Your child will offer the most honest critique of your parenting, writes Sipho Yanano.
As we are busy raising our children we may forget that one day they will grow up and look back at the memories we created for them. Will your child look back fondly at the time when they were under your care? Over the years I’ve heard positive childhood recollections adult children have of their parents. I share some of them here:
1. “My parents never argued in front of us”
My friends who claim to have had a happy childhood always bring the point that their parents usually presented a happy front which made the children feel secure. When children witness their parents arguing this may cause them to be stressed. Parents’ constant bickering in front of the children not only creates a tense environment but may leave some children fearing that their parents may divorce.
2. “Dad was mild-tempered”
“When I was young I could tell my father anything and he would remain calm,” a friend recently told me. “He would then calmly ask me questions about what happened – no matter how bad the situation was. As a result it was easy for me to him with any problem.”
Maintaining a straight face when a child reveals something shocking requires a lot of skill and practice. Freaking out whenever you are upset with your child will only result in him or her hiding things from you. Maintaining your cool promotes good communication between you and your child.
3. “Let your Yes mean Yes, your No, No”
Two parents raising a child should always present a united front. I’ve witnessed parents who undermine each other’s authority in the eyes of their children. This usually happens when parents have differing parenting styles e.g. one parent may be too strict and the other too lenient. The lenient parent may secretly go to the child and say “Your Dad is crazy; you can go out with your friends until midnight. I’ll deal with him.”
This kind of parenting will only produce confused children with little respect for their parents or their parents. Instead parents should discuss their parenting differences behind closed doors and come up with one disciplining policy. As a general rule never undermine your partner’s parenting authority in your child’s eyes.
4 Set a good example at all times
I’ve met adult children who credit their success in many aspects in life to the great example their parents set for them. If you are prone to road rage and hurl expletives at fellow motorists in front of your children then don’t be surprised if the same words are directed to you by your kids.
“My mother always had a book in a hand,” an acquaintance credits her mother’s reading culture for spurring her on to become a doctor.
The most effective way to parent is to set a good example.
Most parents want their children to look back, one day in the future, and think "Wow, I was loved".
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
What lesson do you most remember about the way you were raised?