I may not be an actual parent myself, though I do feel like one with my Border Collie, who I’ve had since she was just four months old. In her younger years, there were many sleepless nights, frustrating moments of disobedience and potty training was nothing short of a nightmare. Yet, despite it all, I love her more and more every day. Raising a dog versus a child is vastly different; though, having a furry companion pre-child has proven to be a good way to trial if you have what it takes to be a successful parent.
That said, real talk for a moment. Parents, you have one of the hardest jobs in existence. You have the ability to raise a child and influence who he or she will grow up to be. That ability comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s no wonder that there’s so much stress and anxiety that comes with parenthood. However, all is not lost. In fact, worrying over what kind of parent you’ll be, and knowing which kind you don’t want to be, actually shows you have all the secrets to successful parenting within you. All you have to do now is unpack those traits, and learn how to use them appropriately.
Adoption Choices of New York is here to help you do that. We’ve compiled a valuable resource that contains several of these traits and qualities. Read on to see which ones you already have, and what other ones you could acquire.
Traits of Successful Parents
For some, parenthood is a calling. You can tell by watching them or talking to them that raising children and having a family is a deep part of who they are. Whether they are an actual parent or on their way to being one, it doesn’t matter. It’s clear their heart is in the right place, and that they will be an amazing role model and parent to their children. Here are just some of the essential traits and qualities successful parents possess:
- A Sense of Humor: Learning to laugh at yourself is crucial when it comes to parenting your child. For one, laughter is the best medicine. It’s an excellent survival tool, and helps you stay sane. Additionally, laughing at yourself or situations shows that you know the difference between taking things seriously and when it’s ok not to. With parenting, there are so many absurdities that you’ll face. From nonsense questions, incessant chatter, or your child coloring himself or herself in permanent marker, successful parents know well the saving grace of having a sense of humor.
- Tolerant of the Unknown: The Unknown is scary. There is no real way to prepare for it, and no way to research it and learn more. It’s one of the many aspects of parenthood that keeps prospective or current adoptive parents on their toes the most. Change is something that is widely expected when raising children. Every day has it, sometimes more than once. But that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. A secret to successful parenting is learning how to embrace change, and be willing to adjust as things arise. Whether the unknown that surfaces is predictable or not. It’s a steep learning curve, but an important one. There’s nothing wrong with staying on your toes. Yet, instead of fearing it, welcome it. Learn its ebb and flow and alter your course accordingly. Even if that means involving some risk.
- Able to Accept and Express Emotions: As you know, your child will learn much of his or her behaviors from watching you. They will build skills and imitate you as they are developing their own sense of self. So, if you aren’t someone who openly shares their thoughts and emotions, neither will your son or daughter. However, a successful parent knows the importance and secret to being able to express themselves. Not only does it help establish a relationship between you and your child, but also allows them to accept their own feelings and enables them to communicate what they are feeling and thinking better.
- Good Communicator / Problem solver: Along the same lines, a successful parent knows the value of communication and when to listen attentively. Instead of interrupting and enforcing opinions without cause, they sit back and seek to understand what’s happening before suggesting or giving advice. Communicating and solving problems is something that parents face on a daily basis, making this a vital secret to successful parenting.
- Advocate: Adoption already brings a plethora of emotions and sense of “differentness” with it. Yet, successful parents who show genuine concern for their children know how to traverse these aspects. In doing so, they become his or her advocate. How do they accomplish this? By putting the needs and interests of their children above your own. By becoming their support system, and earning their trust. You know you’ve learned a secret to successful parenting when your child knows that you are in their corner no matter what.
- Strong Commitment: Entering into parenthood means that you are ready and willing to do whatever it takes. To invest in your child’s life, even if that means putting your own dreams and goals on hold. Whether you adopt or have a child biologically, having a strong sense of commitment is a must. It is another crucial secret to successful parenting. There is no giving them back at the end of the day like there is with babysitting. There’s no giving up. Being a parent means that you are both physically and emotionally able to raise a child. A successful parent is strongly committed, and has a steadfast support system in place when they are needed.
Secrets to Successful Parenting
Do you want to be the most successful adoptive parent that you can be? Of course you do! Who doesn’t? Is everything listed above all that’s needed? No, of course not. There isn’t a “magical formula” that will transform you into a successful parent, and the above isn’t meant to be taken that way. Rather, it is here to provide some helpful tips. Any magic behind parenting is all about you, and how you’ve chosen to raise your kids.
Love your children, cherish your time with them, and be open to whatever happens. Life is a journey. Full of good and bad moments. Always remember that the true secrets to successful parenting start with you.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
DeVere, Chris. “Characteristics of Successful Adoptive Parents.” Families For Children – Characteristics of Successful Adoptive Parents., www.families4children.com/adopt_success.cfm.
“Extraordinary Traits of Adoptive Parents.” Let It Be Us, 13 Apr. 2016, letitbeus.org/extraordinary-traits-adoptive-parents/.
“Open Adoption: 5 Must-Have Characteristics for Adoptive Parents.” National Registry for Embryo Adoption, 30 Nov. 2017, www.nrfa.org/characteristics-of-healthy-open-adoption/.
“Qualities of a Successful Adoptive Parent.” », 12 July 2017, www.mljadoptions.com/blog/qualities-successful-adoptive-parent-20170712.