Parenting right from the beginning seems very hard. No one is born a parent and it does not come naturally. It is the one thing you learn as you go along. There will be mistakes and it can be a scary experience because you have the responsibility to care for and mould a whole human being. No one has parenting figured out, but research has shown that there are simple practices that can be done to make the journey of parenting easier.

Here are some 5 simple ways to improve your parenting skills:

1- Practice loving without conditions

The one important thing is for your child to feel loved and to be loved unconditionally. There must never be a time where love is given conditionally. Your child needs to know that even if they act out this does not change how you as a parent feel about them. Making threats that make the child believe that love will be taken away is not helpful. Sometimes we as parents make threats that we do not mean but the child will believe that they are true and they should only act a certain way for them to be loved. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child knows that no matter what you love them despite their behavior. Love them just as they are.

2- Develop a bond that will last a lifetime by creating memories

We all know that looking back at happy childhood memories brings us closer to our parents. This is how you create that bond with your children. When you spend time with them, and not just here and there but to make sure that every day of their lives you have done something that creates a bond. Your child will grow up quickly and time cannot be taken back, which is why it is important not to put things off. Take as many photos of moments spent together, do activities together both indoors and outdoors. Be there for all their firsts, their celebrations as well as the not so great moments. Even going through the tough times builds a bond. Those memories will last a lifetime.

3- Stop Yelling

This one can be a real challenge for any parent because sometimes it feels if you yell that is the only time that you will be heard. However, raising your voice does not solve anything; it can make things worse. Children do not respond well to yelling. Yelling raises negative feelings in your child. These feelings include stress, fear and anxiety. It also teaches your child bad behavior. Children absorb what they get from their parents and then dish it out to others. This is when you meet rude children, who are antagonistic or forceful and sometimes bullies. Try to take a breath before you yell and think of another way to communicate with your child your displeasure. It is also important to know what triggers your yelling and find ways to avoid those situations. If you do yell, you should say sorry, this teaches your child that it is important to apologize when they are in the wrong.

4- Provide experiences over toys

Toys are good for children but they are not everything a child should have growing up. Material things are not as important as experiences. This is another memory building concept. When your child goes out and experiences different things it also helps with their development. Going on field trips to the zoo, or the museum opens their minds to new things. They become more creative and their mind is out of the box. It is even more beneficial if they go through these experiences with their parents. It means more to them and has a more lasting impression.

5- Let them play and be a child

Research has shown that playtime is a more natural way of learning. We as parents put so much emphasis on learning and less on play because we are so focused on the next stage our children are going to. It is also concerning how much children spend time on gadgets and not on actual play. This is what has led to obesity, anti-social behavior, school problems, and behavior problems even sleep deprivation. Too much screen time affects the children mentally and parents need to pay attention to this. Active play gives them the exercise they need, playing with toys builds their creativity and playing with other children helps them to develop socially. They will never get their childhood back so we must allow them to be children and to play and develop naturally.

As a parent don’t be too hard on yourself because there is no perfect parent. But when you put in all the effort to learn parenting skills you are close enough to perfect and your child will grow up to appreciate your efforts.

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