Do you feel the need to protect your child. I believe that basic drive is just one of several parenting skills that help an intuitive child feel safe and not judged. The nurturing drive behind our protective parenting skills come to the forefront when a child sees a ghost.

Parenting is a skill set which can be learned. Being a parent is a joyous thing, but good parenting skills are something that you have to continuously work at. You will never be a “perfect” parent, because we all make mistakes. Here are a few tips to ensure that you are being the best parent that you can be.

1. Show Love

Always give your children a lot of love. Tell them “I love you” and make sure they know that they are special to you. Remembering parenting skills of praise and respecting your child can get clouded when we are stressed and rushed. Provide them with a lot of hugs and kisses and always be there when they need a shoulder to cry on. But real love is more than saying a few words and being available. The behavior of loving is taking action, being conscious with children, showing kindness, caring enough to spend time in taking a walk, reading a story, and sharing stories of your own life.

2. Listen When Your Child Talks

Parenting skills include what sounds like a simple task–Listening to your children shows them that they are important to you. No matter how strange or ridiculous it may be, listen to your child’s stories, ideas and complaints. When you listen to your children then they know that you are interested in what they have to say. Don’t just pretend to be listening, as children quickly see that you are really not that interested and that you are just pretending. I experienced this with my daughter when I was cooking dinner or trying to write a doctoral dissertation. I learned to suggest we share an activity like taking a walk to the park, and then I returned to my tasks.

Value their ideas and ask them to tell you more.

3. Make Your Child Feel Safe

Of all parenting skills, this next one is important. Younger children are defenseless in life and they may be scared easily by things they don’t understand. Comforting your child at every stage in life will provide them with the security they need. They need to know that you are there for them and that you will protect them. They also need to see that you have taken steps to protect them.

4. Provide Order and Organization

Children need a regular and daily schedule. Younger children’s circadian rhythms need regulatory to regulate stressors as well as happiness. Parenting skills have to be sharp to have meals, naps and bedtimes at consistent times throughout the day. Depending upon your child’s age, you can plan routines together.

For example, after school, does your child need a play break, homework time or food snack. What do you expect them to complete before dinner? Before they go to bed, they need to take a bath, brush their teeth and get their school supplies ready for the next day. How do you and your child organize your morning without rushing?

5. Appreciate Your Child

You can show appreciation is so many small ways, and children truly need to know that they are doing well and that you are proud of them. Use frequent pats on the back, smiles, praise for an achievement well-earned or task accomplished well.

6. Consistency is Key

Your rules don’t have to be the same rules you had when you were growing up, but whatever rules you choose to have need to be enforced on a consistent basis. This goes for mom and dad, family members and baby sitters. If two parents are raising the child, then they both need to have the same rules.

7. Spend Time with Your Children

Children thrive on the time they get to spend with their parents. Little trips to the park to play with the dog or reading before bedtime will go along way with your children. Some bad behaviors stem from the child simply trying to get your attention.

If you need help developing good parenting skills, then there are several resources available to parents. Parent coaching can provide you with a parenting skills assessment and will help you develop a parenting skills curriculum that can be utilized on a daily basis.