Proper Parenting Means Learning Successful Parenting Skills

In terms of proper parenting and successful parenting
skills, a father or mother is more than just a person who
loves and cares for his or her children for that tells us
nothing about the quality of care. Under the traditional
definition, a father that simply goes to and from work each
day and says he loves and cares for his children, but does
nothing else to corroborate that love and care, qualifies as
a father.

Successful parenting skills are not involved in this
definition.

From the proper parenting perspective, a more useful
definition of a parent might be an adult person who in sharing
a heartfelt relationship with a child, not only serves as a
healthy role model for the child, but provides the
emotional security and guidance necessary for that child to
experience all the normal childhood developmental stages
that lead to adulthood.

Hence, proper parenting requires the learning of successful
parenting skills.

Adult, as used here, means the mother or father is a mature
and responsible person, that is to say; they have
successfully passed through the various childhood stages
and achieved mature adulthood, not only in the legal sense,
but, also, in the sense of being able to mentally and
physically care for the child. By heartfelt relationship
is meant that there exists an emotional bond on the part
of the father and mother with their child, such that they
bond to the child expecting a mutual reciprocative process
of bond formation; that is to say, in return for their
love, the father and mother expect the child's love.

For proper parenting, a father and mother must not only be
present so that the child may feel and experience his or her
presence on a regular basis, but they must behave and act in
a manner congruous with agreed upon healthy social behavior
and ethics. This requires successful parenting skills.

Emotional security refers to all those factors, too
numerous to name, that cause one to feel emotionally secure,
such as the satisfaction of the needs for safety, food,
shelter, love, etc.

Guidance refers to the entire process of teaching the child
everything he or she needs to know so that he or she may
successfully navigate the stages of childhood to
adulthood. Hence, this would include providing the child
with a good education, setting social limits and
consequences for the child so that he or she may learn to
become a responsible adult, and so on.

Again the guidance required for proper parenting requires
the learning of successful parenting skills.

In our definition of proper parenting, childhood
developmental stages are included, in contradistinction to
human developmental stages, to stress the point they are
childhood stages prior to adulthood and not adult stages.
Hence, this is to emphasize that play, being part and parcel
of childhood, must be encouraged, protected, and allowed to
normally occur, unhampered by too early structured
educational programs or by having to assume adult roles or
responsibility. Successful parenting skills protect
children from growing up too soon.

The understanding of mother and father, as applied herein,
amounts to a working, verifiable, definition of parental
love. That is to say, when a mother and father fulfill the
qualities mentioned in this definition, they are
demonstrating their love for their child, not just in
words, but in proper parenting using successful parenting
skills.

Love is not just a feeling. Feelings of love without
action, regarding that feeling, is not love. Hence,
parental love is more than just a feeling of love for oneís
child, but a converting of that love into demonstrable,
conscious, concerted, positive action on behalf of the
childís life, resulting in a healthier, happier child.

This love does not occur by accident but through learned
successful parenting skills.

Hence, applying this definition, a father who truly feels he
loves his child, but refuses to care for that child
properly, is experiencing, not love, but a love fantasy. The
mother who bares a child because she needs someone to love
or someone to love her, is, also, experiencing a love
fantasy for she chooses to have the child to satisfy her
own selfish needs for love.

The father who says to his wife that we must let our child
have her way because, if we donít, she will not love us, is
not parenting, because he is not taking responsibility for
his child. Extrapolating from this behavior, it can be
said that the parent who refuses to set limits and
consequences for the child because he or she fears being
branded the bad guy and losing the child's love, is, not
only shirking their fatherly or motherly responsibility,
but is showing a lack of adult maturity. These people are
not really adults, never mind parents, and are apt to raise
children who, lacking proper boundaries, have difficulty
making decisions and achieving adult goals.

By not making the tough decisions, such caregivers have
chosen to raise children, not for what they can give their
children, but for what their children can give them. From
this perspective these mothers and fathers are not proper
parenting at all, but people attempting to get from their
children what they failed to receive from their own mothers
and fathers who lacked successful parenting skills.

Summarizing the definition of parent (father, mother, child
caregiver), from the proper parenting perspective:


  • Proper parenting is characterized more by learned
    successful parenting skills and loving actions of mothers
    and fathers toward their children than it is by just having
    loving feelings, alone, for their children. A loving
    feeling is not enough.

