Too often in society parents look at the news, TV shows, and even the newspapers and magazines, and model their Parenting after what they think the majority of society does. If we all know that you shouldn’t “believe everything you see and read”, then what makes a good parent? We need to first distinguish a few key terms. If the biological parents are the two beings (male and female combined) who conceived a child, then a parent is either the mother or father. Going even further, we can distinguish a mother and father as the primary nurturing adults who raise a child.
This could be anything from a foster parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, etc., as long as they are the primary nurturing adults. If these are the characteristics of a mother and father figure, then the same can be said about the definition of a parent (not to be confused with a biological parent). Since we know what a parent is, the primary nurturing adult who raises a child, we’re one step closer to defining what a good parent is. Let’s first identify what a good parent is not.
The following is a brainstorm of what a good parent is not: abusive (physical or verbal), non-nurturing, uncaring, uncompassionate, uninvolved in the child’s life, etc., our list could go on and on. There are other very subtle things that a parent could do that would place them in the category of not being a good parent. Not taking the time to check-up on your child daily and see how they are physically and emotionally doing, would be one example. We’ve already started to talk about what a good parent is (by using the opposite of what a good parent is not), but let’s break this up into two parts – what is a good mother figure, and what is a good father figure.
The majority of mother figures in our society (putting aside the increase in single-parents every year), nurturing their children in the areas of self-esteem. They are always there to listen to their children and offer supportive comments and constructive criticism when requested. Mother figures are typically the ones that can read a child’s non-verbal cues very well and identify when there is a problem or an area in their child’s life that needs more attention. When a child has a dream or aspiration in there life, the mother figure is the one to help support them in reaching their goals.
Throughout parenting “history”, a lot of the weight of caring for a child’s overall needs is the responsibility of the mother figure, then again, it’s should be no surprise since mothers have excellent maternal instincts. Father figures also play a very significant role in a child’s life, and is an equally important component to what makes a good parent. Children look up to their fathers for discipline and attention. Therefore, its important for the father figures to spend quality time with their children and be genuinely interested and concerned of the activities that they engage in.
Another noteworthy role that the father figures have is to offer a sense of security. Children want to know that their family is intact and that they are in a safe loving environment. Since males have the dominant role in the family relationship, these very significant roles are the responsibility of the father figures. So, what is a good parent? Good parents are the primary nurturing adults who raise a child. They are nurturing in areas of self-esteem, giving attention to their needs, helping them to pursue there dreams and reach their goals, are genuinely interested in their activities, and offer a sense of security. Good parents are not abusive, uncaring, uncompassionate and non-involved in their child’s life.
All parents make mistakes from time to time. If they didn’t, I think there’d be cause for concern. Mother and father figures need to make more than just an everyday effort at being a good parent – it’s a lifelong commitment. It seems that the qualities of a good parent are common knowledge, but there are enough stories every day in a society that would elude us otherwise. All parents need to consistently reevaluate how the part they play as a role model to their children stands up to the definition of a good parent.