Parenting is one of the greatest challenges that can ever be bestowed upon us. The responsibility is enormous and the pressure can feel overwhelming sometimes, especially as the world keeps throwing us new curveballs to tackle.
No matter what you do as a parent, you are guaranteed to mess up at least once. This is just statistical likelihood – not a judgment on your style! But before you let the panic set in, there is some excellent news: as long as you stick to the 3 Hs of good parenting, you really can’t go too far wrong. No matter what happens, as long as your child is healthy, happy and hopeful, you will have done a brilliant job.
Your child’s health should always be your first priority. Everything from eating the right foods to getting enough sleep can contribute to your child’s health. Even if you are on a strict budget, eating well is essential for healthy growth and building up a decent immune system.
You should also make sure that your children are seen regularly by health professionals as they grow up. Dentists and optometrists can do far more than check the health of teeth and eyes, they are also able to spot other signs and symptoms that might need attention like diabetes and risk of heart disease.
The health of your children is hugely influenced by your lifestyle. Fostering a healthy, active lifestyle is always a good idea and going for family walks is a brilliant – and cheap! – way to get outdoors. Other activities like dancing, sports clubs and anything that gets you out of breath should also be encouraged!
Health might be the very core of good parenting but it is definitely interlinked with happiness. A happy upbringing usually leads to a happy adult who is able to make a good impact on the world. There is one small problem here: how can you possibly make sure that your child is happy all the time? And should you???
The answer is, of course, that you can’t possibly ensure complete happiness 100% of the time. Instead of aiming for the impossible, you should be equipping your child with the ability to be happy and deal with problems themselves. For example, you can’t prevent another child bullying yours, but you can help them through the experience and give them ways to return to their happy selves.
This leads us to being hopeful. Hope is a really important part of life – it is what guides us in our ambitions and keeps our faith. Giving your child hope is about building up their self-esteem and giving them what they need to succeed in adult life. A child who knows what they want and knows how to get there is always going to do great things.
Educational experiences, a safe home, a wonderful community and plenty of support will all help to give your child hope and encourage them to want to give something back too. Each of these gifts will allow your child to come to terms with the meaning of their life and how they fit into the bigger picture. And what more could you want for your child than that?