  • Love for one's child, without proper parenting on behalf
    of the child, corroborating that love, is not love at all,
    but a love fantasy because it does not serve the child,
    but, only the parent.


Successful parenting skills are those goals mothers and
fathers strive for but frequently prove challenging to fully
achieve. Some of the successful parenting skills needed in
proper parenting are the following:


  1. Unconditional love

  2. Parenting with love and logical consequences.

  3. Positive parenting.

  4. Regular communication with your child's teacher and
    seeing to it he develops good study skills.

  5. Seeking counseling when parents feel challenged.

  6. Remembering the importance of play and humor when
    interacting with your child and in your own life.

  7. Taking the time to pat yourself on the back for trying
    your best.


A partial summary of proper a parenting plan, characterized by
successful parenting skills, is as follows:


  • Develop a proper parenting plan and communicate this
    plan to your children.

  • Formulate a list of child behavior expectations and
    consequences.

  • Have your child participate in the process as is appropriate for her age.

  • Communicate and role play these expectations to your
    child.

  • Make sure your child understands these expectations by
    having him explain them and perform them.

  • When a child performs an expectation incorrectly or
    misbehaves, instead of criticizing him, role play it the
    correct way. Then as he performs it, praise him for each
    part he does correctly. This is an example of successful
    parenting skills.

  • Learn to praise the many things your child does
    correctly. For every negative comment, be sure you find
    three or more positive things to say to your child.

  • Never lose self-control. Plan for power struggles by
    not taking yourself too seriously, redirecting behavior
    before it gets out of control, switching places with your
    spouse, taking a time out, getting upset before you are
    really upset, seeing the humor in the situation.

  • Consistency in adhering to the expectations and
    consequences you've communicated to your child is the key to
    transforming her negative behavior into positive behavior.

  • Again praise your child for what he already performs
    well, when he improves at something and when he genuinely
    tries.

  • Always give a reason for the praise or describe the
    praiseworthy behavior as follows: "I like the way you picked
    up every toy in your bedroom, even the ones under your bed,
    and put them all neatly in the toy box."


Proper parenting with successful parenting skills may be the
most difficult job on the planet. Some of the exterior
factors that make proper parenting so challenging are:


  1. Even with both spouses working today families have
    $1,500 less discretionary income than 30 years ago.
    Financial pressures interfere with proper parenting.

  2. Successful parenting skills for proper parenting require
    time to learn. Making time for children is a challenge
    since many spouses, and single parents in particular, are
    unable to get the time off from work to be with their
    children.

  3. Government pays lip service to making our children a
    priority, but government has not followed up by helping
    families out.


We end proper parenting with an enlightening article, by Dana
Polk,
that sheds light on this successful parenting skills'
challenge:


"Thousands of additional children will pour into
California's child care system in the next few years, as
welfare reform requires their parents to get jobs. This
increased demand is stepping up debate about what role the
government should play to ensure the availability of high
quality, affordable child care. The experiences of other
countries offer a different perspective on the issue ó
especially countries where residents take it for granted
that child care is a public service available to all
families.

"Swedes," for example, "see as important the concept that
the state plays a role to help the family grow and
prosper," says Ken Jaffe, director of the International
Child Resource Institute. "Child care is considered a
necessity for the economic and social survival of the
country, and there is more universal availability of child
care. Every neighborhood has a center," regulated by
national standards.

The Swedish government also helps fund child care by
parents. It pays 80 per cent of a parent's salary for up to
a year after the birth of a child. Either parent may take
time off or they may divide the time between them. "You
almost never find a child under one year old in child
care," Jaffe says. Swedish parents are also allowed to take
up to 60 days off per year at 80 percent of their salary to
care for a sick child.

Vacation pay is also mandatory, "based on the concept that
recreation with the family is very important," Jaffe says.

Swedish businesses pay more in taxes to support social
services, but the overall tax structure in Sweden is not
much higher than America's. In addition to generous child
care programs and parent insurance, Swedes receive
subsidized health care.

"Swedes pay a maximum tax of 50 percent and we pay a
maximum tax of 42 percent," says Jaffe. "But Swedes get
much more for their tax money."

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