“Children learn more from what you ARE than what you TEACH.” ~ Anonymous
What makes a great parent?
Have you ever thought about this question?
Of course, there are the traditional answers:
– “Giving them good moral values.”
– “Making sure they don’t go without.”
– “Ensuring they get a good education.”
– “Teaching them to be polite.”
We could go on. All of these are wonderful pieces of advice (if a bit cliché).
Let’s get slightly more specific with the question:
Have you ever thought about how the “little things” you currently do influence the kind of parent you will be?
Uh…that’s a different animal, isn’t it?
More than likely, most of us – including this writer – haven’t actually considered this before. So let’s talk about it a bit!
By the way, every item on this list applies to both current and future parents!
Here are ten signs you are – or will be – a great parent!
1. You treat customer service people well
Who hasn’t been on hold before? Who hasn’t been on an excruciatingly long hold before? Uh-huh.
How is your demeanor once you get someone on the line? Do you go off on the person and vent your anger, or do you remain calm, collected, and polite?
Being able to stay calm with people in emotionally charged situations demonstrates a high level of emotional intelligence. “The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions” is a vital skill for parents to have.
2. You have a few long-term friendships
Alisa Bash, a licensed marriage and family therapist, based in Malibu, California, says:
“People with long-term friendships understand emotional intimacy. Their word means something and they show up when they commit to things and to people, something that will mean so much to a child.”
So, if you’ve got a few ole’ chums, you may just bring a bit more to the parenting table.
3. You understand balance.
As you’re reading this sentence, there’s a parent slowly killing themselves from work stress. And there’s a child wondering where their Mom or Dad is.
Work-family balance, as defined by one prominent childhood educator puts it, is necessary “in order to have the energy and patience to take care of their children in a fun, joyful, and loving way.”
4. You prioritize a healthy lifestyle
Speaking of work and speaking of balance. The crazy scheduling and resultant stress of modern life requires that we monitor and take care of our mind-body health and lifestyle.
Many potential parents see having a baby as a fix to their problems.
Just … no. While things may be tough, as adults it’s our responsibility to take care of any pressing issues before bringing a baby into the mix.
5. You’re not afraid of self-sacrifice
If you’re reading these words, you’re either (1) a positive person, or (2) someone trying to become more positive. Positivity is an admirable trait in a society that is so self-absorbed.
You are more likely to sacrifice themselves for someone else. Have you bought a strangers lunch before? Helped out an older adult? Lent money even when things were tight?
You get the idea. And if you’re a self-sacrificing type of person, odds are you’ll be a great parent.
6. You’re an empath
Empaths are the folks who make the world go round. We always need more of them and can never have enough.
Not only are empaths compassionate; they have an almost superhuman ability to see and feel what someone else sees and feels as if they were them.
That’s really all that needs to be said. You know who you are. Not only will you be a great parent, but a great friend, great lover, and a great influence on a planet that really needs you.
7. You’re pretty much a nature photographer
First things first – no, selfies and 500 food pics do not count! Sorry!
Photographers, regardless of their level of innate ability, are almost always penetrating, observant, and grateful individuals.
Perhaps their greatest gift is their talent for seeing the beauty in all of the “little things” around them. You know… the person that can melt your heart with a photo of some random bug on a leaf.
8. You’re on speed dial
Being a great (active) listener really is a fantastic skill and one that can improve any aspect of your life.
Linda Lucas, a child psychologist in Leesburg, Florida, says “More than almost anything, children need to be listened to.” As such, if you’re the one person someone calls for advice or anything else, you’ll probably make one heck of a parent.
9. You’ve “blueprinted” things
No matter if you’re the natural planning type. If you’re already giving serious thought to the who, what, when, where, and how you’ll raise your kid, you’ll probably be a pretty good parent.
This doesn’t mean daydreaming about names and pink outfits (though that’s pretty nice.) It means some deliberate planning. Of course, these plans may just go to heck once you have the little bundle of joy; but it shows your sincerity and seriousness about the parenting thing.
10. You’re creative
In all sincerity, this world needs a bit more creativity in it. Creative individuals are open-minded, intelligent, and well-meaning in everything they do.
No reason to think they’d raise their child any different. We need more people like you!