13 Ways How You can be a Kick Ass Parent.

Every family craves a healthy relationship with each other. We all want to be positive parents to our kids. But often times, we tend to forget the long-term goals. Relationships are earned and achieved. There is a lot of hard work involved. Just because you have a child doesn't mean that you are fulfilling your duties. Being a positive parent is a challenge that every parent should dare to take. Instead of focusing on being the perfect parent, foster an authentic relationship with your children. Don't hide behind illusions of perfect parenting. There is no such thing. There are ups and downs in every relationship and show that to your child. Strengthen communication and show YOURSELF that you can be one hell of a kick-ass parent. 

1. ALWAYS compliment your child. There are so many times when we forget to compliment our own children. In today's day and age where self-confidence and body confidence is as important as breathing air, often, with our daily lifestyle, we tend to ignore the main factor that boosts happiness in the life of our child. We tend to compare them with other children rather than just compliment them on their looks or their efforts.

2. Get outside your comfort zone and get creative. If you keep beating yourself for the fact that the house isn't clean or you haven't done the laundry, you will never be able to create the most amazing memories with your child. Think outside the box and get creative. Forget doing things the conventional way. Pinterest the shit out of creativity and do what makes your child have fun. Let them paint whatever they want. Let them draw whatever they want to draw. Take a hammer and some ice cubes and just smash them while having fun. Not only you're going to develop their motor skills but also let them have fun with it!

3. Really really put your phone down. There are so many days when whilst I am browsing through my phone, I shun my child away. He comes to me with toys and asks me to play and all I tell him is 'mummy is working.' It kills my heart when he walks away dejected. I have made it a point where I have fixed my phone hours and I spend my time with him. Switch it to silent. Your messages can wait. Your calls can wait. Your Instagram can wait.

4. ALWAYS be honest with your child. So often, we lie to our kids about where we are going or where we have hidden the candy (cue tantrums). But when we lie to them, they think it is okay to lie as well. They think that its okay to falsify details. Be honest with them. Tell them the truth. I have seen so much difference in my son when I tell him the truth about where I am going. If I am off with friends, I tell him that. If he wants something really badly, I try and reason with him and that honestly works.

5. Make them do chores around the house. Instill a sense of responsibility in them. Make them do basic things around the house so that they don't take you for granted all the time. Putting their own shoes/bags/clothes back, helping with laundry, tidying up their own room, washing the dishes. Make them help you. For older kids, give them pocket money for doing bigger chores like mowing the lawn or clearing out the driveway or washing the car (I had the best times with my dad while washing out cars. Do people still do that?)

6. Don't yell at your child in front of their siblings. I hated my sisters while growing up. Every time they used to rat me out, my mum would just start yelling at me in front of them. If you wanna discipline a child, take them in a separate room and take action accordingly. When you scream in front of other members of the household, their confidence plummets down and sibling rivalry takes a whole new level.

7. Monitor their screen time. And if they are older, monitor their social media channels. Social media is not just a blessing but a curse as well. While there is good around, there is bad out there as well. Young boys and girls are manipulated into grooming. If you have a small child, monitor their screen time. They grow up thinking that its okay to watch too much television. With older kids, it's important to keep a check on what they are up to no matter how much you trust them. They might be bullying someone or they might be getting bullied. SO many mothers don't know what is going on in their child's life while their child is on the edge of doing something wrong.

8. Apologise to your child. We often insist that our child apologises to someone when they make a mistake. But why don't parents apologise to their kids when they make a mistake? When you realise that you have made a mistake (or in my case when your child actually points it out), own up. Say sorry. DO NOT make excuses for your behaviour and DON'T blame anyone else. Literally, own up to your mistake. This will make your child know that there is no shame in apologising and it leads to healthier relationships.

9. Talk to them and have healthy discussions. Younger kids don't even stop talking, so I am not even going to go there. Haha. But when you have children who are starting to acknowledge worldly affairs, start having healthy debates or discussions with them. Ask them about how they feel about a certain incident. What would they do if they were in that scenario? How would they tackle problems like environmental issues, political scenarios and so on. Don't force your views on them. Let them know what difference of opinion actually is and learning to accept that. Introduce them to different cultures so acceptance becomes a norm and they adapt easily.

10. Resist the urge to help your child when they are struggling. Let them handle situations themselves. Whether its a young toddler trying to stand up or an adult trying to figure out life. Don't coax them into something that you think is right. Give your opinion but also leave it free to whether they want to apply it or not. Responsibility and active decision making stems from that. They will learn how to handle similar situations in the future. They will learn to lead instead of following.

11. Read with them. Start from a very very young age. Make them know that books are as important as real life lessons. Reading not only helps them learn more but it opens up their minds. If you have an older child, tell them you found a particular article in the newspaper really interesting and would love to know their thoughts on it. Not only will they know about current affairs but like I said above, they will actively participate in healthy discussions.

12. Let them make a mess. Children are prone to be more creative when they make a mess. That means they are enjoying something. A little bit of mess might help churn their creativity out. They will learn that creativity will create a mess that they need to clean up right after. Don't bother about cleaning all the time. If you spend more hours on cleaning rather than appreciating, you might miss on their smaller achievements.

13. Don't feel guilty about saying no. There are certain rules and boundaries that need to be set in every household. Children, small or big, should know where a line should be drawn. If you think that a particular situation is not healthy for them, don't feel guilty about saying no. Ultimately, you are the parent. You may not always be right, but you certainly know what is best for your child.

Like every child is different, every parent has a different set of techniques. What may resonate with me, may not be your cuppa but everyone should try and take up on the challenge of positive parenting and be a ray of sunshine in their child's life.