What makes a good parent? Is it being a strict disciplinarian? Or a gentle and loving kind?
Well, the truth is, there’s not one single most effective way to approach a difficult topic as parenting. That’s because we’re unique, and whatever strategies resonate deeply with you may not be the same as others.
But the fact that you’re here reading this means you are already one of the better ones.
May you find this comprehensive list as a guide to kickstart the upcoming year strong with the parenting tips we highly recommend at Trailmap for Life.
Feel free to follow what works best for you, and modify what you think isn’t suitable for your situation. Either way, we hope you find these valuable as a reference to nurture your kids to become people you and God want them to be.
General Parenting Tips
1. Lead by example.
Kids, especially much younger ones, are like copycats, which means they tend to mimic the behaviors they observe around them. That’s why talking and explaining to them how to act or do things won’t be as effective. So if you want them to have good traits (i.e. kindness and politeness) and even desirable habits (i.e. washing hands and saying “please”), you must do them first. Remember that your children see you as their role model, and what and how you do things greatly impacts their behavior.
2. Show you love them.
One of the best things that you can do as a parent is to show your love for your children. This can be done in many ways, such as through words of encouragement, affectionate gestures, and spending quality time with them. By showing them that you love them, you are building a strong foundation that will help them throughout their lives.
3. Learn to apologize.
We all make mistakes, and your children are no exception. When you own up to your mistakes and apologize for them, you are teaching your children an important life lesson. Apologizing shows that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions and learn from them. It also sets a good example for your children to follow.
4. Give credit where it is due.
When your children do something well, be sure to let them know. This will help them to feel good about themselves and encourage them to keep doing their best.
5. Be a mentor.
As your children grow, they will look to you for guidance and wisdom. Be there for them when they need you, and offer advice when asked. Help them to navigate through life’s challenges, and be a sounding board for their ideas.
6. Spend time with them.
One of the best ways to connect with your children is to spend time with them. This can be done in many different ways, such as going on outings together, playing games, or simply talking. When you spend time with your children, they will feel valued and loved, and you will be able to build a strong relationship with them.
7. Develop a family culture.
This involves creating traditions and rituals that will bring your family together and strengthen your bonds. Family culture can include anything from eating dinner together every night to going on regular family vacations. By doing things together as a family, you will create memories that will last a lifetime.
8. Become a safe place for your child.
This means being someone they can come to when they need help or support, and being there for them no matter what. You should also be someone who will always listen to them, even if you might agree with what they have to say.
9. Engage in meaningful conversations.
Take the time to have conversations with your children that are more than just small talk. Ask them about their day, their thoughts and feelings, and what is going on in their lives. This will help you to understand them better and deepen your relationship.
10. Set limits and boundaries.
It’s important to set limits with your children so that they know what is and isn’t acceptable. This will help them to feel safe and secure, and to understand the world around them.
11. Talk to kids with respect.
Just as you would want to be treated with respect, it’s important to treat your children with respect. This means listening to them and valuing their thoughts and opinions. It also means using language that is appropriate for their age, and avoiding putting them down or making them feel bad about themselves.
12. Develop more patience.
Parenting is not always easy, and there will be times when you feel like you are at your wit’s end. It’s important to be patient with your children and to understand that they are still learning and growing. Remember that they are not perfect and that they will make mistakes.
13. Take time to explain.
Instead of saying an absolute “no” when your children would like to do something unlikeable, take the time to explain why it is so. This will help them to understand the consequences of their actions, and to make better choices in the future.
14. Make time for fun.
In our busy lives, it’s important to make time for fun. This can be anything from playing games together to taking a family trip to the zoo. By doing enjoyable things, you are creating lasting memories and building a strong bond with your children.
15. Eat dinner together.
Eating dinner together as a family is a great way to spend time together and bond with your children. It’s also a good time to catch up on the day and to talk about what’s going on in each other’s lives. And as you know the saying, “A family that eats together, stays together.”
Parenting Tips For Toddlers & Kids
1. Breastfeed, if you can.
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and child. It’s a great way to bond with your baby, and it can also help to boost their immune system. It’s recommended kids continue to breastfeed until 3 years of age.
2. Read to your children.
Reading to your children is a great way to spend time together, and it’s also beneficial for their development. Reading helps to improve their literacy skills, and it can also spark their imagination.
3. Baby-proof your living space.
It’s important to make sure that your home is safe for your children, especially if you have a baby or toddler. This means child-proofing all potentially dangerous areas, such as the kitchen and bathroom.
4. Take them outside.
Kids need to spend time outdoors, where they can run around and explore. This is good for their physical health, and it can also help to stimulate their imagination.
