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View Full Version : What makes you a great parent?



menolly
April 5th, 2004, 06:45 PM
Before I start, I just want to say that I don't mean this thread to undermine anyone's parenting styles or choices at all!

I don't think that most parents give themselves enough credit for the things they do, or the way they bring up their children (I know that I'm more likely to call myself a bad mum than a good one! :lol: ). I think it would be a nice thing for everyone to list one or two things that they are really proud of when it comes to bringing up their kids.

I think one thing that makes me a great parent is that I don't punish my son for acting his age. If he wants to make a bit of noise or a bit of a mess or get mucky, I won't berate him for it - it's what kids do!
I've seen so many parents yell at or smack their kids for wanting things in a shop, making too much noise, running around or not walking quickly enough. The worst example I ever saw was when one kid who wasn't looking where he was going walked into a lamp post and started crying. His dad gave him an almighty slap, and yelled "That'll teach you for not paying attention!" Also, an ex-boyfriend of my sister-in-law used to yell at my niece (and she wasn't even his child!) for dropping food on the floor or tipping food off her plate while she was learning how to eat by herself. That's just what children do, and it's all a part of the learning curve! Things like that make me so sad for the children involved...
In my eyes, if Kian wants to jump on my bed or shout just to hear his own voice, that's fine! If he's going too far, I'll tell him so and say 'that's enough now, no more' and he'll stop. I won't smack him or yell at him if he doesn't or can't understand why what he's done is wrong - How's a kid supposed to play the game if he doesn't know the rules? It's just unfair.
I'm really proud of this aspect of the way I teach my son. He's not afraid to express himself, and his personality and sense of humour positively shine through!

What about the rest of you? What part of the way you bring up your kids, or things that you do for your kids are you most proud of? Don't be afraid to blow your own horn - you deserve it!

rain_fallen_tears
April 5th, 2004, 06:56 PM
I'm not a parent but I agree with you! Parent should be understanding that their children will make mistakes....now being a little terror monkey(my own term:D) like pulling stuff off the shelves purposely and screaming just to get the attention....they need to be talked to at least....but a lot of parents, like you explained over react and are too quick to punish! A parent should be loveing, compassionate, understanding,whats a good word...not stern but able to raise their children to know when they are wrong...and trusting....but thats the way I see it....again just a teen here....:)

Moon Momma
April 5th, 2004, 08:10 PM
I think the best thing I've done for my kids is give them space to form their own opinions and make their own decisions. I'm divorced and my ex is extremely strict and rigid. He's one of those that believes in rules and not questioning authority and children should be seen and not heard. He thinks that makes him a better parent but my kids resent the hell out of him. He thinks I let them run wild and that I don't have any rules, and that's not the case. I just give my kids more say-so in what the rules are, and I treat them as individuals, not mindless blobs that I have to shape and mold in my image.
I've also taught my kids to be accepting of others. I've taught them things like the differences between gay and transgendered, I've exposed them to different cultures and religions, and tried to teach them to have an open mind. If it was up to their dad, they'd live in a bubble filled with white Catholic Americans.

MammaStar
April 5th, 2004, 08:44 PM
My son tells me I'm an awesome mom "cause you play video games and let me listen to cool music" I know that doesn't sound like much, but he does have a few friends, where the kid can't even have a sleep over because the mom is so paranoid. I'm a big kid myself and the best part about being a mom for me, is my son like to play. when he was younger, we'd rough house, but now he's WAY too bing for that (nearly 12) and we play card games and video games together. He has rules and chores and all that good stuff. He knows as long as he behaves and does great in school, good things happen. When he messes up, things go away. He learned that the hard way.

All his friends love me. Same thing happened with me and my Mom. All my friends adore her, and deemed her "the cool mom".

RevDave
April 5th, 2004, 08:50 PM
:spaceman: Great topic.....

Geez I hope that someday my two daughters can answer this on my behalf... for my "greatnees" as a parent will be only known by how they see things 10, 15, 20 years hence..... It makes you wonder what they will be saying about us...

