This essay deals with the traits of good parents, what they are and what are their effects on their offspring. Good parents should be not only loving and caring, and providing education and learning, but also allowing the child the necessity to develop on his own, allowing autonomy and independence, in an effort to achieve self-sustenance and self-assuredness in the child.
Keywords: good parents, characteristics, children, development
The question of parenting is one that is resolved by human desire, or in other words, whoever wishes to become a parent, has every right to become one. Their capabilities are not put into question, their willingness, desire and potential to raise a child properly are not either. Living in such a word, where criminals roam free, as law abiding citizens do, one question still remains: how did some people turn out good and some people bad? Were they innately so, or must one take something else into account? Logic states that their earliest actions were governed by the words of their parents, and thus, good parents had good offspring, while bad parents had bad offspring. As always, deviations to any rules exist, and this is no exception to this rule. However, the issue of good parenting is still left open. Because, good parents urge their children towards a good path in life, not only providing unconditional love and support, education and learning, but also a sufficient amount of autonomy and independence, so that the child is aware of the fact that eventually, he will become self-sufficient and as such, a master of his own destiny.
Pamela Hinds, alongside her colleagues collaborating on their paper, claims that a “good parent makes informed, unselfish decisions in the child’s best interest; provides the basics of food, shelter, and clothing; remains at the child’s side regardless of the circumstances; shows the child that he or she is cherished; tries to prevent suffering and protect health; teaches the child to make good choices, to respect and have sympathy for others” (5982). Once parents look into the eyes of their newborn child, an unbreakable bond is created, one that is everlasting and unconditional, filled with love and support, but also criticism and allowing the child to make his own mistakes, simultaneously learning from them. Most importantly, parents are there to provide absolute love and support. Throughout the child’s development and life, good parents keep showing affection and shower their child with attention, praising the child whenever he has successfully completed a task, and generally, supporting their child in any and every endeavor. This shows the child that, no matter what it does, no matter what mistakes he makes, his parents will always be there to offer love and a helping hand. It is exactly this which allows the child to tread boldly in his life, without fear of ever remaining alone and unloved. Thus, good parents are the cause for this feeling of security and the child’s assured state of existence.
In addition, providing education and adequate learning is the second trait making a good parent. By this, it is not only implied that a parent should send his child to a high quality learning institution, but he also must have an active role in helping his child further his education, by supporting expected homework completion, participating in school activities and similar. Consequently, by providing a positive example the child can follow and look up to, the parent is creating a nurturing environment for his child to grow and develop, in turn, making the parent a truly great one.
Finally, a good parent knows when to back down and allow the child to make his own mistakes, still being there for him when the consequences appear. This might appear harsh from a certain perspective, but the final outcome is that this temporary mistake and consequences, build character in the child and he learns the value of self-reliance, while knowing that no matter what he does, he has the unconditional support of his family.
In the end, it is not only the relationship between parents and children that make good parents, it is also the relationship between parents themselves, and it is this nurturing surroundings and properly functional family unity that make good parents and good children.
Carlson, M. J., McLanahan, S. S., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2006). Do Good Partners Make Good Parents?: Relationship Quality and Parenting in Two-Parent Families (Working Paper No. 914). Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing.
Hinds, P. S., Oakes, L. L., Hicks, J., Powell, B., Srivastava, D. K., Spunt, S. L., Harper, J., et al. (2009). “Trying to Be a Good Parent” As Defined By Interviews With Parents Who Made Phase I, Terminal Care, and Resuscitation Decisions for Their Children. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 27(35).
Schwagmeyer, P. L., & Mock, D. W. (2003). How Consistently are Good Parents Good Parents? Repeatability of Parental Care in the House Sparrow, Passer domesticus. Ethology, 109(4), 303–313.