What Is Good Parenting?

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There are many schools of thought regarding how to be a good parent, ranging from establishing strict Gina Ford-style routines and boundaries to the more sensitive and child-focused "attachment parenting." While there is no "one" definitive approach to good parenting, there are numerous universal techniques and principles that can be applied. These include setting and enforcing limits, encouraging independence and spending quality time with the child.

The parenting style that any one person chooses to adopt largely depends on personal circumstances and beliefs, and will need to be adapted to the child's individual requirements. Here are three tips to help along the way. First, children need limits to feel safe and secure and to help them understand the world around them. Imposing limits teaches the child the valuable life skill of self-discipline, by encouraging them to set limits for themselves. According to Aha! Parenting, research shows that empathy should be used when setting limits in order to make boundaries more tolerable for the child and to help counter resistance. Second, BabyCenter recommends gently letting the child become independent and take responsibility for routine tasks, such as putting away their toys, dressing themselves and helping with household chores. This helps the child become resilient and build self esteem. Third, it is important for parents to spend quality time with their children. According to the Peaceful Parent Institute, creating a special time each day to play or read with the child helps him feel more settled, secure and confident.

Finally, the parent must remember that each child is an individual and that what works for one does not necessarily work for another. There is likely to be an element of trial and error as parents discover which techniques work best for their family.