Join the next Smart Parenting Giveaway and get a chance to win exciting prizes!

Join Now
  • 6 Signs of Successful Parenting, According to a Clinical Psychologist

    Number one is an open and accepting relationship between the parent and the child.
    by Kate Borbon .
6 Signs of Successful Parenting, According to a Clinical Psychologist
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Every parent’s style of raising their child is different, but there is one thing moms and dads have in common, and that is the desire to bring up a child who is kind, loving, respectful, and healthy in every way. How do you know, however, that your child is absorbing what you're trying to teach her?

    6 signs that you’re doing parenting right

    In an article for Motherly, clinical psychologist Nadene van der Linden shares several signs that, for her, indicate good parenting, which includes an open parent-child relationship, the ability to say sorry to one another, and healthy, constructive criticism on both sides.

    1. Your child opens up to you.

    According to van der Linden, one sign she considers as an indicator of good parenting is when she sees the child open up to her parents whenever she feels sad or is going through a difficult ordeal. “This means you have provided a secure base that your child can return to when [she] needs help,” she writes.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    All parents want their kids to confide in them, especially about sad, discouraging, or disappointing experiences. However, sometimes, instead of acknowledging their emotions, the message parents convey those feelings are wrong.

    Van der Linden reminds parents, “Pay attention and show appreciation for them…This tells your child you can handle her feelings and you understand her perspective.”

    Which brings us to the second point.

    More from Smart Parenting

    2. Your child can talk to you without worrying about your reaction.

    When a child can talk freely to her mom and dad without fear or worry about how they will react, it means the relationship between them is “accepting, open, and flexible,” van der Linden writes. These parents do their best to stay calm and not overreact, even if the child talks about feelings or thoughts that they don’t necessarily like. It will be hard but possible to achieve.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    3. You give your child constructive criticism.

    According to van der Linden, it is best for parents to “give non-critical feedback about behavior and avoid labels such as ‘bad,’ ‘naughty,’ ‘greedy,’ and ‘lazy.’

    If your child doesn’t follow an instruction you give her, rather than disciplining her for being ‘bad’ or ‘pasaway,’ focus on the wrong behavior, so she understands what she did was wrong. It signals to her there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, but there are consequences to her action.

    More from Smart Parenting

    4. You know how to say sorry.

    Parents make mistakes, too — maybe sometimes you lose your temper and yell at your child, or say something you don’t mean. When those things happen, it’s crucial for moms and dads to accept responsibility — a sign of awesome parenting, says van der Linden.

    Don’t quite know how to do it? “Talking with your child about how you wished you had handled the situation can help,” van der Linden writes. “Explaining that your big feelings got in the way of you being able to respond in the way you should have also helps.”

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Simply saying “sorry” is a simple but effective way of modeling accountability to your little one.

    5. You support your child's hobbies and interests.

    You may have your dreams for your child, but she also has hobbies and interests that she wants to pursue. As her parent, encourage her to go for them — even if they might be weird or wildly different from what you wsh for her.

    “When you force a child to excel for your own reasons, all sorts of things can go wrong, even when they look like they’re going right,” van der Linden writes. “This can set children up for feeling like a failure, feeling intense levels of pressure, and feeling controlled.”

    6. You’re not overprotective.

    There’s nothing wrong with protecting your child and making sure that she is safe and secure. What’s dangerous is when parents become too restricting and prohibit their kids from actively seeking out different kinds of experiences and adventures.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Van der Linden’s advice: set reasonable and carefully-considered boundaries on your child’s behavior.

    Moms and dads, remember that there is no one way to do parenting right. As van der Linden says, successful parenting is not about your child’s achievement or level of academic excellence. It’s about “providing a secure base for your child,” and building a relationship that is based on genuine love and respect for one another.

    More from Smart Parenting

    6 signs that you’re doing parenting right

    In an article for Motherly, clinical psychologist Nadene van der Linden shares several signs that, for her, indicate good parenting, which includes an open parent-child relationship, the ability to say sorry to one another, and healthy, constructive criticism on both sides.

    1. Your child opens up to you.

    According to van der Linden, one sign she considers as an indicator of good parenting is when she sees the child open up to her parents whenever she feels sad or is going through a difficult ordeal. “This means you have provided a secure base that your child can return to when [she] needs help,” she writes.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    All parents want their kids to confide in them, especially about sad, discouraging, or disappointing experiences. However, sometimes, instead of acknowledging their emotions, the message parents convey is those feelings are wrong.

    Van der Linden reminds parents, “Pay attention and show appreciation for them…This tells your child you can handle her feelings and you understand her perspective.”

    Which brings us to the second point.

    More from Smart Parenting

    2. Your child can talk to you without worrying about your reaction.

    When a child can talk freely to her mom and dad without fear or worry about how they will react, it means the relationship between them is “accepting, open, and flexible,” van der Linden writes. These parents do their best to stay calm and not overreact, even if the child talks about feelings or thoughts that they don’t necessarily like. It will be hard but possible to achieve.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    3. You give your child constructive criticism.

    According to van der Linden, it is best for parents to “give non-critical feedback about behavior and avoid labels such as ‘bad,’ ‘naughty,’ ‘greedy,’ and ‘lazy.’

    If your child doesn’t follow an instruction you give her, rather than disciplining her for being ‘bad’ or ‘pasaway,’ focus on the wrong behavior so she understands what she did was wrong. It signals to her there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, but there are consequences to her action.

    More from Smart Parenting

    4. You know how to say sorry.

    Parents make mistakes, too — maybe sometimes you lose your temper and yell at your child, or say something you don’t mean. When those things happen, it’s crucial for moms and dads to accept responsibility — a sign of awesome parenting, says van der Linden.

    Don’t quite know how to do it? “Talking with your child about how you wished you had handled the situation can help,” van der Linden writes. “Explaining that your big feelings got in the way of you being able to respond in the way you should have also helps.”

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Simply saying “sorry” is a simple but effective way of modeling accountability to your little one.

    5. You support your child's hobbies and interests.

    You may have your dreams for your child, but she also has hobbies and interests that she wants to pursue. As her parent, encourage her to go for them — even if they might be weird or wildly different from what you want for her.

    “When you force a child to excel for your own reasons, all sorts of things can go wrong, even when they look like they’re going right,” van der Linden writes. “This can set children up for feeling like a failure, feeling intense levels of pressure, and feeling controlled.”

    6. You’re not overprotective.

    There’s nothing wrong with protecting your child and making sure that she is safe and secure. What’s dangerous is when parents become too restricting and prohibit their kids from actively seeking out different kinds of experiences and adventures.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Van der Linden’s advice: set reasonable and carefully-considered boundaries on your child’s behavior.

    Moms and dads, remember that there is no one way to do parenting right. As van der Linden says, successful parenting is not about your child’s achievement or level of academic excellence. It’s about “providing a secure base for your child,” and building a relationship that is based on genuine love and respect for one another.

    More from Smart Parenting

View More Stories About
View more articles