Fatima Ali Shaikh
If you’re a parent, you’ve definitely doubted your skills at parenting at some point in your life.
You may have wondered several times to yourself if you’re doing things “right”.
This is the voice in your head that keeps you up at night, making you toss and turn in bed with anxiety.
As parents ourselves, we think you need to hear this: You’re being way too hard on yourself.
Instead of measuring your success as a parent with the markers set by everyone else, try aiming for the following instead:
Your child openly discusses her thoughts and feelings with you
If your child tells you what they she or how she feels, it’s a sign that she feels secure in her relationship with you.
She knows that you will listen and acknowledge her feelings, that even if you don’t like what she’s sharing with you, you won’t shut down the conversation.
You set appropriate limits
Children need boundaries.
Since their brain is still forming and keeps growing until they reach the age of 25, they need parents to set appropriate limits.
This gives them a feeling of security and makes them feel nurtured and cared for.
Without these limits, children fall into a lot of trouble since they haven’t been guided by a caretaker on which behaviors are expected of them.
These rules can include things like ‘no hitting your siblings’, ‘calling them (or other people) names’ or having a set bedtime.
You and your child play together
Whether your child is 3 years old or 15, playing with them is absolutely critical. It helps cement your relationship with them based on love and understanding.
Parents who play with their child – whether it’s playing hide and seek with their toddler or playing basketball with their teenager – are much more likely to develop close and loving relationships with their kids.
You give your child a great home environment
This doesn’t mean raising your child in a super expensive house (check out our tips on how to decorate your home on a budget).
Rather, it means you provide your child with an environment in which he feels secure, valued and loved.
You allow her to ask questions as well as help discover and hone her innate talents.
Most importantly, you let her know and feel that your love is indeed unconditional.
You let your child grow up
We live in an age of ‘over-parenting’, where parents like to control each and every aspect of their child’s life.
‘Helicopter parents’ do this out of love and a desire to protect their child from all possible external dangers. However, it just ends up stifling their kids and doing more harm than good.
Parents who let their children explore their environment on their own without constantly hovering above their head, allow them to grow. They grow in not only skills but also confidence and independence.
It can be tempting to jump in and help your child whenever you see her struggling.
This can be your two-year-old putting her socks on by herself or your fifteen-year-old having a fall-out with a friend. But it’s likely better to take a step back and let her experience things herself so she can learn.
Yes she will make mistakes. But she’ll also learn from them too.
Parents who take that step back raise confident and resilient children with an incredible knack for problem-solving.
You don’t compare your child with others
If you’re constantly comparing your child’s progress with that of other children, you’ll never be happy with who they are, no matter what they achieve.
Parents who don’t compare their child to others are able to appreciate their kid’s individual personality.
They’re also able to foster a relationship based on love, care and appreciation.
You apologize to your child when you mess up
At some point during our journey of parenthood, we’re all going to mess up.
We’ll say and do things to our children we really wish we hadn’t.
This is the time to own up to your mistake. You can tell them that it was wrong of you to yell at them and that instead of shouting you should have used a nicer voice.
The parent who doesn’t hesitate to say sorry to their kids when they do something wrong is the one who’ll establish a parent-child relationship based on mutual trust and respect.
You don’t mind the mess
Children are messy. Period.
There will be toys strewn about all over your house, nothing will be where it’s supposed to be and regular marks, spills and leaks will be a consistent part of your daily life.
Parents who are continuously freaking out about the mess create an environment of stress. This stress trickles down to the child who can feel the tension and internalizes it.
On the other hand, parents who are relaxed when it comes to things being messy allow their child to explore, grow and be more carefree.
If a messy house tends to stress you out, try looking for ways to minimize the mess instead.
A great way is to do this is to start decluttering your home as much as possible.
Another way to make messes less stressful is to use sofa slipcovers for your couches so you can relax with your child on the sofa with peace of mind.
Thinking of making your home more child-friendly and easier to clean? Start with a removable, machine-washable slipcover your sofa. You can take our slipcover fabrics for a test run here: