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12 Things Good Parents Do for Their Children

Although grown-up children often blame their parents for the problems in their adult life, psychologists reveal that that’s not the most healthy and productive approach. But parents still fear their parenting methods may actually be ruining their child’s future. Well, parenting is truly one of the most important jobs, but it’s not rocket science and there are simple things good parents do to keep their children happy.

Bright Side understands that every parent may need some reassurance from time to time so we came up with a list of things that good parents do to show that you’re moving in the right direction.

1. They give their children enough free time.

Many parents want their kids to succeed so much that they start to overschedule their day with extracurricular activities. While having your child attend piano lessons, math classes, soccer practice, and dance classes can be beneficial for their overall development, having too many things to do puts them under a lot of stress. Children are individuals, so they need to spend time on their own and just play. Depriving them of their free time causes them to feel overwhelmed and may cause emotional outbursts and problems with behavior.

2. They don’t try too hard to be the perfect parents.

Parenting can be hard and we should try to do our best to make our children happy. However, there’s a huge difference between “doing our best” and “being perfect.” When parents set impossible standards for themselves, they deprive their child of valuable experiences. This parenting style often lacks authenticity, since parents never express their real emotions and try to have everything under control. Parents feel guilty for not meeting impossible expectations and end up bringing frustration into the relationship they have with their child.

3. They don’t punish their child, but instead they teach them lessons.

Children mimic parents’ behavior and learn from their actions. So, if the child does something wrong, parents should use positive parenting methods and explain to them why this behavior is unacceptable. Punishing the child won’t do the trick because the kid doesn’t understand the consequences of their behavior and why it’s wrong. It’s better to provide a child with an opportunity to realize and fix their mistake with the help of their parents.

4. They create happy memories for their children.

Childhood memories help us understand how we should react to certain events and perceive the world. Research has shown that children who have plenty of happy memories grow up healthier and more satisfied with life. They tend to have a more positive outlook on life and better stress-coping skills. These children are less likely to suffer from depression and are more inclined to build healthier relationships with people.

5. They show love.

Despite a common belief, parents can’t spoil their children with love. Showing love and affection decreases the likelihood of psychological and behavioral problems and makes the child more resilient to stress. It also strengthens the emotional bond between the parents and the child, making the child feel more protected. This way parents teach their child how to express love and take care of people that will help them build more secure relationships in the future.

6. They prioritize effort over results.

Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned, no matter how hard we try, so parents should prepare their children for the realities of life. Children should be taught to not be devastated by a failure, but to see it more as a challenge and be willing to overcome it. They should know that failure may not be a result of their lack of intelligence or talent, but an opportunity for future development. This attitude influences a child’s mindset and helps them deal with problems later, in a more productive way.

7. They ask their children to help around the house.

According to a study, children who do chores become happier when they grow up. It’s connected to the fact that helping around the house teaches children that they’re part of society and have to make their own contribution. These children understand that work is an essential part of life and that nobody will do it for them. When they grow up, they tend to be more proactive at the workplace and have better team work skills.

8. They teach their children to recognize their emotions.

Parents may encourage positive emotions and try to suppress the negative ones. However, ignoring negative emotions doesn’t make them go away. It’s better to explain to children that it’s normal and healthy to feel a range of emotions, but it’s important to understand what triggered them. Parents should teach their children how to reflect on their experiences and how to respond to their emotions in a mature and healthy way.

9. They let their children be themselves.

Good parents don’t suppress a child’s personality and don’t try to convert them into somebody else. Some parents may compare their child with other children in hopes that they get the desirable personal traits or become more motivated. But in real life, it works in the opposite way. This attitude affects their self-esteem and makes the child more resentful and bitter toward their parents. It also influences their future life, making them think like they aren’t good enough in comparison with others.

10. They have their own life.

Parents dedicate almost all their time and energy to their children, but it’s essential for them to have their own life. Overwise, it puts excessive pressure on the child when they grow up. Some parents may show possessive behavior or be too controlling and unable to let go of their child. Besides, a child needs to have a role model that truly enjoys life and doesn’t center it around their children and their house. There’s even a connection with the future career prospects of a child: research showed that daughters of working mothers are more likely to have a higher income and work in supervisory positions.

11. They create strong emotional connections inside the family.

Children need a secure environment to feel safe and explore the world around them. It also helps them cope with stress and gives them more opportunities for bringing their ideas to life. Children acquire social skills that help them form healthy relationships with other people in the future. They aren’t afraid of rejection and interact more openly with the people around them. These children show better results at school since they have family support and trust.

12. They make the distinction between their child and their behavior.

A child should know that their parents will love them no matter what and that their behavior can’t change that. But if they misbehave, parents should explain why it upsets them and what the consequences of their actions are. The main aim isn’t to control the child through guilt and shame, but to make them a responsible individual who controls their behavior, not out of fear, but because of their empathy toward others.

What makes a good parent? Do you know any other approaches that can help bring up a happy child? Share your experience in the comments.

Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for Bright Side