Am I a good parent? It’s a question millions of Americans will ask themselves daily this year. There is no handbook for being the perfect parent. There is no agency that releases literature on how to get it just right. Parenting is an ever-evolving, ever-changing role many of us play, working our hardest to get it as good as we possibly can.
Of course, everyone needs some community support with parenting, especially the foster parents of the world taking in children that are not their own while giving them a new start.
Here are 5 valuable tips for being the best parent you can be:
- Be Loving, Yet Firm: One of the most damaging things a parent can do to a child is coddle them beyond the point of no return. Although you may not want to, you need to say no – a lot. Your child can’t have what they want, when they want it, at all times. You’ll be doing them a favor for when they reach adulthood, understanding boundaries, how to share, and how to adapt to foreign situations.
- Family Rituals: Studies have shown our fondest memories when we reach adulthood are from the family rituals we pursued as kids. You probably remember some quirky thing you did every Christmas. Creating predictability in this sense makes the children feel like part of the family – part of something bigger than themselves.
- Acceptance: Don’t clip your child’s wings. Every child is different and unique in their own way, and you must let them be independent regardless of your opinion. “Helicopter parents” can thwart their child’s ability to converse with other human beings or pursue goals because of the smothering. Your child needs to exert their own independence without commentary.
- Step Back: As a parent, you’ll have an overwhelming desire to fix everything you can, at all times. However, some of our greatest childhood lessons occurred when our parents didn’t step in to save us. You want your kids to have their own problem-solving skills that will take them throughout their lives.
- Be Fun: Every kid needs fun. Especially as a foster parent, these kids possibly came from dark and dreary backgrounds, in need of a setting in which they can just be kids. Play with your children and show them that the world isn’t always so serious.
Here at TFI, we work with you, the foster parent, to ensure you are provided with a recipe for success regarding your foster children. Although we can’t train anyone fully with a “how-to-parent” blueprint, we can offer our support, expertise, and education to you daily. Consider these parenting tips this year when you feel like you’re totally overwhelmed with the responsibility. Remember to sit back, breathe, and focus. No one is perfect at it.