Parenthood is an incredible journey full of joys, challenges and countless responsibilities. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising a child, developing healthy parenting habits can provide a strong foundation for both you and your child. From providing emotional support to establishing clear boundaries, healthy parenting practices can have a positive impact on your child’s development and overall well-being. These are beneficial not only for your baby’s well-being but also for your own. When you cultivate healthy parenting practices, you are more likely to experience less stress, improved communication, and stronger relationships with your children. So, let’s dive into some essential healthy parenting habits that every parent should aim to cultivate. (Also read: Parenting Tips: 5 Things You Should Never Say To Your Child )
Certified parenting coach Rachel Rogers shared in her Instagram post, The Seven Habits of Healthy Parenting.
1. Modeling emotional regulation
Emotions and impulse control do not develop in our mid-twenties. Therefore, the best way to teach a child to be calm is to model being calm in stressful, scary or frustrating situations. When we, as parents and caregivers, teach our children emotional regulation, we simultaneously teach our children how to do the same. It is important to remember that children imitate what is modeled and not what is demanded.
2. Providing security emotionally and physically
Keeping children physically safe is only the first step in healthy parenting. Providing emotional and relational security to our children is just as important. It’s important to let our children feel whatever they feel, no matter how intense, without judgment or criticism. Later, when they are calmer, we can teach them ways to express those feelings in healthy ways if necessary.
3. Looking down on our child’s behavior
All behavior communicates a need. Your teen isn’t being hard on you; Instead, they are struggling. Babies also communicate their needs through body and emotions. They do not communicate through reason or logic, in fact, logical and sound decision-making skills will not be consistent until they are in their mid-twenties, therefore, looking below the behavior is essential for healthy parenting.
4. Communicating feelings and needs
When parents or caregivers communicate their feelings and needs to their children, they are providing an important example for their children to follow. Children often imitate the behavior and communication styles of the adults around them, and by modeling healthy emotional and relational habits, parents can help their children learn to communicate effectively and recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships.
5. Put the child’s needs before the opinions of others
When a child misbehaves in public or around others, parents or caregivers have a decision to make: to prioritize the needs of the child or to please and satisfy the opinions of those around them. However, it is important to recognize that responsibility for a child’s behavior lies with the parent or caregiver, and not with the opinions of others. Addressing a child’s needs in a public environment can be challenging, but it is important to prioritize the child’s best interests and not give in to external pressure. Ultimately, the child’s behavior is the responsibility of the parent or caregiver, and they should focus on what is best for the child at that moment rather than trying to please others.
6. Deconditioning from harsh parenting
If a person has caregivers who use threatening, aggressive, or controlling tactics to influence their behavior, they may unconsciously adopt the same parenting approach as children repeat the behaviors they observe. If their role models exhibit harsh or unstable behavior, they may need to break those patterns and learn healthy parenting strategies.
7. Aim to stay grounded and connected
By referring to “goals,” it means that people with reactive parents may have to work hard to become emotionally grounded and maintain that status.
Here’s an easy grounding exercise:
- Close your eyes
- Pay attention to how the seat feels against your body
- How does the ground feel under your feet?
- How does the air feel in the room?
- What can you hear, smell or taste?
- Now take some deep breaths