Are you a parent? Thinking about becoming a parent? If so, it’s worthwhile remembering that raising a child means leaving a legacy not just in their life, but the world as well. 

Consider what your child would need in order to live a life of meaning, one ripe with purpose and joy. Now consider what kind of life you would need to offer them, to model for them, to be this person.

Having trouble putting this together in your head? No worries. Let’s explore this together.

As a parent, you’ve got the power to impact your child’s development profoundly and shape who they become. Your ultimate role as a parent is to raise a loving, generous, self-confident human being by caring for their spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.

Sometimes you may come up short and fail to model a mature, responsible person to them or neglect to give them the tender, loving care they deserve, but don’t despair. This is a struggle for all parents, don’t forget that!

The most important thing here is to be determined to learn from your mistakes as you know that  your parenting has long-lasting psychological impacts on your child.

It is true to say that the kind of parent you choose to be is the kind of parent your child will grow up to be. We have to commit daily to being a hero to our children not just for their sakes, but for their children’s sake as well. 

Psychologists say that good parenting helps foster great psychological traits. In his book, The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting, Dr Laurence Steinberg (PhD) says good parenting develops intellectual curiosity, motivation, and desire to achieve. Children also develop empathy, honesty, self-reliance, self-control, kindness, cooperation, and cheerfulness because of good parenting.

Moreover, Dr Steinberg also says it prevents your children from developing negative psychological traits.

Good parenting protects children from developing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, anti-social behavior, and alcohol and drug abuse; bad parenting promotes these negative psychological traits. 

Here are some simple ways to be a great parent:

Pay attention, listen and be involved

Giving your child positive attention is important for their building up a healthy self-esteem. 

Most parents have careers to attend to, while managing life’s ups and downs in between, but the job of being a parent should always take preference. If your child doesn’t receive enough positive attention, he or she is likely to act out and seek negative attention.

So, pretty simple advice, make your child the priority and above all else, make the time to listen to them.

Be a good example

Like it or not, your kids see everything you do. We all know that the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach to life is infuriating when applied to us in a work or marital context and it will also drive you mad if applied to your children.

There is no escaping this hard truth: we have to model the lives we want our children to have. So, give it your best shot!

Be loving

You have probably heard the saying: ‘true love has no limits’, well, it is true. Your love for your children can never be too strong, but your approach to loving can be. If you’re worried about raising a spoilt child by being too loving, don’t – spoilt children are more a result of giving them what they want as opposed to providing them what they need to develop into healthy human beings.

So, love without limits, but exercise prudence when deciding how to express that love.