10 Must-Have Skills to be a Great Parent

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1. KNOW WHERE YOUR CHILD IS. Know where they are, who they are with, who is in charge, and when they’ll be home. This is critical especially for young teens.

2. GET TO KNOW YOUR CHILDREN’S FRIENDS. Where your child spends their time and who they spend it with will have a deep impact on them. Make sure you know your child’s friends and their parents.

3. MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD HAS A HEALTHY DIET. Their brain is growing and needs the proper nutrition. Make it healthy and avoid overeating. Obesity is a huge issue in children today. Keep your child eating right and staying active for good health.

4. LIMIT TELEVISION WATCHING AND VIDEO GAME PLAYING. Children need to be active. Get the TV out of your children’s room and give them other activities that will help them learn and grow. It’s okay to insist that electronics be turned off and make them go outside to play.

5. INSIST ON RESPECT. Respect for yourself and respect for others. Teaching your children good coping skills and communication is one of the best things you can do for your child. Make sure they can handle their anger in ways that will not be verbally or physically abusive to others.

6. BE RADICALLY CONSISTENT. Make sure your child knows if you promise consequences for good or bad behavior that you will deliver it – every time. Just don’t say it if you aren’t going to do it. Expect the same from your children.

7. TEACH YOUR CHILD ABOUT SEX. Have open and honest communication with them about sex. Not just that it’s bad and they’ll get pregnant and die if they have it, but talk about the joy of waiting for that special someone, and about how to take responsibility for their own body.

8. PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR ADULTHOOD. Ask them often how they feel about things and keep open discussions going about drugs, drinking, money, personal safety and current events. Really work at finding out where your child is on all of thee topics and talking to them from a place that they will understand you, not just lectures. For example, “What would you do if someone at school offered you drugs?” Listen to their answers and start your discussion from there.

9. KNOW YOUR CHILD DEEPLY. What are their hopes, dreams and passions? Refrain from expecting your child to adopt what you think is important to pursue in life and really get to know where their heart is. Encourage them to pursue their own passions in life, this is one of the greatest things you can do for your child.

10. FINALLY, TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR OWN LIFE. You need to be the person you hope your child will become. It just doesn’t work to expect them to be one way if you aren’t willing to do the same thing yourself. For example, if you want an honest child, you MUST be honest. That means with everyone.. Showing them it’s okay to lie to others will give them the message that it’s okay to lie to you. Be really honest with your own personal inventory and make sure you are leading by example.