11 Traits of a Great Parent

ItÕs not easy to be a great parent. Most of us didnÕt have the best examples to follow, and itÕs not a skill taught in school. You either have to educate yourself or learn on the job.

While there are many parenting styles, successful parents share attributes that give their children the best chance for success and happiness.

Most parents have a few of these attributes but must develop the others.

Great parents share many attributes:

1. Patience. You knew this would be at the top of the list. Children are messy, noisy, donÕt listen well, and exasperating. They can be pretty wonderful, too. But patience is essential. Learning to take a deep breath and relax can help more than just your parenting skills.

2. Multi-tasking skills. Dealing with the house, work, and children requires a great ability to multitask. Children constantly pull your attention away from whatever youÕre doing. ItÕs not easy to regain your focus.

3. Encouraging. Children quickly learn to doubt themselves and worry about the opinions of others. One of the best ways to combat this is to encourage your kids. With enough encouragement, a child can become their best self.

4. Supportive. Encouragement and support go hand-in-hand. Children with support grow up to be relaxed and comfortable. Without support, the world can be a scary place. Teach your child thereÕs little to fear.

5. Intelligence. One of the hallmarks of intelligence is problem-solving. Children provide a unique set of challenges that have to be solved. A little brain power can help you to navigate the minefield that parenting can entail.

6. Flexibility. Many of your parenting attempts will fail. You must be flexible enough to have multiple solutions up your sleeve. When one doesnÕt work, you can always try something else. Plans are always changing, too. It helps if you can go with the flow.

7. Good leadership skills. You might be able to boss your kids around, but theyÕll resent it, and they never forget. ItÕs more effective to have good leadership skills and only throw your parental weight around when necessary.

8. Dependability. Kids feel safe when they have reliable and dependable parents. They have to know that youÕre there for them. How much can your kids trust your word? How reliable do your friends consider you to be?

9. Compassion. Children need to develop and experience compassion. Kids need understanding and comforting. Can you provide those two things?

10. Sense of humor. Your children will give you plenty of opportunities to laugh. It would be a shame to allow those moments to go to waste. YouÕll keep your sanity if you have a great sense of humor.

11. Self-awareness. Children arenÕt sure how to act. ItÕs up to you to be a role model. YouÕll find that kids react to situations in ways that mimic your reactions. They donÕt know any other way. ItÕs important to be self-aware enough to know whether youÕre being a good role model.

Parenting is one job that requires your utmost effort and attention. Great kids most often have great parents. Being a great parent isnÕt easy, but itÕs easier if you build these attributes. You can develop these attributes with practice and determination. Be the best parent you can be and enjoy the process.

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