities that are specifically important to you. Reflecting on these lists from time to
time can help to keep goals on track with values even as children grow, change, and mature.
Being a successful parent is all about doing what is right for your children. These ten
items apply to universally to parents, but there are many additional items that are not
mentioned here that also contribute to being a successful parent. There are so many
aspects involved in being a good parent that it is difficult to keep track of them all in
your mind. It is helpful to have a written list of all of the aspects of parenting that are important to you. Occasional reflection and self-evaluation with this list can be helpful in
identifying ways to truly be a successful parent.
5 Principles of Powerful Parenting: This article by
Karen Deerwester at Family Time Inc. has great and practical parenting ideas.
Not sure where to go from here?