How to Enhance Parenting Skills

Practical tips for parenting children of all ages and stages.


Parenting, Family
Mother and child embrace

(Liderina / Shutterstock)

Parenting is one of the most meaningful roles a person can have during their lifetime. The all- encompassing nature of the job is unparalleled, as is the fact that there’s no manual or rule book to serve as a guide through this lifelong journey. In fact, every child is unique, with their own likes, dislikes, thoughts, dreams and talents.

There are, however, a few general concepts that can be applied to most parent-child relationships. Learning to enhance their parenting skills can help allow people to experience the joy of parenting every day.

Actively listening to children
Attentive listening is important for many reasons, Childhood 101 reports. Not only does it strengthen the parent-child bond, it also opens the lines of communication and shows children that they can turn to their parents with all of their needs.

As the saying goes, little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems. And whether that’s true or not, parents want their kids to know that they will always be there to support them, at every age and at every stage of their development.

Listening, really listening, requires parents to be present and fully committed to the experience, with no agenda. Aha Parenting recommends asking non judgemental questions that require real answers, and being careful not to jump to conclusions or offer advice. Even when children are just learning how to talk, when parents demonstrate interest in what they have to say, that can go a long way and can encourage kids to continue sharing their inner world.

Tuning into feelings
Let’s face it, these little bundles of joy can sometimes be a bundle of tantrums, which is fine as long as it is a part of their healthy emotional and psychological development. At the same time, parents need to find a way to manage their own thoughts and feelings to ensure they stay objective and not reactive.

As the Zero to Three parenting platform reports, the key to positive and effective parenting is managing emotions. The way to do this, they explain, is for parents to first tune into their own feelings. For example, if a child is having a tantrum, if a parent were to tune into their feelings they may notice that they are feeling stressed, worried about how long the tantrum will last and unsure what the best response would be.

Once parents notice and are aware of those feelings, they can then take a deep breath, promise to take care of themselves later, and for the moment deal with the practical aspect of the tantrum at hand. 

By paying attention and allowing themselves to check in with their feelings, parents take care of their own needs in addition to caring for their children and in the long run this kind of self-care helps people to become better parents.  

Which Parenting Style Are You? [Quiz]
7 Ways to Boost Kids’ Wellbeing
5 Reasons Why Family Meals are Good for Parents Too