But for the sake of this post -if I had to anme one thing - it is the realization that we (my wife and I) are parents only in the growth and behavioral sense. That probably does not make sense but what I mean is an aknowledgement that we are there to guide their learning as they grow from infant to child to young adult and beyond. What we are not here to do is to be a Parent in the imposition of our life onto them sense -- we treach them how to think... but do not think for them. We teach them options and how to see them clearly....but let them decide. Ultimately I see too many parents trying to live their childrens life, trying to make them little carbon copies of themselves, or living their own life through their children.

Children are their own people...we just try to train them to be that...themselves

Doesnt make a whole lot of sense as I have been up several hours, but hope it made some

:javaswim: :javaswim: :javaswim: :javaswim: :javaswim:

Sowelu
April 5th, 2004, 09:38 PM
What makes me a great parent?

I'm not like my mom. I pride myself in the fact that I promised that I would never treat my children the way my mom treated us (me & my sis):)
and...I always promised myself that I would make sure that there would be 100% open communication between me and my children. Always!:) I want them to feel that they can come to me for anything, anytime.

vulfsung
April 5th, 2004, 09:43 PM
This may sound real disgusting to some, but this was something all the kids in my family did....I grew up in the country, with lots of cows, horses and pigs....

One of our most favorite things to do was to follow the cows around the pasture, and wait for fresh...ummmm....cow flops. Then, we'd take off our shoes and socks-if we were wearing any-and walk barefoot through them, squishing fresh hot cow poop between our toes....*sigh* memories!!

Anyways, last summer, I found an old friend who stayed out in the country, and had her own cows....took my then 2 yr old out to her farm, and we played in fresh cow poop. To me, that was one of the best things we have done together, she still laughs about it now, and tells everyone she meets about cow poo between her toes! :lol:

Aside from that, she gets to run and scream and play, and just do Melissa things....have fun and be herself.

I think that's what makes me a Grrrreat Momma, that I let her *be* and do things at her own pace, and be the happy little Sprite that she is....

Great topic!!
Wolfsong

Amethyst Rose
April 5th, 2004, 11:06 PM
This early in the game, I'd have to say I'm a good parent because I've worked my butt off, through unspeakable stress and hardship to make sure my son has what is best for him (breast milk).

asamananara
April 6th, 2004, 12:21 AM
Respect. You need to respect your child as an individual, and
afford them the same considerations you would for anyone else.
Sometimes a child really does know better than their parents;
when conflicts of judgement arise, allow the child to present
their case, and grant it equal consideration as your own.
Honesty. We maintain a 100% honesty policy in our family- which
must go both ways. Many parents will expect honesty from their
children, while reserving their own. This is hypocracy. It's
not always easy being completely honest with a child; many times
people "bend the truth" with the best of intentions, to shield
the child or preserve some kind of false authority. However,
kids aren't stupid. Lie to them, and they will respond in kind.
Freedom. Allow freedom for exploration, experimentation, and growth.
This includes letting the child make their own mistakes, even when you
see it coming. Question them on their decisions, and give your
opinion... but children learn better from experience than from
parental declarations. Usually, they will discover that you
were right- which lends weight to your opinions in the future.
Communication. Nothing will prepare a child better than open dialog.
In our house, no subject is taboo... our daughter is encouraged to take
an active roll in every conversation, regardless of the content.
We discuss the nuances of our lives without judgement, or condemnation.
Intimacy. It's important to maintain an enviroment of closeness between
the family, where emotional and physical affection is readily exchanged.
Empathy. Always be willing to put yourself in your child's place,
and see things from their perspective. Never assume that you
have the experience and knowledge to decide what's best- without
perspective, you have nothing of consequence.
Encouragement. Stand behind your child in everything they pursue,
and everything they do. Support their attempts, and cushion their
failures... but never discourage their energy and curiousity.
Responsibility. Set clearly defined responsibilties for the child,
and expect that they will be met. Irresponsible behaviour is not
a lapse in judgement, it is a failure to understand what was
expected, and why. Discuss the importance of personal responsiblity,
and explain the repercussions of neglect. Show your child that
they can count on you to be responsible, and expect no less from
them.
Wonder. Foster an atmosphere where wonder, awe, magic, and mystery
are embraced and appreciated. Show how even the most mundane moments
can be an opportunity for inspiration.

