Whenever we are working in a company, and we do something right, we get compliments, and if you are very lucky, appraisals. But, in parenting, there are no trophies or promotions. No one is going to change your designation from ‘parent’ to ‘senior parent.’
But it is not like you will never know if you are going in the right direction or not. Even if you don’t have a monument for every accomplishment as a parent, there are ways in which you can know. Sometimes, they are clear as a day and sometimes as bleak as the night.
Your report card is your children. So, you will notice the following signs if you are doing a good job as a parent.
A happy kid does not mean that they are smiling all the time. It means they are content. Whatever they are doing, they are glad to do it. Being happy when you are doing things like eating ice cream or watching your favorite movie is not that hard.
But, happiness can be measured by how they do the jobs that they are not a fan of in the first place. For example, do they always throw a hissy fit when you ask them to clean their rooms? Whenever they come from school, are they irritable? If not, then well done!
They discuss anything with you.
When children are young, they want nothing more than to talk to you all the time. But, as they start to grow up, they tend to start distancing themselves from you (children have been practicing social distancing from their parents long before covid-19).
We attribute it to their ‘age.’ But, that is not entirely true. It is partially about their hormones, and part, the difference of opinion (read arguments) they have with you. When they start feeling that you don’t understand them anymore, they stop trying to communicate with you.
And that is how we stop knowing what is going on in our child’s life.
However, when our children are comfortable with you, and that happens because you did something right, they never feel the need to hide anything from you.
No matter how delicate and complicated the situation is, they never hesitate to tell you. And why are they so frank with you? Because you have been wise enough not to judge them when they make a mistake or are stuck in a tough spot. In fact, it is how they build trust with you.
Handle their own problems.
Your responsibility as a parent is not doing everything for them so that they have a comfortable life. You have to make them capable of doing it all on their own. It means that you have made them independent. Your children don’t need to get everything served to them on a silver platter.
They should be able to do it for themselves. Over coddling them by spoon-feeding them under the pretense of ‘love’ is dangerous for your children. They will never know what to do without you. They will always need someone to fight their battles for them. If your child can survive without you, then you have made it as a parent (Congratulations!).
The magnitude of the problem does not matter. What matters is your children solving it on their own. Whether it is changing their own tires or fixing their homework, they need to do be able to do it.
However, it does not mean that you cannot give them advice if they ask you for it. If they are stuck and they need help from you, you can definitely guide them.
One sign of a mature child, or human being, is that they listen. They don’t want to speak all the time. They are ready to hear what the other person has to say. And not just with others, with you too. One of the biggest problems with parents and their kids is that their child doesn’t listen to them.
Whenever they have some piece of advice, the child does not want to hear it. More often than none, it is because they have never learned that having different points of view does not mean chaos.
If your child listens to you, it is because you have been that one to listen to them first. Even if you don’t agree on something, you can deal with it without causing wars at home. And that is a huge accomplishment. And for that, and that only, you can give yourself the title of ‘best parent.’
Not afraid to fail.
A huge part of growing up is knowing that you cannot win all the time. You cannot do well in each and every exam. There will be some hurdles in life that will require more than one turn to get over. The secret is knowing that you will get there when you try over and over again.
And parents play a huge part in it. When parents are afraid of failure themselves, and just the thought that their child is falling short of perfection makes them restless, their child is under extreme pressure. Being driven and being pressured are two very different things.
Everyone has failed at least once, and the only way to get past it is by learning something from it and move on from it a stronger and better person. And if your child understands it, you have done something right in guiding them.
They have a high EQ
In life, everything does not go our way. Nor is it tough-going all the time. But, in every situation, what matters is our approach. When your child has learned to have a stable mind even in the face of adversities, then you know they can survive anything, even if the odds are not in their favor.
It doesn’t mean that they will always be a wall. It means that they have learned to express themselves and have learned to tame the dragon. When they see you handle situations, they learn. And if you have been calm and cool under pressure, then that is what they inculcate in their lives.
If your child shows these behavioral traits, then you can give yourself a pat on the back because you have done a pretty damn amazing job raising them. It may not always feel like it, but when you look at the bigger picture, you should be pretty pleased with yourself.