Parenting is an important part of loving and
caring for your child. Good parenting is about providing a warm,
secure home life, helping your child to learn the rules of life
(e.g. how to share, respecting others, etc.) and to develop good
self-esteem. You may have to stop them from doing things they
shouldn't be doing, but it is just as important to encourage them
to do the things you do want them to do.
Why is parenting important?
Rules are an important part of everyday life. They make it
possible for us to get along with one another. If children do not
learn how to behave, they will find it difficult to get on, both
with grown-ups and with other children. They will find it hard to
learn at school, will misbehave and will probably become unhappy
"It’s only in the last year or so that I began to think that a
family could be a good place to be…a home. I’m the eldest, and I
took a lot of my Dad’s fury – or just being pissed which is what it
often was. I know my Mum wasn’t always a saint – she could really
wind him up - in fact she does it to me sometimes and then I get
terrified that I’ll react like him.
Anyway sometimes they would just argue and shout...but then I’d
seen what he could do when he loses it…I had to take Mum to
hospital once and it was just horrible. In fact I remember being
amazed how she looked almost normal when they’d cleaned her up. But
seeing it or even worse just hearing it was … don’t know ... I
couldn’t bear it, and I wanted to kill him. I couldn’t I know –
even if I was strong enough – so I just used to hold onto the
little ones and sort of hide with them till it was over.
But it did get so I didn’t want to go home after school ... so
I’d stay out late sometimes with my mates. Then my Mum started
saying I was just like him. That was the worst time ever.
Then he left and things sort of calmed down, but I was still
scared I’d be the same. Then we had this counsellor who talked to
my Mum, and me and the kids together. Somehow it all began to seem
... well at least possible."
It is important to make sure that children feel secure, loved
and valued, and to notice when they are behaving well. The trick to
this is to find strategies that work well for you and your child.
Here are some ideas:
If you don't stick to the rules your child will learn that if
they ignore them, you will probably give in.
Give lots of praise
Let your children know when they have done something well and
when you are pleased with them. For example, give them a hug, give
them a kiss and tell them how great they are. You need to do this
It helps if you and your child know the rules for particular
situations before they happen. Don't make them up as you go along
(e.g. if bedtime is 7pm, make sure you both stick to it).
Involve your child
Sit down with your child and talk to them about good
behaviour. You might be surprised about how much you both agree
This can be difficult in the heat of the moment, but it does
help. Be calm and clear with your commands, for example 'please
switch off the TV' or 'it's bedtime'.
Be clear with your child
For example 'please put your toys away' tells children exactly
what you expect them to do. Simply telling them to 'be good' does
not. If your child can't understand you, they can't obey you. Keep
it short and simple.
It's no good promising a wonderful reward or dreadful
punishment if you are not going to see it through. It is much
better to offer small rewards rather than punishments. For example,
'when you have tidied your room, you can have an ice cream'. Don't
expect miracles. If your child has only partly tidied their room,
praise them for having started.
The importance of your
When times are difficult, it is easy to forget that you can
actually have nice times together. Everybody can end up feeling
angry and upset. So you need to plan to have good times together.
For example, you could play a game, read or cook with them for 10
minutes every day.