12 signs you’re a better parent than you realize

by Brendan Brown | July 14, 2024, 11:56 pm

Parenting is a journey without a map, filled with constant discovery and occasional doubts. Often, we wonder, “Am I doing this right?” 

While there’s no universal manual for parenting, there are signs that suggest you’re doing a better job than you give yourself credit for. 

These cues come directly from your children’s behavior and their relationship with you and others. 

Here are twelve signs that you’re a more effective parent than you might think.

1) Your child isn’t afraid to express their feelings

One of the clearest signs that you’re doing well as a parent is when your child isn’t afraid to express their feelings around you. 

It means they trust you enough to share their happiness, anger, or sorrow without fear of judgment. 

This trust doesn’t happen overnight—it’s cultivated through countless moments of patient listening, understanding, and unconditional love. 

So, if your child comes to you with their joys and tears, give yourself a pat on the back. 

You’ve successfully fostered an environment of emotional safety and openness.

2) Your child displays empathy

Empathy isn’t an inherent trait; it’s learned. If your child can understand and share the feelings of others, it reflects positively on your parenting. 

It suggests that you’ve been modeling empathetic behavior—listening, understanding, and validating emotions. 

You’ve taught them that it’s important to care for others, to be kind, and to respect feelings, even when they differ from their own. 

Seeing your child show genuine empathy is proof that you’re helping shape a compassionate and considerate individual.

3) Your child is not afraid of making mistakes

Mistakes are a natural part of learning and growing, but not every child understands this. 

If your child isn’t afraid of making mistakes, it’s a sign you’ve instilled in them a healthy view of failure. 

It means you’ve been there to reassure them when they falter, helping them understand that it’s not about falling, but getting back up. 

It shows that you’ve taught them to embrace challenges and that progress, not perfection, is what truly matters. 

So, if your child slips up and tries again with renewed determination, take it as a sign that you’re doing a great job as a parent.

4) Your child is resilient

Resilience is one of the most important traits we can help develop in our children. 

If your child can bounce back from setbacks, cope with changes, and keep going in the face of adversity, you’re doing an excellent job as a parent.

It means you’ve created a secure base from which they can explore the world, knowing they can return to you for comfort and support when things don’t go as planned. 

Your child’s resilience is a testament to your guidance and reassurance.

5) Your friends commend your family dynamics

It might sound a little odd, but pay attention to compliments from friends, especially those who know you and your family well. 

If they commend your family dynamics—maybe they notice the open communication, the mutual respect, or the obvious love shared among you—take these compliments to heart. 

These observations from an outside perspective can validate that you’re doing a fantastic job creating a healthy, nurturing environment for your children.

6) Other children enjoy your presence

Ever notice how some kids naturally gravitate towards certain adults? 

It’s a good sign if children beyond your own feel comfortable around you. 

Kids are intuitive and can sense who genuinely enjoys their company, respects their thoughts, and provides a sense of safety. 

If children enjoy your presence, it suggests you have a welcoming demeanor and a patient, understanding approach that not only your children appreciate but also their peers do. 

It’s a clear indicator you’re a great parent—likely better than you realize.

7) Your child shows initiative

If your child regularly takes the initiative—whether it’s doing their homework without being asked, helping with chores, or even starting their own little projects—it’s a sign of great parenting

It indicates you’ve fostered their sense of responsibility and independence. 

By setting clear expectations and encouraging their autonomy, you’re helping them develop the skills they need to navigate the world on their own. 

Seeing your child show initiative can confirm that your nurturing guidance is paying off.

8) Your child has a healthy social life

A child’s social life can be a mirror of their home life. 

If your child maintains healthy friendships and navigates social situations with ease, it’s a good indication that you’ve done well in raising them. 

You’ve likely modeled positive social behavior, taught them the value of friendship, and encouraged them to be kind and respectful to others. 

Their successful interactions with peers are a reflection of your excellent parenting.

9) Strangers compliment your child’s manners

When strangers go out of their way to compliment your child’s manners, take it as a sign of your successful parenting

It suggests that you’ve instilled in them the value of respect and courtesy, traits that can carry them far in life. 

These moments are proof that your hard work is visible, and you’re helping shape a respectful and considerate individual. 

If your child’s politeness stands out, it means you’re clearly doing a lot right.

10) Your child is curious and loves to learn

A child’s curiosity and love for learning are great indicators of positive parenting. 

If your child asks endless questions, shows interest in various subjects, or picks up a book on their own, you’ve likely nurtured an environment that promotes learning. 

You’ve shown them that the world is full of wonders to explore and that acquiring knowledge can be a delightful adventure. 

Your child’s curiosity is a testament to your successful efforts to ignite their mind.

11) Your child can regulate their emotions

Emotion regulation is a crucial life skill. 

So if your child can calm themselves down when upset, express their feelings in a healthy way, and handle disappointment with maturity, it’s a clear sign you’re doing well as a parent. 

You’ve likely modeled emotional regulation, taught them coping mechanisms, and given them the tools to navigate their emotions. 

This emotional intelligence will serve them well throughout their lives.

12) Your child values honesty

If your child understands the importance of honesty and practices it, consider it a triumph of your parenting. 

It indicates that you’ve emphasized the significance of truthfulness and integrity, and modeled these values through your actions. 

Honesty is a cornerstone for trust and healthy relationships, so if your child values it, it shows you’re setting them up for success in their future personal and professional relationships. 

Your child’s honesty is a sure sign you’re a better parent than you realize.

Hard truths about parenting

Parenting is an enriching journey full of love and challenges. It’s not about being perfect, but about being present, authentic, and always learning. 

Here are some hard-hitting truths about parenting to offer you comfort and perspective:

1) Mistakes are inevitable (and okay!)

Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, so making mistakes is part of the process. In fact, it’s through these mistakes that we learn and grow as parents. 

What matters is not perfection, but our willingness to acknowledge our missteps, learn from them, and strive to do better. 

Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection.

2) You can’t protect your child from all trauma

As much as we want to shield our children from all pain and hardship, it’s simply not possible. 

What we can do is equip them with the tools and resilience to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties. 

We can provide a safe space for them to express their feelings and fears, and we can be there to support them through tough times.

3) No one expects you to be perfect

The pressure to be a perfect parent can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that this is an unrealistic expectation. 

Your kids don’t need you to be perfect; they need you to be real, authentic, and human. 

They need to see you face challenges, handle stress, and even lose your cool sometimes because it helps them understand that it’s okay not to be perfect.

4) No one has it all figured out

Every parent is navigating their unique journey without a clear roadmap. 

Even those who seem to have it all together are learning as they go, just like you. 

So, when you’re having a tough day, remember that you’re not alone. Every parent has moments of doubt and confusion. 

It’s a part of the learning process.

5) Parenting is a lifelong learning process

Parenting doesn’t stop when your child becomes an adult. It’s a lifelong journey of learning, adapting, and growing. 

You’ll always be discovering new things about your child and about yourself as a parent. Embrace this journey with openness and curiosity. 

Remember, it’s not about reaching a destination—it’s about the experience of the journey itself.

Final words

Parenting can be tough, and sometimes, we might feel like we’re failing. 

But take heart, look for the signs that you’re doing better than you think, and remember these hard truths. 

You’re learning, growing, and doing the best you can. And that’s what makes you a great parent.

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