People who make the best parents often display these 9 unique behaviors

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Parenting is tough, isn’t it? It has this uncanny ability to bring out both the best and the worst in us, often in the same breath. 

As a mom, I’ve seen it in myself — I’ve had those moments when I’m simultaneously at my wit’s end and my heart’s fullest. I’d like to think that I’m doing a great job but I’d also be the first to admit that I’ve had a lot of mistakes. 

Fortunately, I’ve got fantastic examples of exceptional parents around me, in my friends and family. And watching how they behave has inspired me in so many ways. 

The best parents are those who understand their child’s needs and respond to them in the healthiest possible way. And it’s no secret that there are particular behaviors that can help make this happen.

In this article, I’m going to share the 9 unique behaviors often displayed by people who make the best parents. Hopefully, this might be as helpful for you as it was for me. 

1) Active listening

First up, parenting isn’t just about guiding – it’s also about learning from your children.

The best parents know the importance of active listening. They understand that their children, no matter how young, have their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

So take a moment to consider this: When your child is speaking to you, do you just pretend to listen while you’re actually thinking about something else? Or do you actually listen? There’s a world of difference between the two.

Active listening involves not just hearing the words your child is saying, but also understanding the emotions and intentions behind them. It’s about showing empathy and making your child feel heard.

This behavior sends your child the message that their thoughts and feelings matter. The happy result of that is that they develop confidence and self-esteem.

2) Consistency is key

We’ve all heard it before – consistency is key. But I’ve personally found that this rings especially true in parenting.

Years ago, when my son was just a toddler, he had a habit of throwing his toys when he was upset. It was a behavior I wanted to discourage, so I told him calmly but firmly that we don’t throw things when we’re angry. He looked at me, puzzled, but stopped throwing.

The next day, he did it again. Once more, I reminded him of the rule. And again, he stopped.

Fast forward a few weeks, the toy throwing had stopped completely. The consistency paid off. He’d learned that there were better ways to express his frustration.

The best parents understand the power of consistency in setting boundaries and rules

You see, children thrive on stability and predictability. They need to know what’s expected of them and what the consequences are if they step out of line.

However, being consistent doesn’t mean being inflexible – you still need to adapt to changing circumstances and know when exceptions can be made.

The best parents know that it’s ultimately about balance. How to nail that perfect balance? Again, it comes down to knowing your child very well. 

The more you know your child, the better you can choose the response they need at that moment. 

3) Nurturing independence

One of the toughest things about parenting is letting go, allowing your child to make their own choices, and make their own mistakes. That’s a concept that the best parents fully understand. 

Research backs that up as well. Studies show that children who were taught to make decisions independently from an early age were more likely to succeed in life. 

They were better decision-makers, had higher self-esteem, and were more resilient in the face of challenges.

If you want to be the best parent you can be for your child, gradually give them more autonomy. Choose to guide rather than control. Offer choices instead of commands and encourage problem-solving instead of solving all problems for them.

4) Show unconditional love

One of the most powerful characteristics of great parents is their ability to show unconditional love to their children.

Unconditional love doesn’t mean that you agree with everything your child does, though. 

As a parent, you might not always like their behavior or decisions. But what it does mean is that your love for your child isn’t based on their actions or performance.

The best parents make it a point to express their love consistently and openly. They say “I love you,” dole out hugs and kisses, and take the time to engage in activities that their child enjoys. 

These expressions of love go a long way in building a child’s self-esteem and emotional security.

Because the truth is, children need to know they’re loved for who they are, not what they do. Their value should never be tied to their achievements or behaviors – it should be inherent in their existence.

By showing unconditional love, you’re not just raising a child; you’re nurturing a person who will grow up knowing that they are loved, they matter, and they have worth – irrespective of what they do or don’t achieve.

5) Practice patience

Let’s face it, parenting can test your patience like nothing else. Whether it’s dealing with a tantrum-throwing toddler or a rebellious teenager, there will be moments when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope.

The best parents, however, understand the importance of patience. They know that children are still learning and growing, and making mistakes is part of that process.

Practicing patience means taking a deep breath when things go wrong and handling the situation calmly. It means not reacting impulsively, but instead responding in a way that teaches your child how to deal with challenges effectively.

Now, being patient doesn’t mean letting your child get away with everything. It’s about managing your own emotions so that you can guide your child’s behavior effectively.

I know it’s tough to stay calm all the time, but it’s a behavior that can make a huge difference in your child’s life. It shows them that even when things are tough, they can count on you to be their calm in the storm.

Plus, you’d be modeling emotional regulation as well!

6) Embrace their individuality

Every child is unique, with their own personalities, interests, and talents. And one of the most beautiful aspects of parenting is watching your child discover who they are.

The best parents not only acknowledge but celebrate their child’s individuality. What exactly does that involve? Simply this – giving them the space to: 

  • Explore their interests
  • Express themselves creatively
  • Find their own path in life

These parents understand that their role isn’t to mold their child into a mini version of themselves, but to support them in becoming the best version of who they are meant to be.

It’s a heartfelt journey that requires understanding, acceptance, and sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone. But it’s worth every single moment. 

Because seeing your child grow into a confident, content individual who is true to themselves – there’s nothing quite like it.

7) Lead by example

“Actions speak louder than words” is a phrase we’ve all heard, and it couldn’t be more accurate, especially when it comes to parenting.

Remember, children are always watching and learning from us. It’s not just about what we tell them; it’s about what we show them through our actions.

I remember when my son first started school. He was nervous and apprehensive about the change. I reassured him and told him it was okay to be nervous and that being brave was not about not being scared but about facing your fears.

A few weeks later, I had to give a presentation at work. It was a big deal for me, and I was nervous. My son noticed and asked me about it. I admitted I was scared, but I was going to do it anyway.

And you know what? The next day, he excitedly told me how he’d volunteered to sing a song in front of his class, even though it scared him. He said he remembered what I’d told him about bravery – but more importantly, he’d seen me live it out.

The best parents understand that they are their child’s first and most influential role model. 

They know that their actions carry more weight than their words, which is why they strive to display the values and behaviors they hope their child will adopt.

8) Open communication

Another cornerstone of good parenting is maintaining open lines of communication with your child. 

This involves more than just talking about day-to-day activities. It means creating a safe space where your child feels comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

The best parents make it a point to have regular heart-to-heart talks with their kids. They ask about their child’s hopes, fears, dreams, and challenges. They listen empathetically and offer guidance without judgment.

By fostering open communication, you are not only building a strong parent-child relationship but also teaching your child valuable interpersonal skills that they will carry into adulthood.

9) Practice self-care

Finally, a word about self-care because there seems to be a misconception that the best parents are always self-sacrificing. 

Here’s the thing – you can’t pour from an empty cup. Being a great parent doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own well-being. In fact, taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.

Great parents understand that they need to be at their best to give their best. They make time for self-care, whether it’s a quick workout, a quiet cup of coffee in the morning, or a night out with friends.

Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health isn’t selfish; it’s necessary. It replenishes you and enables you to be more present, patient, and effective as a parent.

Besides, as I mentioned earlier, your child is watching and learning from you. How will they know to take care of themselves if they don’t see you doing it, right? 

Final thoughts

As you can see, excellent parenting is all about actions more than words. Our children reflect what they see around them. 

In the words of renowned child psychologist Haim Ginott: “Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.”

As parents, our actions and behaviors are those ‘impressions. We have the power to shape these young minds into compassionate, confident, and conscientious adults.

So let’s strive to be the best we can be – for us and for them. Because in the end, our children will not remember every word we said but how we made them feel. 

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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