Kitfox
April 6th, 2004, 12:52 AM
I would like to praise my parents for doing a good job.

My parents have been wonderful to me my entire life. They have always encouraged me to find out about new things and have exposed me to music, art, literature, and culture that many other kids aren't exposed to. They spent a lot of money spending me to a Catholic school when they could've sent me to a public school for free. They allowed me to pursue my many different interests, even when they didn't think they were quite normal.

They've always allowed me my own space and privacy but have been good parents by asking me important questions like where are you going, what time will you be home, who are you going with...etc. They have always sat down with me and talked to me like an equal. They encourage me and my four siblings to form our own opinions and morals, yet approach life in a kind and caring manner. They taught me good manners and social skills.

They also allowed me to travel to many different countries and live in a nice, big house in a nice neighborhood through their hard work. My mom gave up a career to stay at home and take care of us and I will always thank her for being my friend as well as my mother. My dad has always worked hard and not always at something he's like to keep us in a lifestyle we've become accustom to. They have taught us that material goods are not the only thing worth having. They have instilled me in a respect for them, nature, family, faith, and others. They have taught me to always treat others with respect and kindness.

But the thing I wanted to praise my parent's for the most is their openness to my spiritual journey. It was difficult for me and them to accept the fact that we didn't believe in the same things. It has been difficult for them, especially for my Mom since her family going back generations is Catholic, to accept this. They give me a lot of space, ask intelligent questions, never tell me not to search, and allow me to try new things. They buy me books and supplies and frequently talk about my beliefs with me. They've actively pursued knowledge about Wicca and Paganism and have responded to my willingness to show them why I believe so strongely in this faith.

I know how hard it must be, as a parent, to watch your child choose a different path from you, no matter what the circumstances. Are they happy with my decision? No. Are they supportive? Yes. Would they ever tell me not to practice my faith? No.

I hope, as a hopeful future parent, that if my child chooses a different path, that I may accept it as they have come to accept mine.

I thank them for being great parents.

Faery-Wings
April 6th, 2004, 07:07 AM
One of the things that I think makes me a good mom is that I like to have fun with my kids. We do silly corny stuff like our theme nights. Every Januray through April, we pick a theme for Friday nights (Cowboy Nite, Spooky Night, Wizard Nite etc) and we plan food, decorations, costumes and movie around the theme. For Alien nite, I made Alien Brains (noodles dyed green) Flying Sucers (English muffin pizzas) Alien blood (sprite dyed green) and a green cake that I crashed a spaceship toy into. My kids never know what nutty thing I am going to come up with LOL. They think I am a bit wacky, which is good. At least for now. :D

The other thing that I think is good, is really much more important. Ever since they were babies, I have told them, I love you always, forever, and no matter what. And I tell them that often. I want them too know that no matter what they do, how they behave and as they get older, the choices they make, nothing will change my love for them. It has already come in handy when I had to ground my son who said to me, "I feel like you don't love me now." I said back to him, "What do I always tell you? I love you etc. I might not like what you did, but I always love you." And even though he wasn't happy he was in trouble, he felt better because it didn't shake my feelings for him.

mucgwyrt
April 6th, 2004, 09:15 AM
Wow, these are all so good advice, I shall have to write it all down and keep it for 'if and when' ;)

Ben Trismegistus
April 6th, 2004, 10:43 AM
I'm a good parent because I'm not pushing my child to do anything before he's ready. He's just shy of 1 year old, and the parents of all his peers are pushing their kids to do everything from Music Together to Gymboree, encouraging them to walk early and talk early and have perfect table manners and grow up too fast. And the result, as far as I'm concerned, is that those other children appear antsy, cranky, and generally more unhappy than Joey. Joey is a happy, fun, easy-going kid. He's very advanced developmentally, but we're letting him do everything at his own pace. We'd rather spend a Saturday afternoon going to the park and playing on the swings than trucking him back and forth to "learning" activities.

