Moms & Dads With These 8 Personality Traits Have The Most Effective Parenting Styles

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Moms & Dads With These 8 Personality Traits Have The Most Effective Parenting Styles

Whether you're with a partner or a single parent, if you want to raise healthy, happy kids, the best parenting advice is to nurture some specific personality traits within yourself that will hep make parenting easier — ones that moms and dads with the most effective parenting styles use regularly.

And while I can’t promise your kids will always like some of the ways you deal with them, if you work on honing these personality traits that lead to effective parenting, you will raise a child who knows they're loved, understands their place in the world and feels secure at any given time.

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Here are 8 personality traits that are most effective when it comes to raising awesome kids:

1. Responsive

This implies you are accepting of where your child is at any given time and are sensitive to their needs. This can mean that when your infant is crying your go to them and respond to their hunger or discomfort.

This can also mean that when your toddler is having a meltdown you accept that tantrums are a part of toddlerhood and instead of getting upset or angry about the fit they are throwing at the grocery store, you respond to their need (which may be hunger or exhaustion).

The responsive parent looks past what appears to be happening and is attuning to what their child actually needs.

2. Conscientious

Yes parents, it’s appropriate to expect your child is respectful, has good manners, plays nicely, and learns in school. Setting high expectations is good for kids. Setting unrealistic and perfection-driven expectations is bad for kids.

Parents seem to be confused by this concept — they're afraid to either push too hard and stress kids out, or not push hard enough and then have unsuccessful children. But this issue is not about pushing, it’s about being clear about what your values are and setting the bar that your children will strive toward them and achieve most of them.

Kids do well when they have the consistency and structure to meet clearly defined expectations. Start early and keep adjusting with age, and your children will soar to meet them.

3. Affectionate

To give hugs, kisses, and cuddles is something that needs to start with a newborn baby and continue on throughout childhood. Physical touch literally helps babies thrive and grow and it does the same for older kids and their self-esteem and confidence.

It's also another way to express emotion, which is great modeling for your child. To show a child that holding hands, rubbing their back, and sitting close to one another is another way to express interest and love is a beautiful lesson in communication and self-expression.

Brain science and studies have shown this good feeling that comes from a parent’s warmth and touch (at any age) elicits the release of oxytocin (the love hormone) from a child. This appears to have a positive, long-term effect on the developing child’s overall happiness including decreased anxiety and increased mental wellness.

4. Reciprocal

It's important that you listen to your child when they speak to you. When they feel valued as a human being, they're more likely to do the same to others in later relationships. So when it’s time for you to talk, they're more likely to listen because they understand relationships are about both sharing and listening.

5. Supportive

While this may sound like a standard personality quality, I see parents struggle with it often. I think it’s important to get on the same page about the definition. Supportive does not mean you allow your child to do anything they want.

It means you validate their feelings, encourage them, and you get creative when what they want is not something you can provide or think is best for them. This seems to come up a lot in the teenage years; they may want to join a rock band, buy a car, or join a sport they've never tried before. You can be supportive of their desires without compromising what you think is best.

Listening, validating, and then creating a plan (or plan b) together is key to letting your child know you support them.

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6. Consistent

This is an often overlooked personality quality, but it starts back from before you had kids.

Were you reliable and show up where you needed to be? Did you keep your word? Were you a predictable friend?

Consistency in parenting is the ability to enforce rules and provide consequences on a regular basis. If you know you were never much of a rule follower, then this could be an area you may struggle in. Yet, it is one of the most essential foundational skills to being a good parent.

You have to keep your word with kids and if you threaten dessert being taken away or no car for the weekend, you have to follow through when your child has not fulfilled their agreement. Without consistent loving, caretaking, and discipline, your child will be less likely to take you seriously and push boundaries a lot more.

7. Reasonable

This personality characteristic is one that every relationship appreciates. To be reasonable in relationships means you explain the reasons behind your actions and decisions. By doing so, it shows that you are thoughtful and give consideration to your behaviors and choices.

Being reasonable also makes you approachable and generally easy to talk to. If you are co-parenting with a partner, there is typically one parent that is more “reasonable” or rational than the other. Make that person you and it may also help the other parent see the benefits of thinking things through and being considerate.

8. Realistic

The start of autonomy and independence begins as young as nine months old when a baby begins to crawl. It is hard to imagine, but you spend much of the first twenty-one years of parenting navigating a push-pull relationship with your children. You may have a hard time letting your child walk and then run.

You think of pre-school and kindergarten and feel sad, and then in the tween and teen years you hear a lot of, “I can do it by myself …” You have to decide when to let them learn and fail on their own. Some parents never want to let go and they cause their kids to feel insecure in their own abilities and scared of the world.

Some parents may be encouraging independence in some areas but not in others, which can seem confusing to their child. A great parent is clear about their values around this topic, and they find a balance between encouraging freedom and risk-taking by spending time with and knowing when to pull their child in.

This looks different for each parent and child, but it is a quality to be mindful of each step of the way.

Parenting is a challenging, complicated, and rewarding endeavor. Thinking of your personality traits and how they may be helping or harming your relationship with your child is key to being the best parent to your child that you can be.

And each kid has their own personality as well, so knowing what they need, how often, and when they need something is your challenge, too. However, moms and dads equipped with these essential personaliy traits tend to have the most effective parenting styles — which means you'll be prepared for whatever parenting throws your way next.

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Dr. Sheryl Ziegler is a mother, psychologist, speaker, and author of Mommy Burnout, a book about parenting. Get more of her expert marriage and parenting advice by signing up for her newsletter.