What makes a good parent? I’m afraid, for most parents, it depends on just a few factors. The first will be how they were parented. If they feel their parents did just fine, they probably feel they know all there is to know about parenting because they just need to do what their parents did.
Another major factor involved in parenting is the amount of education the parents have, and very possibly the amount of education their parents had. Lack of education leads to a lack of seeking knowledge. Seeking knowledge is one of my keys to good parenting, and so many parents don’t have enough education to know there is so much more they need to learn. They think they are just fine, they are just like the first group, they will parent like their parents did.
Another group of parents have at least enough interest to involve friends and neighbors. They get together and take their kids to activities, share what’s working in their house, or share what they may have just read. Nothing wrong with this. Parents getting together and doing things with their kids is great. Sharing knowledge, while engaging the kids in activities, is far better than thinking you know everything there is to know about parenting. My wife was like this, she loved to socialize, and she loved her girls, so she combined the two.
Myself, I took a slightly different path. I had well educated parents, so i know that worked in my favor. In fact, always seeking knowledge, was something I learned from my mom. There was also no lack of love in my family. Love is my second key factor in good parenting. I grew up with plenty of that. Our Christmas gathering a few days ago was evidence of that, a house full of family and love.
So whether it was a feeling that i could do better than my parents did, or whether it was just the feeling that I always needed to search for knowledge, not real sure. But seek knowledge I did. I felt that parenting might just be the most important thing I ever did in my life, I wanted to be the best I could be. That, and every time I held one of my daughters in my arms, I knew I wanted to give her the best chance of success in this world that I could give her.
There are a lot of very good parents that are doing things just like their parents did. There are also a lot of good parents out there that actually make an effort to learn from their friends. Then there are those of us that just devour information. We read all the books. We attend seminars and buy the CD packet. We visit parenting forums, learn from others and share what we just learned. Several times a month a parenting magazine arrives in the mail box, in between all the magazines our kids receive. Parents that always seek knowledge want to pass that on to their kids at an early age, magazines do a great job of that. Plus, when a child sees their name on a magazine, now that’s a self-esteem booster.
There are plenty of good parents out there, and believe me, I appreciate them all. They will raise far more productive children than will the overabundance of poor parents. Then there are great parents, they are the ones with a ton of love in their hearts and an ever present need to always seek knowledge.