I don't plan to fall into the "keeping up with the Joneses" parenting trap. I'm not going to force him to play soccer because all the other kids are doing it. I'm not going to overschedule him to the point where he has no time to just sit and read a book. We're trying to raise a child who understands the value of down time. :)

Moon Momma
April 6th, 2004, 06:32 PM
I'm a good parent because I'm not pushing my child to do anything before he's ready. He's just shy of 1 year old, and the parents of all his peers are pushing their kids to do everything from Music Together to Gymboree, encouraging them to walk early and talk early and have perfect table manners and grow up too fast. And the result, as far as I'm concerned, is that those other children appear antsy, cranky, and generally more unhappy than Joey. Joey is a happy, fun, easy-going kid. He's very advanced developmentally, but we're letting him do everything at his own pace. We'd rather spend a Saturday afternoon going to the park and playing on the swings than trucking him back and forth to "learning" activities.

I don't plan to fall into the "keeping up with the Joneses" parenting trap. I'm not going to force him to play soccer because all the other kids are doing it. I'm not going to overschedule him to the point where he has no time to just sit and read a book. We're trying to raise a child who understands the value of down time. :)

Ben, I totally agree! I used to belong to a message board that was specifically for mothers of children born in Sept 2002 (most of us started out on a board for pregnant women due in Sept 02). I got tired of all the competition, all of the "First tooth", "First steps" threads, and the pressure of having Gymboree clothes and going to Mommy and Me events. What happened to letting kids be kids?

Laurelei
April 6th, 2004, 06:50 PM
Well, my parents take a VERY relaxed approach to raising me. I suppose, in my case, they've done a good job (because I pride myself on having some common sense). They give me so much freedom, I can't possibly rebel.

By the way menolly, kudos to you on letting small children act their age! When I was younger my mother wasn't particuarly consistent (or sensible) in teaching me what was
acceptable to ask for, and I grew up afraid to ask her for completely sensible things because I didn't want to be yelled at. It still affects me now sometimes, when I timidly ask for that second slice of cake and I'm bowled over when she goes "oh yeah whatever, have three".

LightDancer
April 6th, 2004, 07:13 PM
this thread has made me realize I'm not a very good parent at all :(

menolly
April 6th, 2004, 07:57 PM
this thread has made me realize I'm not a very good parent at all :(
I'm so sure that's not true!!! :hugz:

As I said at the beginning, this isn't meant to undermine anyone in any way.
You don't have to do all the things other do or even share the same opinions in how children should be brought up to be a great parent!
At the end of the day, as long as your child/children are loved, fed, clothed and cared for - that makes you great in my book! There are so many children in the world who don't get these basic things in life, and so any that do are so lucky!
I'm sure if you look carefully, you'll see that you are a great parent in your own way, and no-one can take that away from you :hugz:

Moon Momma
April 6th, 2004, 09:37 PM
I had a Psych professor once that also taught a Human Growth and Development course. When we were on the section about parenting, he told us not to waste our money on parenting books because the fact that you cared enough about your kids to even consider buying one of those books made you a good parent. So you're doing a better job than you may think you are! :huddle:

Vampy
April 6th, 2004, 09:52 PM
I think one of the things that makes me a great parent to my boys, is the fact that, no matter what I am doing or what the boys have done, I am always there to talk to them, and I love to have fun with them at all times, I think that the fact that we constantly are around each other, teaching and listening to each other makes us have such a close connection with each other. Actually, thats kinda scary, we can pretty much finish each others sentences.... and we know what the other is thinking. Does that weird n e one out?

Forever Yours,

fahawk
April 7th, 2004, 01:43 PM
Seeing the world through my children's eyes..remembering what it is like to be small/ little.. it really helps...
Letting them have time and room to use their imaginations, not always being on someone's "schedule".. I think kids need time just to be a "kid"- be themselves..
and asking, "how important is it?? ( is food spilt a major thing, or just part of life??, putting it into persepective, and knowing no matter our age, we have accidents, spill things, have good days and bad..)

