Can you know how to be a good parent? The answer is yes. This is an important topic because we so often doubt ourselves, especially when our children go through tough phases. We tend to feel like it’s our fault and we look back and say, “Uh-oh, how did I fail in these areas?”
Today I want to assure you that there are lots of things you’re probably doing right. Here are some ways you can know that you’re being a good parent.
When your children share their fears and dreams with you.
When my Mom died I realized that she was my go-to confidante. She had built a relationship with me where I trusted her and could be vulnerable with her. It made me want to be a mom who would listen to my kids, so they would know they had a place to go.
When your children want to spend one-on-one time with you.
We had two girls first and then a boy. Our girls are not quiet, and they let me know when they wanted to do something with me. Our son was quiet and stepped into the background when the girls asserted themselves. I felt I needed to spend time with him alone. As far back as when he was in pre-school, I would drop off the girls and take him home and spend the day with him. Now he, and my girls, ask to spend time with me.
When your children can meltdown with you.
My children know that they can share their fears, dreams, and sadnesses with me. That helps me know how to guide them. They are comfortable being real with me because I won’t judge them.
When your children make a mistake or face a disappointment they turn to you for comfort.
Some children have an easy time admitting they need help. Others need you to take the first step when you notice something is going on. “Hey,” you can say, “I know things didn’t turn out the way you wanted.” Teach your child that it’s often pride that keeps us from reaching out to others for help.
When you see your children living out lessons you spent years teaching them.
It was so nice when our oldest child came home from college and told us that she understood, and saw the value in what we had tried to teach her. It can take a while for your children to see this so stay steady. I believe most children will come around and you will see the fruit of your labors. Don’t give up!
When you teach your children absolute truths.
If you can give your child a compass for life, they won’t get lost. If you can teach your children the absolutes they will have an anchor and know the right way to go.
You are a good parent! Don’t doubt yourself. Trust and have confidence in your instincts and your love for your children.
Listen to Mark and me in the full podcast here.