Parenting is a skillful process. Yes we call it a process. This process continues for years till the child attains adulthood and beyond. We will discuss key parenting skills here in this blogpost.
What is the goal of parenting skills?
Well, parenting skills are an appropriate skill in the process of child rearing. Goal of parenting skills is attaining the adequate and desired development of the children.
Parenting skills often help parents in developing their children into healthy adulthood, influencing their development, and maintaining their negative and positive behaviors.
The cognitive potential, social skills, and behavioral functioning a child acquires during the early years are fundamentally dependent on the quality of their interactions with their parents.
Canadian Council on Learning says that children benefit (avoid poor developmental outcomes) when their parents:
Communicate the truth:
Communicate truthfully about events, because authenticity from parents who explain and help their children understand what happens and how they are involved.
Maintain consistency: Parents that regularly institute routines; see benefits in their children’s behavioral patterns.
Utilize resources available to them, reaching out into the community and building a supportive social network.
Take an interest
Take an interest in their child’s educational and early developmental needs (e.g., Play that enhances socialization, autonomy, cohesion, calmness, and trust.) and
Keep open communication
Keep open communication lines about what their child is seeing, learning, and doing, and how these things are affecting them.
Are parenting skills naturally present in all parents?
You may think that parents do possess adequate parenting skills. It is far from the truth. All the parents do not know correct parenting methods. We often learn in childhood from our own parents. You may have experienced perfect parenthood from your parents or you may not.
Wrong parenting practices in your childhood may influence how you deal with your own children. Parents with wrong parenthood in their own childhood may lead to a wrong behaviour and wrong child rearing practices for their own children.
Parents may be extremely busy at work all the time leading to neglect or marital problems separation and devorce and death may influence the children. Parents addicted to substances may influence the children in a wrong way.
Parents with criminal background and parents who spent jail terms may influence the child rearing practices.
Which are key parenting skills?
Research classifies competence and skills required in parenting as follows:
- Parent-child relationship skills: quality time spent, positive communications, and delighted show of affection. Every child needs the love of parents. They need attention from their parents. This process needs time that we spend with our child. Children are delighted when we show love and affection towards them. They just need someone to communicate their joy and emotions. We should give some time daily to communicate with the children.
- Encouraging desirable behavior: praise and encouragement, nonverbal attention, facilitating engaging activities. Encouraging desirable behaviour automatically helps in discouraging the undesired ones. Children should be taught desired behaviours by engaging them in activities which encourage the desired behaviour. If you want your child to be polite you should give some gift if he/she is polite in the desired situation. Punishment will always backfire with opposite effects. Positive reinforcement is the best reform in educating children.
- Teaching skills and behaviors: being a good example, incidental teaching, human communication of the skill with role-playing and other methods, communicating logical incentives and consequences.
- Managing misbehavior: establishing firm ground rules and limits, directing discussion, providing clear and calm instructions, communicating and enforcing appropriate consequences, using restrictive tactics like quiet time and time out with an authoritative stance rather than an authoritarian one.
- Anticipating and planning: advanced planning and preparation for readying the child for challenges, finding out engaging and age-appropriate developmental activities, preparing the token economy for self-management practice with guidance, holding follow-up discussions, identifying possible negative developmental trajectories.
- Self-regulation skills: monitoring behaviors (own and children’s), setting developmentally appropriate goals, evaluating strengths and weaknesses and setting practice tasks, monitoring and preventing internalizing and externalizing behaviors.
- Mood and coping skills: reframing and discouraging unhelpful thoughts (diversions, goal orientation, and mindfulness), stress and tension management (own and children’s), developing personal coping statements and plans for high-risk situations, building mutual respect and consideration between members of the family through collaborative activities and rituals.
- Partner support skills: improving personal communication, giving and receiving constructive feedback and support, avoiding negative family interaction styles, supporting and finding hope in problems for adaptation, leading collaborative problem solving, promoting relationship happiness and cordiality.