The birth of a child changes lives forever. Becoming a parent brings with it several concerns and responsibilities. And, the central concern becomes "effective parenting." While parenting comes naturally to most, the many concerns of the modern world and it's fast paced existence make parenting a many tiered concern.
Parenting in simple terms just means loving your child, and teaching him to be a rounded and caring individual. Children need understanding, love, as well as a certain guiding hand which will help them make appropriate choices.
The keys to effective parenting are:
1. Understand that you child is an individual with the ability to think. Never try and mold a child into what you imagine to be the right mold for him or her. Every child has certain inborn talents and must be given the opportunity to discover their own identity and personality.
2. Instill in the child a sense of self confidence and trust in you. They must know that at any time they can turn to you for advice and help. Help the child discover themselves, their inner talents and strengths. Keep all avenues of conversation open. Listen to what a child has to say. You will be surprised at how much children know today.
3. Nurture your child's talents and give them the space and opportunity to fly with the wind and touch the skies. Never try and push a child into a study course or profession they are not comfortable with let the child find its own level.
4. Reassure the child that he has your unconditional love and support. Your love is not a measure of the child's behavior, performance, or achievements.
5. Freedom needs limits. Being understanding and lenient does not mean running wild. Children need rules to work under as well as a pre-determined schedule. This instills in them a feeling of security as well as discipline. So, a parent must wield the carrot and stick but subtly not like a military general or great dictator.
6. The adage, spare the rod and spoil the child is valid. What a parent needs to do is use positive methods to discipline a child. Never beat or abuse a child but devise a way in which a child looses certain privileges when he or she behaves badly or oversteps limits. Decide with the child whether it should be TV privileges, or pizza treats, or movies, or visits to the mall. Many parents find "grounded" works well.
7. Create bonds that a strong and will stand the vicissitudes of time. Be warm, share interests, spend time together, establish routines and rituals, be vigilant and pick up clues when a child is upset or angry. Keep lines of communication open, a child must be able to come and share is troubles and problems with you without hesitation.
Being a parent is not about providing well, giving pocket money, or satisfying material needs. It is about creating love, understanding, and trust. Bonds that are formed in the early years of life will last a life time of good times and bad. It is important for parents to extend a warm hand of friendship.