The most important parenting tip won’t drain your wallet, but it is costly.
It doesn’t require years of parenting education, instead it’s actually quite instinctive.
The most important parenting tip is simple yet profound. You can start using it today and expect almost immediate results.
After over two decades of parenting experience, I can tell you the most important parenting tip I have discovered is simply ‘being there’. ‘Being there’ has become my most fundamental parenting concept.
– Be they’re just babies and need to be cuddled for the hundredth time in a day.
– Be they’re toddlers and need one more book read to them, calmly, so they can settle down in bed.
– Be they’re preschoolers and they fall down the slide on the playground.
– Be they’re in elementary school and their three best friends desert them all at once.
– Be they’re in middle school and damage something they can’t fix on their own.
– Be they’re teenagers and need to talk at 10 pm three nights a week.
– Be they’re college-aged and sometimes just need to hear mom or dad’s voice because nothing’s going as planned.
Just be there.
Be there physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and relationally.
Be there because it works.
A word of caution about this parenting tip. Your kids can tell when you’re ‘being there’ with them or when your attention is wandering. If you need to be doing something else, then tell them and go do it. But when you are with them, be with them. The child that feels he or she is special enough to be important to at least one other human being is the child that grows up well-grounded and secure in a stable environment. (If you would like more parenting tips based on ‘being there’, see the resource box following this article.)
Being there is a costly strategy in a distracted world. Your kids know you and your time is valuable and it speaks volumes to them when they see you putting your own needs aside and giving them your time and self instead.
And, please, I’m not speaking about spoiling your child. Not about giving into their every demand for attention, money or time. Not at all.
I’m speaking of shouldering your responsibilities as a parent. Even when it’s inconvenient. Even when you’re tired. Especially when it means sacrifice.
I’m talking about doing the right thing.
That’s another way to understand the most important parenting tip of all.