We often base who we are as adults on how well our parents raised us. And while we often know deep down inside whether our parents were good, there are some principles that go hand in hand with good parenting.

Have you ever wondered how well your parents would score on a test if you were to grade their parenting? If you have, then you may want to check out the items below. If you are a parent yourself, it’s also good to take note of these principles and make sure that they align with your parenting. Above all, this is an interesting list compiled from some of the best parenting experts in the field.

1. Consistency with time and awareness.

Whether your parents were there for you when you needed them is very important. Not just on holidays, or a few times a year, but on a regular and consistent basis.

2. Alignment.

Children need a parent that can literally get on their level and align with them in order to understand them. It’s very important for parents to try to understand why their child is behaving or acting the way they are, not from a normal vantage point but from the vantage point of the child.

3. Validation.

Effective parenting includes the validation of emotion. Rather than trying to change their emotions, validation is the act of affirming what the emotion is and understanding the child’s emotions from an empathetic point of view.

4. Good parents allow their children to make decisions.

Asking children for their input and allowing them to make decisions is valuable in raising them. It helps them to learn decision-making skills later on and also helps them to gain an understanding of what they want. If your parents allowed you to help them make decisions for things like where you wanted to go on Saturday as a family, or even simply what you wanted to wear from an early age, it’s likely they encouraged you to make decisions.

5. Encouragement.

Children are naturally hesitant, especially in the face of new challenges. Parents are there to let them know they are capable of doing challenging things and to support them and encourage them through hardship. By doing this, good parents help their children develop self-esteem.

6. Adequate touch and affection.

Good caretakers and parents understand that physical touch, like hugs, cuddles, and other supportive and loving gestures, is important to a child’s development. Children need physical touch in order to grow and to develop and feel safe and secure in a seemingly chaotic world.

7. Respect.

Good parents model respect rather than demanding it. It’s important to treat kids with respect to teach them respect because they will naturally follow suit with their parent’s behaviors versus what their parents just say.

8. Taking responsibility when wrong.

While some parents take the route of “I’m never wrong, I am the parent,” this is the wrong road to take. No one is perfect, and it’s important to take responsibility when you are wrong, even as a parent. When parents do this, they are teaching integrity and modeling respect.

9. They explain things.

Rather than saying “Because I said so,” good parents realize they need to explain things to their children. They do this, so their child can truly learn and understand why it’s important to do or not do something.

10. They don’t act like parenthood makes them a martyr.

Good parents don’t act as though they are martyrs for having to give up part of their freedom to be a parent. Yes, parents cannot go to the beach every weekend (most parents, anyway) and come and go as they please, because they have kids. No, this doesn’t mean that their children owe them anything in return.

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