After those terrible, horrible, no-good very bad days of parenting -- days full of diaper explosions and missed naps -- it can be easy to feel like you're not doing anything right. You're not alone. Most people experience parenting as a quicksand of frustration, disappointment and bewilderment. Just remember that even though you are not a perfect parent, you can always cultivate qualities that will ensure you're a good one.
According to parenting expert Amy McCready of the website Positive Parenting Solutions, children respond better to invitations and positivity than demands. It is critical that parents are patient with their children and do not lose their composure during stressful events. While it is not realistic to suggest that you will never get angry or irritated -- particularly when dinner is burning on the stove because you've got to fish the remote out of the toilet again -- you can be aware of your own emotions and avoid blaming a bad day on your kids.
Half of parenting is showing up. If you work long hours, are emotionally distant, or don't make time for family activities, it is unlikely you will be able to build a strong relationship with your child. You might be tired of hearing about Spider-Man or Justin Bieber, but just letting your kids prattle on about what they love is important. It establishes a rapport and lets them know you are available. You might not have a quick fix for a child's problems, but sometimes just talking about it helps.
Healthy child-parent relationships come from the sense of unconditional love. You should always remind your children that they are wanted, respected and appreciated. It is particularly important to reassure children who are in trouble for misbehaving that despite the fact that their actions are inappropriate, they are still loved. Even when you might be ready to rip out your hair, you love your kid and they deserve to know that.
The importance of the parent-child connection is not simply jargon spouted by parenting bloggers or advice columnists the world over. It is supported by scientific findings. According to the August 2005 issue of Current Opinion in Pediatrics, the parent-child connection that is established early can have a protective effect later in a child's life, and reduces the risky behavior of adolescents.