Taking your children on vacations and sharing other fun experiences with them is a great way to bond and grow closer. With that said, providing entertainment for your kids should never be a substitute for parenting. What?s more, there are always opportunities to become a better parent, even if you?re currently going out of your way to give your children everything you wished you had growing up. Parenting is more than making sure children are happy – it?s about helping your kids become great people – and that starts with being a great person yourself.
While we aren?t implying the items on this list apply to every parent reading it, the following are areas to focus on when helping yourself become a better parent:
An undiagnosed and/or untreated mental health problem can severely impact someone?s ability to be the best parent possible. Depression may result in neglect, bipolar disorder can lead to unstable living conditions, schizophrenia can make steady employment difficult as well as alienate you from your kids, and so forth. If you suspect you?re struggling with a mental health problem, seek professional help as soon as possible. They may recommend going on a six-to-ten day mental health retreat as well as prescribe medication. While there is no silver bullet solution for most mental health problems, parents willing to seek treatment will be able to manage their condition and even keep it in check, which will result in an ability to provide a more nurturing and stable environment for their children.
The simple truth is substance abuse will always impair your ability to be the best parent possible. Self-described ?functioning addicts? are underperforming relative to their potential. Parents currently struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol must seek treatment right away. Inpatient detox and outpatient alcohol treatment are essential for parents with a drinking problem, and similar programs are equally critical for those with a drug problem. Failure to do so can result in a variety of undesirable and potentially tragic consequences ranging from having your children taken from you due to an abusive or neglectful home environment, or being taken away from your children by going to prison for causing a deadly drunk driving incident.
Controlling your temper is one of the hardest things to do for those prone to blow their top. Yet given the likelihood of your kids doing something that upsets you, whether innocent or intentional, it?s imperative for parents with anger management issues to take steps to improve their reaction to undesirable events. While it might sound like tired advice, counting to ten remains one of the best ways to help control your temper. The key is remembering to start counting. By not lashing out at your kids – while still enforcing effective consequences for their actions – you stand a better chance of raising kids who are themselves able to control their tempers when things don?t go their way.
Spending time with your kids – whether at the local park, a ballpark, a theme park, et cetera – is unquestionably beneficial in the strengthening of the relationship between parents and their children, but it doesn?t mean moms and dads are off the hook when it comes to ways to be better people. It?s no surprise the best people tend to have great parents who helped them along the way. If there are areas of your life where improvement is needed, tend to them right away. The result will be a better you, which will undoubtedly mean being a better parent.