How to Be a Great Parent and Nurture Your Child So They Will Thrive

  • Post category:Parenting
  • Reading time:10 mins read
  • Post comments:6 Comments
  • Post last modified:September 10, 2023
You are currently viewing How to Be a Great Parent and Nurture Your Child So They Will Thrive

Parenting is one of the most joyous, difficult, fulfilling and stressful things we do. The happiness and pride we feel as our child reaches a milestone, or the worry we feel over making the right decision for our child. As a parent it is our responsibility to raise our children, support their overall growth and development which includes the following five domains:

  • Physical:
    • Gross Motor – using large muscles
    • Fine Motor – using smaller muscles
    • Sensory – Engaging the senses
  • Emotional:
    • Recognizing their own and others emotions
    • Managing emotions, self regulation
    • Express their own emotions
  • Social:
    • Social interactions with others
    • Building social skills
  • Cognitive:
    • Thinking
    • Remembering
    • Reasoning
  • Language:
    • The understanding and recognizing of a language
    • Communication
    • Literacy
*Skills in each area will vary depending on the age of the child. Gross motor, for example, could mean sitting up for an infant, balance for a toddler, or running for an older child

We pass on our knowledge and skills in each of the five development areas to our children so that they can thrive in the world. Care for our children begins before birth as we nurture and shelter them throughout pregnancy. During infancy, our children are completely dependent on us to fulfill their every need. As we teach them they become more independent needing us less and less as they progress through each stage of childhood building on their development to become independent adults. So how do we do this? What is the best way to parent our children?

Here in Ontario early childhood education is supported through a document called ‘How Does Learning Happen?’. In this resource they address four foundations that are important for child development; belonging, well-being, engagement, and expression.

Source: How Does Learning Happen?

These foundations and expectations can be applied at home as well. Parents are not alone in raising their children, think of the community you are a part of. Family, friends, and educators all help contribute to the growth of your child. Remember the proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. Talk to your village, do research, what parenting techniques are you drawn too?

Parenting comes in many forms. There are different ways to nurture and discipline, as well as different philosophies with varying or even opposing opinions, many claiming to be the best. Which one is actually the best? That depends on you and your family. There is no ultimate right way to parent. There is only the right way for you and your family.

A traditional family of a mother, father, and children is not the norm anymore. As a result there is no one right way to parent because not all family structures are the same. There are single parent families, same-sex families, blended families, and grandparents families. What works best for you may not be what is best for someone else.

Besides family structure there are many other things that can influence our choices as parents such as the way we were brought up, our culture or socioeconomic status to name a few. You may start with one parenting technique but find it isn’t working and that is okay. Try different things until you find the right fit. You might even use a combination of styles. Take a look at the image below for some examples on different parenting styles.

23 Parenting Philosophies and Methods Explained

When I was pregnant with my daughter I decided I wanted cloth diapers for her. My mother used cloth for me when I was an infant, they are more environmentally friendly, the possibility of potty training earlier, & less chance of skin irritation. I was set on this choice, I was sure using cloth diapers would make me a better mother.

Well I was wrong. Our first couple weeks after she was born were quite stressful and something needed to change. Eventually we decided to switch to disposable diapers. We found a hypoallergenic brand we liked and it was a similar price to the cloth diaper service we signed up for. Diaper changes were quicker and smoother overall not to mention she didn’t leak through anymore during the night. Disposables were not our first choice but it is what worked best for us and that was what mattered.

Part of parenting is just going with the flow. We can spend all day planning out every little detail but that does not mean that is how things will go. Our children may inherit traits from us but that does not mean they are us. They are their own individual selves with their own wants, needs, and personalities. It can be hard enough interacting with other adults never mind with young children who often are not in control of their impulses and are still developing self-regulation.

We need to connect with our children and build healthy relationships with them. Through this we can build trust and support their development. There is only so much within our control as parents and all we can do is make the best of it. There are eight things I believe will help you through your parenting journey no matter which way you decide to parent:

8 Principles of Parenting

  1. Do What Is Best For Your Family – There are pros and cons to every parenting practice, you need to figure out what is right for you.
  2. Listen – Make eye contact and actively listen to your child. What they are saying may not seem important to you but to them, in this moment, it means the world.
  3. Model Behaviour – Be the person you want your child to be. Model the behaviour and habits you want your child to learn and have.
  4. Spend Time Together – Have meaningful and authentic interactions and experiences with your child. Put down your phone and be in the moment with them.
  5. Ask For Help – Raising a child can be hard and you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to your family, friends or community for help.
  6. Be Patient – Children will not learn something after the first try. You need to continue to show them, allow them to practice and give them time to master this new skill.
  7. Take Care of Yourself – If you are not okay, your child is not okay: you cannot take care of your child if you don’t take care of yourself.
  8. Show Your Love – Be affectionate, remember you are your child’s safety net.

As I mentioned before, it is our responsibility to raise our children to support their development but some days all that will matter is getting through the day. Trying is enough. Parenting is a difficult and often thankless job. Just remember to make the best choice for your family in that moment and that is all that matters.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. ajmiro

    I love your post! I defintely can learn about it. I am currently attending a Montessori Retreat and Slow is one of the topics ❤️ I am also reading a book titled “How to Listen so Kids will Talk and How to Talk so Kids will Listen”

    1. Nicole Hudson, RECE

      Thank you! I am so glad you’ve found it helpful. That sounds so exciting, I love Montessori. It has had a huge impact on my parenting and teaching practice. The book has been on my to read list for ages, please let me know how it is.

Leave a Reply