What makes a "GOOD PARENT"?
by Jesse Manners
This is going to sound weird but I have actually been asking my self this question since I was around twelve years old. I would study my parents (obviously without them knowing), family friends and random strangers to investigate and label what I thought was 'good parenting'. I particularly wanted to remember from my perspective as a child what worked and didn't work so I would be more understanding when I had my own kids .... I know, I was a secretly weird child!
Anyway, after years of asking myself this question I've come to the conclusion that parents are temperamental beings that sway between both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ parents. How can we not? It’s in our nature. We can’t help it, we stuff up, make horrible calls on some days and amazing ones on others. With this realisation I decided that the answer to my question couldn’t be achieved until the focus was no longer on the parent at all but on the child. If you want to know if you're doing a good job ask yourself these questions:
Does my child feel safe and comfortable in my presence?
Does my child know without a doubt that I love them and always will?
Do I like the characteristics that my child is mirroring from me?
Does my child know their passion and purpose? (this one comes further down the track).
Notice how ballet lessons, academic mastery and limitless toys didn’t make the list? While these are all fine and dandy to a degree it isn’t the main purpose of an effectively great parent. Don’t waste time chasing dollars with the mindset of providing for your family all the extra curriculas of life. Three out of four of the areas listed above have nothing to do with activities of cost. Invest time where it counts.
Personally, l like to have a few goals of my own that I strive for to help me develop my character as a parent. I like to reflect and ask myself:
Am I... slow to anger to the point that I don’t discipline out of my anger but a genuine concern for my child to grow and learn?
Am I... patient with my child?
Am I... open to being flexible to the needs of my child? especially those that don’t seem like that ‘perfect child picture’ we often get in movies and expect to greet us at their arrival into this world.
Finally, for me parenting isn't a race with competitors, it's a run focusing purely on my personal best. There is no need to measure myself up against others or feel like others are doing a better job than me, it's all about finishing the race. If I can honestly say that at the end of the day I did my best with what I had, then that's all that matters!
FATHER LIKE SONS