I think kids need some routine, and discipline, but treating them with the respect we all want..

Semele
April 7th, 2004, 02:10 PM
I think the best evidence of great parents are great kids...so we must be great parents!

ivygarland
April 7th, 2004, 09:14 PM
I tell my son I love him. Even though he is only one, repeating that message will set the foundation for the whole rest of our relationship.

I used to get all worked up over other people's parenting decisions, but I decided as long as they love their children, it will all work out in the end.

amberwolf
April 10th, 2004, 09:41 AM
Two things that make me a great parent?
I got divorced when my children were very young as he was abusive towards both me and the kids i have brought them up on my own we havent seen him for 9 years now..
I love my kids unconditionally and I am totally upfront and honest with them...they can come and talk to me about absolutely anything and they know that i wont go off on one about what they say..
I must be doing something right as all theyre freinds call me a groovy mum...I am strict but not overly so I have rules and if they get broken I give out punishment...
Overall we have a great mother daughter realtionship ( I have two teen girls) I treat them with respect and in turn I get respect back I dont really know what else to say :)

djmixon
April 10th, 2004, 09:55 PM
When I screw up, I apologize. . .there are some out there who believe apologizing to your kids undermines your authority. . .I think apologizing sets a good example and shows the kids you don't think you are perfect. . .

Faery-Wings
April 11th, 2004, 08:23 AM
When I screw up, I apologize. . .there are some out there who believe apologizing to your kids undermines your authority. . .I think apologizing sets a good example and shows the kids you don't think you are perfect. . .

*nods* Yes, that is important.

FaerieGothMommy
April 15th, 2004, 04:37 PM
When I screw up, I apologize. . .there are some out there who believe apologizing to your kids undermines your authority. . .I think apologizing sets a good example and shows the kids you don't think you are perfect. . .

I sooooooooooooo totally agree with this!!!!
People think you shouldn't back down to your children, even if you are in the wrong, that is shows weakness and the rest of that bulls***!!! (excuse the language)
Even though my daughter is only 21 months old, i do shout at her sometimes for little things, when i am totally stressed & tired and just want to sleep - but then straight after it clicks, shes just being a kid, and so i say sorry to her!! She then usually smiles & hugs me.

I think what makes me a good parent is i've learnt to keep my cool - like menolly said, if she gets food on the floor, messes with things she shouldn't be, or makes loads of noise, i've learnt to keep my cool & say "hey shes just a kid" they all do it!! It's totally natural, you can't expect a healthy child to be quite 24/7 and not have any fun... I just think, no probs, i'll clean it up when she has a nap... or, i'll let her go play in the garden - that way, she can make all the noise & mess she likes...

Also, i am an extremley young parent - but i try my hardest not to let anybody elses views get in the way of my parenting skills. Alot and i mean ALOT of people assume i can't look after my daughter, they don't even try to get to know me first, and just judge you straight away! But, i just have to think "it's my life, i'm living it, not them & i am PROUD of who i am and what i have achieved" .... I wouldn't swap my daughter for the world! And now i have a second on the way too, i am happy!

I also have my own mom to thank, shes always been the type who i can go talk to about anything, and she won't go off on one at me! When i told her i was pregnant for the second time, you know what she said??? she said, "it's ok, we'll get through this" .... without her support i'd be a wreck!

I'm glad you started this thread menolly, i suddenly feel loads better about myself :)

Llewyth
April 15th, 2004, 04:58 PM
I think I'm a good parent because I don't over protect. My mom wouldn't let me do a bunch of stuff when I was younger. No horseback riding, no roughhousing, no snowball fights, no letting the dog or cat give kisses. Ok I still did them :hehehehe:

I let my kids be kids. So long as they're not bringing a bucket of blood to swim in a river infested with pirahna or buttering bread with a butcher knife; I'm good. :)

I'm also good at setting limits and explaining things. I stick to my guns when I say no, but I say yes to lots of things most parents would say no to. The cow pat thing.... I love it! :lol: