5 Keys to Growing as Parents

Growing as parents involves recognizing that we're not perfect and that we can learn every day, especially from our children.
5 Keys to Growing as Parents
Elena Sanz Martín

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Some parents exercise their role automatically, without reflecting too much on their work and acting on instinct. On the other hand, there are others who are deeply involved in their children’s education and are willing to learn and improve every day. The latter group of parents offers their children a much healthier and more positive environment. So, if you fall into this category, we want to provide you with some tips that may be helpful when it comes to growing as parents.

First, we invite you to think about the person you were 10 years ago and compare that to who you are today. You’ve probably changed on many different levels. You’ve probably modified some of your attitudes and beliefs, polished your behaviors, and matured. Growth is intrinsic to being human. Therefore, when we talk about parenting, this same transformation has to be considered a fundamental part of the process.

The importance of growing as parents

Being willing to grow as parents implies recognizing that we don’t have all the answers, knowing that we can learn from our mistakes, and committing ourselves to improve every day. It’s a courageous process that confronts us with our fears and limitations. And it never ends, because a child is for life.

However, it’s the best way to ensure respectful and positive parenting that will result in happy children and good family relationships. Are you ready to embark on this adventure?

Recognizing that you don’t have superpowers and that you’re not perfect will motivate you to inform yourself, read, or consult with professionals in order to offer your children the best conditions for their growth.

Know what the keys to growing as parents are

To carry out this process, there are some essential aspects to keep in mind. Remembering them will allow you to enjoy each stage and, at the same time, offer your children the best version of yourself.

1. Recognize that you’re not perfect

In order to grow and advance, it’s important to recognize that you’re not perfect, that you don’t have all the answers, and that this is okay. This humility will be liberating and will prevent you from blaming yourself for any mistakes you may make in parenting. Likewise, you’ll find it easier to apologize to your little ones when necessary and thus strengthen the trust and bond that you share.

2. Use mistakes as stepping stones

No one’s born with wisdom on how to raise a child. This is a road that’s traveled day by day and failures will always be present. If you manage to see them as part of the process, you’ll be able to learn from them and use them to modify those dynamics that don’t work. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; experience is the best teacher and every stumble can become a step forward.

3. Honor your child

One of the fundamental keys when parenting is to recognize children as independent individuals with the right to develop their own personality, tastes, and interests. Therefore, remember to honor and respect your child and the person they are instead of trying to direct them and make them who you want them to be.

A mother kneeling on the ground to nuzzle her toddler's nose.
Listening to children, taking them into consideration, respecting their tastes and interests, and learning from them are fundamental aspects to growing as parents.

4. Overcome your fears

Growing as parents involves facing big fears for the sake of little ones. For example, you may find it hard to set limits and be firm for fear of triggering anger in your children and creating conflict, but you have to do it. On the other hand, you may be afraid to let go of control and allow your child to make decisions and be autonomous, but this is also necessary.

5. Manage your emotions

This is one of the fundamental tasks that every parent must face: Developing good emotional intelligence and adequate self-control. Your child needs a calm, secure, and loving figure who will support them even in their moments of emotional turmoil; someone who doesn’t take their behaviors personally and doesn’t enter into power struggles.

If you manage to put yourself in your child’s shoes and understand their emotions without being overwhelmed by your own, you’ll be giving them an excellent gift. In this way, you’ll be the best example for your child to develop their own self-control.

Growing as parents means growing with our children

Above all, the most important thing to remember is that, as your children grow, you grow with them. Each stage of their lives will confront you with new challenges and demand different attitudes and skills. Raising a teenager isn’t the same as raising a child or a baby. Therefore, you must be willing to transform yourself and adapt your performance to meet the different needs of each moment.

Each of their transitions will also be yours and, in the end, you won’t know who has taught more to whom along this exciting shared journey. Enjoy it!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Richardson, A. C., Lo, J., Priddis, L., & O’Sullivan, T. A. (2020). A quasi-experimental study of the respectful approach on early parenting competence and stress. Journal of Child and Family Studies29(10), 2796-2810.
  • Barocio, R. (2004). Disciplina con amor: cómo poner límites sin ahogarse en la culpa. Editorial Pax México.
  • Vallet, M. (2006). Cómo educar a nuestros adolescentes: un esfuerzo que merece la pena. WK Educación.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.