5. Be their first teacher.
You are your child’s first and most important teacher. By spending time with them, and teaching them the basics, you are laying the foundation for their future success.
6. Help your kid develop independence.
As your children grow, it’s important to encourage their independence. This means letting them make their own decisions and giving them the space to explore their interests. By doing this, you are helping them to develop into well-rounded individuals.
7. Play games with them.
Games are not only fun, but they can also be educational. Doing these things together also allows you to bond and connect more deeply. And by playing games with your children, you are helping to create lasting memories that they will remember as they grow older.
8. Limit screen time.
Too much screen time can harm your child’s development. It’s important to limit their screen time and to make sure that they are spending enough time doing other activities.
9. Encourage kids to explore.
Curiosity is key to a child’s development. It’s important to encourage them to explore their surroundings, and to ask questions about the world around them. By doing this, you are helping them to learn and grow.
10. Teach kids about emotions.
It’s important to teach your children about their emotions, and how to deal with them. This will help them to understand and cope with their feelings, and to develop into empathetic kids.
Parenting Tips For Teens & Young Adults
1. Don’t clip their wings.
As your children become teenagers, it’s important to support them genuinely. This means listening to their problems and offering advice, without being judgemental. It’s also important to give them the space to grow and make their own decisions.
2. Help them develop critical thinking.
During this developmental life stage, it’s important to help them develop critical thinking skills. This means teaching them how to think for themselves, and how to make informed decisions.
3. Encourage them to find their passion.
It’s important to encourage your children to find their passion in life. This can help them to develop a sense of purpose, and it can also motivate them to achieve their goals.
4. Respect their privacy.
The teenage years are an excellent time and opportunity to get to know themselves deeply. That’s why it’s important to respect their privacy. This means giving them the space to explore their interests and make their own decisions.
5. Have an open mind to their perspectives and opinions.
To have a strong relationship with your teen, you must keep an open mind to their perspectives and opinions. It is also important to be willing to compromise and see things from their point of view.
6. Celebrate their achievements.
Every word of affirmation you give them will boost their confidence and self-esteem they otherwise won’t have without your help. So, celebrate their achievements with them, no matter how big or small.
7. Help them navigate through failure.
Failure is a part of life, and it’s important to help your teen navigate through it. This means teaching them how to cope with disappointment, and how to learn from their mistakes.
8. Teach them essential life skills.
Every teen should know life skills such as cleaning and cooking, so they can fend for themselves when they decide to move out. But there are also other life skills your teens should know during this life stage, including money, relationships, and faith.
Pro tip: You can enroll in our free life skills program where we discuss 10 critical life skills in detail. By teaching them these things, you are helping to set them up for success in life.
9. Be there for them.
The teenage years are a period of extreme changes, which can be a difficult and confusing time. So, it’s important to be there for your teen. This means being available to listen to their problems and to offer advice and support. By doing this, you can help them to navigate through this difficult time in their life.
10. Encourage healthy lifestyle habits.
As your teen enters adulthood, it’s important to encourage them to develop healthy lifestyle habits. This means eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. By teaching them these things, you are helping to set them up for success in life.
11. Introduce the value of strong work ethic.
As your teen enters the workforce, it’s important to help them develop a strong work ethic. This means teaching them the importance of hard work, and how to set and achieve goals.
12. Help them develop a positive outlook on life.
It’s important to encourage your teen to develop a positive outlook on life. This means teaching them how to deal with adversity, and how to find the good in every situation.
13. Reinforce responsibility.
Help your children to understand the importance of taking responsibility for their actions. This includes things like cleaning up their room, doing their homework, and being respectful to others. By teaching them to be responsible, you are setting them up for success in the future.
14. Pray for them.
One of the best things you can do for your teen is to pray for them. This means lifting them in prayer and asking God to bless them in all areas of their life.
15. Pay close attention to their behaviors.
As your teen enters adulthood, it’s important to pay close attention to their behaviors. This means being aware of things like their alcohol use, their drug use, and their sexual activity. If you see any red flags, it’s important to address them immediately.
Parenting is indeed a challenging process, and it will test your character and abilities to mold your kids to become blessings in all the lives they touch.
But it’s also an incredibly rewarding experience, and you will unlock a deep sense of purpose when you see that your kids have grown up into the way you and God want them to be.
If you found this post helpful, you might want to check out Trailmap for Life’s 4-Minute Parenting Guide. It’s a free resource that will also guide you throughout this parenting journey.
The guide highlights 8 easy ways to impact your kids’ lives forever, so they stay on the right path and lead to success.
Grab your copy all for free by clicking this link.