Many of the social misfits were brought up in broken families or where parents failed in their parenting duty (Brooks, 2010). It was proved that if parents would take their role with the seriousness it deserves, and fulfill all their parenting duties, the world would be a better place to live in. Various definitions of a good parent have been put forward. Many parents have misconceived ideas of what it means to be a good parent. Some people think that providing their children with love and luxuries is what qualifies them to be good parents. Others think that being over-strict with their children and punishing them at the slightest error will give the children moral values. All this is force. There is a notion that mothers make better parents which is enshrined in many countries laws since in case of divorce the custody of a child is in many cases given to the mother. Studies have proved the notion to be a fallacy (Brooks, 2010). The success of a child in later life as well as his/her moral character largely depends on the foundation given to them by their parents. Experts however concur that a parent’s role in their child’s life goes beyond provision of necessities and affection (Kerby, 2008). So, what then makes a good parent?
Provision of Necessities
It is the duty of the parent to ensure that their children are well provided for. The parent must provide the basic needs of the child, and must also strive to provide the child with luxuries (Brooks, 2010). It is however important for the parent not to provide too much, to the extent that the child becomes spoiled. In affluent families parents must make sure that their wealth does not impact the child negatively and that they have a sense of money. Parents must make sure that the possesions are not a source of detroliation of the child‘s character; parents should also be attentive to the child and control if he/she does not become too lazy or haughty.
Love and Affection
For one to be classified as a successful parent, he/she must provide their children with the love and affection the child needs. The affection above mentioned must be expressed physically, this will improve the child’s confidence, as they will feel loved (Kerby, 2008). The child must understand that parents accept them as they are and that they need him or her. The parent must strive to spend quality time with the child. He/she must cultivate a sense of friendship with the child. The parent must be actively involved in the life of the child and must be attentive to note any signs of stress in a child. When such signs appear, it is parents’ task to give advice to the child and give them a shoulder to lean on. Parents must give the child a way to manage emotional difficulties.
Imparting Character in the Child
It is of utmost importance for the parent to impart morals and character in the child. The first and most important way for them to do this is by leading an example (Charles, 1999). It is important to maintain a healthy relationship with the people around them and with their spouse. This will give the child a notion of being in an ideal family and make them work towards harmony with the people they interact with. The parent also needs to support the child’s spiritual development by participating and involving the child in religious activities.
Another way that the parent can help to develop the child’s character is giving them independence and autonomy (Charles, 1999). This will encourage the child to think critically and promote a sense of self reliance and self sufficiency. The parent also needs to provide the child with life skills that will enable them to live in harmony with the world around them.
Educating the Child
The parent has a role of providing education for the child. It is parents’ duty to provide them with educational opportunities. It is also their duty to look for ways in which the child can gain extra knowledge apart from the knowledge they get at school. The parent can do this by providing the child with educational mediums such as books, internet and so on.
A good parent must provide a child with security from any harm (Brooks, 2010). They must take care if the child is protected from abuse by anybody and that they are as secure as the parent can afford. The child must also be protected from diseases and be encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition, regular exercise and other healthy habits.
A parent should monitor their child’s behavior and give advices to them when they do something wrong (Brooks, 2010). It is important that the parent exhausts all positive reinforcement of behavior methods before resulting to punishment. The punishment should be equivalent to the mistake and should neither be too severe nor too soft (Kerby, 2008). The punishment should be imparted soon after discovery of the mistake committed.
While many people find parenting hard, it can be simple and enjoyable depending on how the parent in question takes it. If parents provide for the material needs of their children, give them emotional support and care, equip the child with moral values and education, then they can be classified as a good parents. Parents who fails to do this not only fail in their moral and societal obligations, but participate in creating a being who is either ill-equipped to fit in the society or unfit to be in the society altogether.