7 essential healthy parenting habits for raising happy and well-adjusted children
From providing emotional support to establishing clear boundaries, these healthy parenting practices can make a positive impact on your child's development and overall well-being.
Parenthood is an incredible journey full of joy, challenges, and countless responsibilities. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising children, developing healthy parenting habits can provide a solid foundation for both you and your child. From providing emotional support to establishing clear boundaries, healthy parenting practices can make a positive impact on your child's development and overall well-being. These are not only beneficial for your child's well-being but also for your own. When you cultivate healthy parenting practices, you are more likely to experience less stress, improved communication, and stronger relationships with your children. So, let's dive into some of the essential healthy parenting habits that every parent should aim to cultivate. (Also read: Parenting tips: 5 things you should never say to your child )
Certified Parenting Coach Rachael Rogers shared in her Instagram post, seven habits of healthy parents.
1. Modeling emotional regulation
Emotion and impulse control don't develop until our mid-twenties. Therefore, the best way to teach a child to calm themselves down is to model staying calm in stressful, scary or frustrating situations. When we, as parents and caregivers, model emotional regulation to our children, we simultaneously teach our children how to do the same. It is important to remember that children mimic what is modelled not what is demanded.
2. Providing safety emotionally and physically
Keeping children physically safe is only the first step of healthy parenting. Providing emotional and relational safety to our children is every bit as important. It's important to let our children feel whatever they feel, however intense it may be, without judgment or criticism. Later, when they are calm, we can teach them ways to express those feelings in healthier ways if necessary.
3. Seeing beneath our child's behaviour
All behaviour communicates a need. Your youngster isn't being difficult towards you; rather, they are struggling. Children communicate their needs through body and emotion as well. They do not communicate through logic or reasoning, in fact, logical and reasonable decision-making skills won't happen consistently until they are in their mid-twenties, therefore, seeing beneath behaviour is necessary for healthy parenting.
4. Communicating feelings and needs
When parents or caregivers communicate their own feelings and need to their children, they are providing an important example for their children to follow. Children often mimic the behaviours and communication styles of the adults around them, and by modelling healthy emotional and relational habits, parents can help their children learn how to communicate effectively and identify healthy and unhealthy relationships.
5. Prioritizing child's needs over other's opinions
When a child misbehaves in public or around others, parents or caregivers have a decision to make: to prioritize the child's needs or to please and satisfy the opinions of those around them. However, it is important to recognize that the responsibility for the child's behaviour falls on the parent or caregiver, and not on the opinions of others. While it may be challenging to address a child's needs in a public setting, it is crucial to prioritize the child's well-being and not give in to external pressures. Ultimately, the child's behaviour is the responsibility of the parent or caregiver, and they should focus on what is best for the child at that moment, rather than trying to please others.
6. Deconditioning from harsh parenting
If a person had caregivers who used threatening, aggressive, or controlling tactics to influence their behavior, they may unconsciously adopt the same parenting approach because children tend to replicate the behaviors they observe. If their role models displayed harsh or unstable behavior, they may need to break those patterns and learn healthier parenting strategies.
7. Aiming to remain grounded and connected
When referring to "aiming," it means that individuals who had reactive parents may need to work harder to become emotionally grounded and maintain that state.
Here's an easy grounding exercise:
- Close your eyes
- Focus on how the seat holding you feels against your body
- How does the ground feel against your feet?
- What does the air in the room feel like?
- What can you hear, smell or taste?
- Now take a few deep breaths