Advice for 21st Century Parents – Santa Barbara News-Press

Good enough parents from emotionally healthy people set you up for a more balanced life. Perfect parenting doesn’t exist, but a balanced and loving approach to parenting will teach your children how to navigate this crazy world.

Here are some values ​​you can instill in them.

Appreciation. Whatever your situation, when you wake up in the morning and can enjoy your life, you have a good one. Just being alive should be enough, although that’s not always the case. Remember to think about all you have and all the love in your life. Then share that appreciation with those you love, so they can learn from your example.

Empathy. Letting others know that you truly understand their feelings is the essence of empathy. As a parent, you can remember what it was like to be a kid and when you didn’t get what you wanted or had a setback or two. Your mission is to get inside your child’s heart, so they know you know how they really feel. Being empathetic teaches empathy.

Acceptance. It may be the answer to the questions that keep you up at night. If you can learn to accept as a parent that sometimes things go wrong and you can’t control the world your child lives in, that will keep things in perspective. Children cannot live in a bubble, even if we want to put them there. Plus, if you accept that you’re a good enough parent, your child will be too. They will learn to understand that no one is perfect.

Self-confidence. When you’re a kid, self-confidence can be elusive. Give your child all the support you can as they grow and praise them for a job well done, because the world of children isn’t always kind to them. Building your child’s confidence also creates a better, happier child. It’s a total win-win.

Affection. Affection is the cornerstone of any romantic relationship. You can show your affection in whatever style suits you. Some people tend to be physically affectionate where others are more verbally affectionate, and each can have a profound effect. Together there is nothing like a good hug and an “I love you so much”.

Self-sufficiency. One of your jobs as a parent is to teach your children to live without you. You won’t be with them forever, so it’s important to show them how to change a tire (or call the auto club). Teaching them to overcome minor difficulties in life will give them the tools to deal with bigger ones later.

You will make mistakes as a parent, so give yourself a break when you do. Likewise, allow your children to make and correct their own mistakes. It’s how we all learn, and it’s a never-ending process.

No single event in your child’s life will mean as much as the fact that you are a constant source of support and comfort in their life.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an award-winning therapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, author of seven books, and blogger for with nearly 27 million readers. He practices in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles and is available for video sessions. Join it at [email protected]. His column appears on Sundays and Tuesdays in the News-Press.