Top 10 Things Every Parent Should Do

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1. Read to your children.

  • Read to your children.

The first thing you should do as a parent is read to your children, because it helps them develop their vocabularies and learn how to read on their own. When you read with your child, they will hear the sounds of language and start to recognize the differences between sounds and letters. This will help them to start associating words with specific meanings and learn how those words are spelled. It’s also a great way for parents to bond with their children by spending quality time together reading stories about exciting adventures or learning new things about the world around us.

The first thing every parent should do is read to their children.”

2. Be a good role model and a good listener.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a big one. Kids learn by example. They see you and they want to be like you—so be someone worth emulating! If anything, that should be the simplest and most rewarding part of parenting.

To be a strong role model, there’s one thing that can help above everything else: listening to your kids. Nothing makes a kid feel more important than when an adult is genuinely interested in what he or she has to say. It makes them feel like you value them for who they are and that their opinions matter. This means fully listening when your daughter tells you about her dance recital or her favorite book or her best friend at school—not just half-listening while scrolling through your Facebook feed. And it means pausing the TV game show you’re watching to hear all about how little Timmy earned his first sticker chart gold star at pre-school today—even if what he has to say makes no sense at all, even if it’s nothing new, even if it feels silly (because let’s face it, being silly is good for us adults too!).

One day down the line after you’ve really bonded with your kid during these moments of attentive back-and-forth conversation and storytelling, that same child will look up to you as a great person and hero—and he or she will want to be just like you when they grow up (you’ll probably get tired of hearing “why” all the time though).

3. Encourage kids to pursue their passions, whatever they are, and provide them with the support they need and deserve.

Living in the modern world, it’s easy to forget that we shouldn’t be afraid to pursue our passions. It’s also easy for kids to get so caught up in getting good grades and getting into a good college that they don’t have time to explore other things. These are important things, but it’s important for kids to also take time for fun.

Kids need to know that you’re there if they need help with anything. If your child calls you on their phone and says “I’m having trouble with my math homework,” then let them know that you’ll be there any minute. Even if this means hiring a tutor or taking extra classes, make sure that your child knows that what they’re doing is okay, and not only okay, but encouraged! You want them to do well in school so they can get into college and get a good job when they’re older! And while grades might not seem as important right now as playing video games or watching TV shows on Netflix, remember: without good grades, you won’t get into college! But don’t let this discourage your child from doing something else they love—signing up for a dance class or joining the baseball team won’t hurt their chances at getting into college at all!

4. Tell your kids that they can be anything they want to be and then encourage them to pursue that path.

You’ve probably heard the old adage that you should tell your child they can be anything they want to be and encourage them to do their best. This was originally intended to make children feel better about themselves and their abilities, but there’s an important distinction between telling a child they can be anything they want and being supportive of whatever it is they actually decide to pursue.

Supporting your child’s dreams doesn’t mean you have to throw money or other resources behind everything they try. It simply means that you should help them learn how to work hard and make choices for themselves.

Use your own experiences pursuing goals as examples for your children. Did it matter most that you were good at something, or did it matter more that you were helpful and kind? Did perseverance in the face of failure help you succeed at something? Did you ever give up because things were too difficult? What are some of the regrets from your own life? Have any lessons from these experiences made a difference in how you treat others today?

5. Make sure your children are comfortable talking about sex and answer any questions they may have without judgment or chastisement.

For parents who are uneasy about having conversations regarding sexuality, the good news is that you don’t have to know everything. The important thing is that your children feel safe and comfortable asking you questions, so when they come to you, be honest and open-minded.

Make sure they know they can speak freely, without judgment or chastisement. If your child asks a question that you’re unsure how to answer—say, if he or she asks about STDs or birth control—it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” You can find the answers together.

6. Make sure you don’t constantly compare your child to others as this can do major damage to their self esteem and confidence in the long run.

  • Don’t compare your child to other children

You’re not in a competition with anyone else, and neither is your child. Instead of seeing them as the most important thing, let them focus on their own achievements and happiness. After all, they’re kids—they don’t care about being the best!

7. Let your kids know you love them simply because they are yours, not because of what they accomplish or fail to accomplish in life.

Don’t compare your children to other children, don’t judge them based on their accomplishments, don’t look for external validation for your love of them. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to raising your kids, but this might be the most important: love them simply because they are yours.

Now that you’ve made it through the first six things every parent should do, let’s look at number 7:

8. Create traditions for holidays and family events during the year so that your children can bond with you and their siblings over these major occasions every year.

You can establish traditions for any type of holiday or family event that comes up during the year! Traditions don’t even have to be big – sometimes a tradition is as simple as you and your children baking cookies together every Saturday morning.

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for meaningful traditions, here are some examples:

  • For Christmas, you could gather around the Christmas tree to open presents on Christmas morning. You could also have everyone share what they loved most about their year and what they are grateful for.
  • For Thanksgiving, you could cook a special recipe that has been handed down in your family over generations. This will help remind everyone of the importance of preserving history in your family.
  • For Father’s Day, you could do a special project with your kids – such as make a scrapbook of all their favorite moments with Dad throughout the year!

9. Set aside at least one day every week when you turn off all of your technology so you’re free to spend time with your family without any kind of distractions or excuses preventing that quality time from happening each week.

  • 9. Set aside at least one day every week when you turn off all of your technology so you’re free to spend time with your family without any kind of distractions or excuses preventing that quality time from happening each week.*

In a world where we are constantly distracted by our cell phones and other devices, it can be difficult to find the time to sit down and have a conversation with your family members. One way to combat this problem is by turning off all technology during meal times, but sometimes that isn’t enough. You should also dedicate at least one day every week when you turn off all of your devices and spend some quality time with your loved ones.

10. Spend regular time with your children where you treat them as an equal rather than a child and have conversations with them about things that matter to them even if those things seem insignificant to you on the surface

Kids know the difference between quality time and fake time. Instead of rushing through a conversation to get to a more important task, take the time to listen. Treat them as an equal and they’ll act like one. They’re still a kid, but you’re also having conversations with another human being.

Don’t judge their interests or think that what they want to talk about is silly or unimportant just because it doesn’t seem deep on the surface. This is how you build trust and foster good communication between you both.

Give them your undivided attention; put away your phone or laptop so that they know that you respect their intelligence enough to give them your full consideration when they have something to say.

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