10 things the best parents do

Parenting isn't easy. But these things will let you know if you're on the right track.

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  • It is ironic that the minute you go to talk about something like parenting, the flaws and mistakes you make appear to multiply. Being a parent is hard and each parent/child relationship is unique. Instead of focusing on what we should be doing or are failing to do, look at this list and find those things you are already doing right — and maybe find some inspiration as well.

  • 1. Teach

  • Parents are forever teaching - from a baby's first step, to dreaded potty training, to learning how to deal with disappointments, to healthy eating, to dealing with conflict, to driving and so much more. There are countless things that a parent teaches their child, and a good parent takes time for and makes the most of these teaching moments.

  • 2. Discipline

  • Giving a child boundaries is challenging, but is worth every painful moment and hateful comment you may receive in return. Without appropriate limits, a child will face many hard lessons at school and in life. Simply doing whatever you want is not possible without severe consequences. Teaching a child not to hit others or steal, for example, is important in the long-run.

  • 3. Follow through

  • If a child is threatened with no TV for a week or no friends over, following through with that appropriate punishment is important. This may be one of the hardest things we do as a parent. It isn't easy to see our children upset. But following through helps our children understand when issues need to be taken seriously.

  • 4. Set a good example

  • The best parents are the ones who mean what they say and show it through their actions. Be the type of person your children respect and desire to be like.

  • 5. Instill values

  • There are basic values, such as respect, freedom, peace, safety, equality and justice. The best parents teach these values in the way they live their lives, so that those values are important to their children.

  • 6. Time

  • Spending quality time with your children doing things they enjoy, and really truly interacting with them is the best gift you can give to them. According to www.5lovelanguages.com, quality time is one of the ways people receive and show love. It states, "Quality time is all about giving the other person your undivided attention."

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  • 7. Foster independence

  • We are all raising our kids for that eventual day when they leave us — and with that end in mind we need to foster in them independence. Children need to know that they are able to do things on their own. The best parents teach their children the skills they need to become successful on their own.

  • 8. Encourage

  • Children are not perfect, but neither are we. Focusing on the positive traits of your child and encouraging them in their pursuits inspires them to do better.

  • 9. Forgive

  • We all make mistakes, and focusing on all the things children do wrong is a burden on both the parent and the child. Free your family from grudges, barriers and pain by forgiving the mistakes your children (and you yourself) make.

  • 10. Love

  • You may be a hugger or a gift giver or a listener, but what you do doesn't matter as much as how you make your child feel. So keep being a great parent by loving your children unconditionally.

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Jennifer Autry has called many states home, and is currently an American military wife with two beautiful girls. She is an aspiring author.

Website: http://imperfectlymormon.blogspot.com/

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