Parenting and socialising

What is good parenting?

Now you’re a father, so you need to consider how you want your child to be raised.

In the media and everywhere else, you’ll hear hundreds of opinions on parenting. Most are about how people think what others are doing is wrong – that they are helicopter parents, their children are walking on eggshells, they can’t concentrate, and so on.

Good and bad upbringing

There are no right answers to what good parenting is. What usually happens is that children do not simply develop their behaviour and attitudes through systematic upbringing. The child’s personality is formed by living together with family.

Three tips for raising children

– Be a good role model.
– Think about where in the parenting triangle you prefer to be.
– Show love and empathy when raising your child.

You are your child's role model

When you want to raise your child to behave in a certain way, it’s what you do that is important, not what you say. Your child learns from you as a role model and from the values and attitudes you show in your life. When the child grows up, he/she will decide whether they want to follow your values and beliefs or take different approaches to various things. But fundamentally, the child will be influenced by your values and view of the world, your morals and your way of life.

What can your child do and what will you not allow?

Parents often argue about what the child can or must not do, when it is bedtime, whether sweets are allowed, what the child should eat and so on. Science can’t help here because there are no well-founded rules for these questions. Although there are always new trends that claim to be scientifically based, they are often a reflection of different trends at the time.

All upbringing, understood as rules for what the child is allowed or not allowed to do, will fall in a triangle between extremes of so-called ‘Laissez-faire’ parenting, where you leave things alone, performance parenting, where you pace your child, and moral-authoritarian parenting, where the child just has to obey.

Within that triangle, you and your partner can find your own ways, so that:

  • Your child grows up to be independent, when you support what the child wants to do and can manage right now, and encourage the child’s efforts.
  • Your child will learn a range of important skills, for example, by being involved in daily life, if you encourage the child to take on more and more important things. Then the child will be good at life in the future.
  • Through your own behaviour and guidance, you are teaching your child how to interact with other people and especially how to interact with other children.

You and your partner might disagree – where one stands for more freedom, the other wants to set more limits. Hopefully you will alternate in those positions. Either way, there is no set list. It’s up to you to decide, based on your own beliefs and the compromises that come out of it. If you do it with an open mind, love and empathy for your child and your partner, things will probably turn out well.