What Is Effective Parenting?
Ever wondered if you’re parenting your child effectively, in such a way that impacts him/her positively? Today, unlike previous generations, parenting isn’t just about sustaining your child’s basic needs, but also ensuring he/she has a safe environment and is nurtured towards positive behaviours and more. How then can you tell if you’re being an effective parent?
Parenting requires being committed to equipping your child with necessary skills and needs to enable him/her to develop his/her potential and more. Ineffective parenting can lead to your child having some serious vulnerabilities. Our own parenting approach might be hazy and guided by how we’ve been parented plus a few books, online articles or even from Google searches! While we have a consensus on what ad parenting looks like, how do we know our own parenting is effective for nurturing our child’s physical, social, emotional needs and more?
According to parenting and early childhood expert Barbara E. Harvey, effective parenting can be defined as “the ability to interact and engage with children in such a way that they learn and grow into remarkable adults. It takes daily effort to connect with children on a meaningful and personal level.” Given this definition, effective parenting be just spending quality time with the child. However, there is more to effective parenting than quality time.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2001) has identified a set of core behaviours that demonstrate effective parenting across cultures and economic groups. These behaviours nurture children’s development from infancy to adolescence and can be said to be the parenting “best practices”. They include:
- Nurturing and affection
Effective parents demonstrate caring by meeting their child’s basic and emotional needs.
- Attentiveness, Engagement & Responsiveness
Effective parents participate in their child’s life.
- Reliability & Consistency
Effective parents can be counted on to not only respond to their child’s needs, but to also demonstrate steadiness and constancy in their expectations, words, and actions over time.
- Monitoring, Mentoring & Modelling
Effective parents pay attention to their child’s behaviour, encourage desired behaviours, and provide a consistent, positive example for their child.
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