Raising humans is a tough job, and it looks different for everyone. There are countless parenting skills and qualities of a good parent that aid in successful child-rearing, but that doesn’t mean you must have every single skill under the sun mastered to be a good parent.
Most parenting advice should be taken with a grain of salt, but if you ever question whether you’re on the right track, you probably are. You’re most likely a good parent if you know how to do these 12 things.
12 Parenting Skills That Mean You’re a Good Parent
Here is a list of parenting skills to work on that can help you be a good mother or parent.
Kids have a lot to say. Parents need to take the time to listen — truly, actively listen — and show interest in what’s on their kids’ minds. This parenting skill allows children to feel heard and seen and paves the path for long-term trust.
If you take the time to listen to your children and let them know that what they have to say matters, you’re a good parent.
2. Communicate in a Healthy Way
Active listening is a huge part of healthy communication, but our job as parents doesn’t stop there. Our parenting skills should include being mindful of our tone, body language, choice of words, and so forth when communicating with our children. They’ll carry the communication and relationship skills we teach them for a lifetime.
If you practice healthy, open communication with your children, you’re a good parent.
3. Lead by Example
Expecting respect, kindness, responsible decision-making, etc., is one parenting skill, but showing it all and watching it come back tenfold is another. As parents, we have the incredible opportunity to be our best selves so that our kiddos can be their best. Words are powerful, but children also need us to lead by example.
If you practice what you preach and try your best to lead by positive example, you’re a good parent.
4. Be Your Child’s Safe Space
I’ve heard that every child needs at least one adult who makes it known that they think the world of them. The world is tough enough as it is. By committing yourself to being your child’s safe space when the rest of the world is everything but that, you provide them with the calm and security every person deserves.
If you continually serve as a safe space for your children to turn to, find comfort in, and simply be exactly who they are, you’re a good parent.
5. Have Fun
As a famous saying goes, the days (and nights) may be long, but the years are so darn short. Getting caught up in the mundane routines society tells us to structure our days around can be easy, but being intentional about having fun changes everything. By enjoying your children and your inevitably limited time with them, you’re making space for happy childhood memories and grateful hearts.
If you laugh, play, make memories, and have fun with your children while you still can, you’re a good parent.
6. Apologize When an Apology is Due
Excellent parenting skills include swallowing pride and taking accountability when we mess up. Sometimes, that means apologizing to our children. And making a genuine effort to do better going forward.
If you let your children hear “I’m sorry” when appropriate and without hesitation, you’re a good parent.
7. Be Consistent
Children need consistency. Even though each of us will slip at some point, setting boundaries and aiming to create a stable environment where our children can thrive is an essential parenting skill.
If you’re consistent in a way that’s fair and loving, you’re a good parent.
8. Allow Room for Mistakes
Nobody is perfect — including children. They’re constantly learning about the world and are bound to make mistakes. Just like we all are. Allowing room for those mistakes is a critical parenting skill to ensure our children know they are loved and celebrated for who they are.
If you lovingly support your children through the ups and downs, you’re a good parent.
9. Show Compassion
Parenting forces us to see other humans for who they are at their core and beyond the surface-level emotions that can sometimes be tough to know what to do with. Kindness, understanding, and empathy can go a long way for anyone; our babies are worthy of all of it.
If you show compassion to your children and try to see things from their point of view, you’re a good parent.
10. Be Willing To Grow
Breaking generational cycles is a trend in modern-day parenting. To do better than previous generations, we must be willing to constantly learn, grow, and do things differently than we or generations before us have done. Parenting isn’t just about raising children. In many ways, it’s about raising ourselves alongside them.
If you’re willing to grow as a person alongside your children in your parenting journey, you’re a good parent.
11. Love Unconditionally
Every one of the parenting skills on this list is only possible by first practicing the greatest skill of all: the ability to love unconditionally. Children must know they don’t have to “earn” your love. Instead, it’s already (and always) there.
If you love your kiddos unconditionally, regardless of any mishaps or tribulations that may come, you’re a good parent.
12. Give Yourself Grace
In figuring out how to be a good mother, we can do a lot for our babies, but we can’t do everything. None of us can. Honing the parenting skills that matter requires us to give ourselves grace.
If you show up for your children daily, love deeply, parent joyfully, and give yourself grace, trust me . . . you’re a good parent.
If the parenting skills here matter far more to you than those such as time management of sports and extracurriculars, Pinterest-perfect birthday parties, and mastering by-the-book baby sleep schedules, then you’re doing an excellent job. And you’re a good parent.