If you asked your child what things you could do to be a better parent, chances are they would answer you with things like this:
Let me eat ice cream for breakfast.
Let me stay up later at night.
Let me watch as much television and play as many video games as I want.
Never make me do my homework.
Never make me clean my room.
Do not punish me when I do something bad.
Let me break curfew.
The list would go on and on.
However, it is the very opposite of these things that makes you a good parent. To become a better parent, you can’t just spoil your children and let them do whatever they want whenever they want. You have to work with them to learn responsibility. Show your love to them by being there, but also by being unbending when it comes to the rules. Being a good parent means providing a safe and secure environment where your child can express themselves within a structured and controlled place.
The following are the realities of being a good parent.
Being a good parent means making rules. Your child is going to whine and complain. They are going to tell you how mean you are every time you make them do their home work before going out to play with a friend, or every time you take away the remote until their room is clean. But the reality is that in doing these things you are helping your child prepare for their future. You are teaching them responsibility. By making rules, and sticking to them you are not being a mean or bad parent. You are being a parent that cares enough about your child to want to see them succeed.
Being a good parent means having and recognizing consequences. Your teenager is probably going to yell at you and tell you that they hate you when you tell them they can not wear that short skirt to school, or they can not hang out with those kids that look a little sketchy, or they can’t stay out later on Friday than the agreed upon curfew. However bad it seems at the time, and however much you question whether or not you are a good parent, just remember the teenager who got pregnant and did not get to experience life because they became a parent too soon, or the kid who threw their life down the toilet because of drug and alcohol addictions, or the teen whose life was changed forever when they got in a car accident and killed someone in the other car. These examples are extreme, but people get to this point because they do not have consequences for bad choices on the way. If a foot was put down, if a parent took the time to take a stand some of these things may have been different. Be the good parent who is not afraid to have their child “hate” them for a time if it means they are safer and have a better future.
The reality of being a better parent means making choices every day that are hard, it means working each day to improve more, to yell less, to spend more time with your child, to encourage and support them more, and to be there at the cross roads of their lives. If you want to become a better parent, come up with a list of things you can improve on, and areas you see as a struggle, then set small goals to work toward them each and every day.