When you're considering what type of parent you'll be, it can go either ways, and of course it's best to have some faith in ourselves and our capabilities. Being a parent is tough, for sure, but knowing some predicators of being a good parent can help you try to do your best and be more successful in your efforts, as advised by Paula Spencer, the author of the Parenting Guide to Positive Discipline, in Parenting magazine.
As a certified health coach, I often work with clients who are parents and seem to have some difficulties with bringing up their children and tackling the common obstacles that appear in parent and child relationships. Knowing when to put your children ahead, how to navigate conflicts with proper communication, and how to control your own emotions as a parent is critical for doing a great job, as all those characteristics are important for more relationships of any level or formality. Thus, knowing how to be a good role model, and perhaps having a role model of your own (perhaps your own parents?) to look up to and seek advice from can help. Here are 9 ways to know if you'll be a good parent or not.
1. You Make Eye Contact
In interview with Bustle, Liz Traines, a Chicago-based certified healthy lifestyle coach, says that direct eye contact when communicating with others is a great signal that you'll be a good parent and can foster responsiveness and respect within a parent and child relationship. Work on those skills in casual conversation with others for practice.
2. You Are A Good Listener
Traines says that if you are a good listener, it means that you might be a great parent. Listening is a wonderful art of communication, and it can generate more attention to detail and respect within relationships. Children will have needs and concerns, and so being able to listen to them and help in any way that you can will signal great parenting skills, she says.
3. You're Patient
Children can be silly and challenging, especially when they are young and may spend hours and hours crying, pooping, eating, and just touching things for no reason whatsoever (but they're still cute, right?). Being patient is a huge predictor of optimal parenting skills, advises Traines, as it shows you are willing to take the time to handle trickier situations and demands that come with natural development and maturity.
4. You Know It's Tough Work
Knowing that raising children is tough work and mentally preparing yourself for the challenge means that you know what's in store, you have a plan in mind and you're ready to take action as an effective, caring, and composed (well, as much as possible) parent. Accepting this truth is the first step to being en route towards being an excellent caretaker.
5. You're Calm Under Pressure
If you are able to be calm under pressure, you'll be more likely to be a great parent, says Lynne Goldberg, certified meditation coach and co-founder of the OMG. I Can Meditate! app, over email with Bustle. "Meditation reduces stress levels and increases your happiness, as when we meditate, we release feel-good hormones like oxytocin and serotonin. Meditating also causes us to think more calmly through a stressful situation, so you can react with more clarity where you otherwise might not," she says.
6. You Have An Instinct"
While this instinct is not always evident before having a baby, it does act as a predictor, if it's apparent, that you'll be a good mother, says Elyse Rubenstein, a Philadelphia psychiatrist who counsels new mothers, in interview with Baby Center. Thus, if you feel this automatic urge to protect and care for children or people who are considered to be in an intimate relationship with you, then you will probably be prepared for raising a child.
7. You Know When To Shut Out External Judgment
Jen Singer, mom to two preteen boys and founder of MommaSaid.net, said in an interview with WebMD that it's important to stop second-guessing yourself regarding your parenting skills and children, as external judgments can mess with your head and make you feel as though you are doing a worser job than you are. Stay confident in your parenting abilities and firm in your decisions.
8. You Don't Compare Yourself To Others
All parenting styles can differ, and there's no one right or wrong way to be a great parent, as circumstances can change and relationships between parent and child are unique per each family unit. Singer suggested not comparing yourself to "supermoms," as she calls them, as it will only make you feel insecure about your parenting skills and interfere in your ability to do a good job.
9. You Are Firm In Your Decisions
Laying down the law and sticking with consistent values and decisions will create a pattern that will help with your child-raising process, advises Marybeth Hicks, a columnist and author of Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World in an interview with WebMD. Setting patterns and boundaries will help your children know the relationship at hand, and you'll be better able to navigate through challenges with a structure in place.
While these predicators can help you feel more confident in your abilities to be a great parenting, they are not the only deciding factors, as that instant connection or instinct can certainly kick in or develop over the years and as time and experience progress. As relationships deepen, those parenting skills will only get better.
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