Parenting Skills: Types and Activities

Parenting skills are the skills that parents have for the education and upbringing of their children. Learn more about them today.
Parenting Skills: Types and Activities
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 10 April, 2023

Raising children isn’t a simple task. Children don’t come with an instruction book. Therefore, it’s important to acquire skills that make parenting successful. These make up the parenting skills that parents must gradually achieve in order to protect, care for, and raise their children successfully. Here, we’re going to tell you about the types of competencies and the activities to work on them.

There are different types of parental skills that allow our children to have healthy growth. The development of these will depend on different factors, among which is the socio-cultural and socio-economic situation of the family. This will make parents have or not have appropriate and good parental skills.

What are parenting skills?

When we talk about parenting skills, we’re referring to the abilities, capacities, and skills that parents have for the upbringing and education of their children. All these factors will produce a different response to the child and also the involvement of the parents or main figures in parenting.

For example, it’ll be very difficult for adults living in contexts of poverty, delinquency, and drug or alcohol consumption to develop appropriate parenting skills.

Types of parenting skills

There are different types of skills, although they all have to be related to achieving optimal child development. Here are the most important ones.

Educational competencies

These are all competencies related to the child’s daily life management. For example, personal safety, physical care, affection, self-control, emotional management, promotion of their strengths, unconditional support, and the promotion of respect and understanding.

A Hispanic family sitting on the porch, positing for a family picture.
Parenting skills may vary according to different factors, such as culture, values, environment, knowledge, type of life, and social contexts, among others.

Personal and partner skills

Among these, we can highlight the following:

  • Agreements between partners in order to establish the same educational style in both. Responses to the children’s behaviors must be coherent and oriented in the same direction.
  • Being interested in understanding and knowing the children. We must know what stage of development they’re at in order to be able to adapt to them in a correct and positive way.
  • Both have to be clear that being parents implies effort, dedication, and time.

Social skills

Parents must know how to solve the problems they face with other people. They must also recognize their own emotions and those of others, including those of their children, and be empathetic.

Personal life skills

This is the most important skill because if it’s not well developed, the rest will remain simply as good intentions. For that, it’s important to know ourselves and work on the aspects that don’t benefit us. The skills that parents must acquire to be able to raise their children correctly are the following:

  • Social skills
  • Correct impulse control
  • The ability to cope with stress
  • Assertiveness
  • Conflict resolution
  • Good self-esteem
  • A life project that’s well planned
  • Seeing life in a positive way

Skills to organize daily life

The organization of daily life should provide a relaxed and calm environment. For this, there must be clean and tidy spaces, as well as a correct establishment of daily routines.

A black family sitting down for a family meal.
All family members must be taught and cared for so that they acquire a healthy lifestyle in terms of food, rest, and hygiene.

Activities to enhance parenting skills

Surely you’re wondering if you can enhance your parenting skills. And the answer is yes. To do so, you can use the exercises we’ll suggest below to reflect on your parenting practices. Also, you can count on the other members of the family:

  • Educational style: This activity is advisable to do in pairs to establish agreements when we have different educational styles. We can use phrases such as “I’m permissive when…”, “I’m authoritarian when…” or “I’m democratic when…”. Both partners need to finish these sentences so that they can agree and look in the same direction in terms of their child’s education.
  • Do I know my child? This activity will reflect on the parents’ ability to know their child, i.e. their likes, interests, and concerns, among others. By knowing the child well, we can provide a better response to the different situations we face.
  • How do I solve conflicts? This exercise is intended to improve communication among the whole family. All members of the family should be honest and answer the following questions: How do I resolve conflicts and what should I do so that I don’t get upset and can give a calmer response? Then, you can brainstorm to see what situations provoke conflicts and how you can resolve them in a respectful way.

Children need their parents’ love

Ultimately, it’s very important for parents to develop the parenting skills that will enable them to successfully raise their children. This will enable them to enjoy healthy development. It’s also true that these competencies aren’t developed equally in all parents, as they depend, among other things, on their socioeconomic and sociocultural situation.

Good parenting skills will determine whether children will be adults capable of responding to their children’s demands. We mustn’t forget that for children, their parents are their heroes. Thus, they expect security, protection, and attention from them, but, above all, a lot of love.

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.

  • Quintana, J. C. M., & Casimiro, E. C. (2009). Las competencias parentales en contextos de riesgo psicosocial. Psychosocial Intervention, 18(2), 113-120.
  • Carrobles, J. A., & Perez-Pareja, J. (2011). Escuela de padres / Parents meeting: Guía práctica para evitar problemas de conducta y mejorar el desarrollo infantil / Practical Guide to prevent behavior problems and improve child deve. Piramide Ediciones Sa.
  • Ger, S., & Sallés, C. (2011). Las competencias parentales en la familia contemporánea: descripción, promoción y evaluación. Educación social. Revista de intervención socioeducativa, 49, 25-47.
  • Bernal-Ruiz, F., Rodríguez-Vera, M., González-Campos, J., & Torres-Álvarez, A. (2018). Competencias parentales que favorecen el desarrollo de funciones ejecutivas en escolares. Revista Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Niñez y Juventud, 16(1), 163-176.

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