What actually is unconditional parenting? Too vague. Too deep, yet, it comes naturally. It is unconditional love. This is a gift nobody could take away from a parent’s heart. It is a gift a parent feels for his/her child.

But how does a parent do that? Does it take to be a parent to know how to love unconditionally? No, but only a real parent, biological or not, can feel and show real love toward another individual without asking for something in return.

Well, here are some common guidelines and suggestions/­opinions that surely help parents in keeping and nurturing children:

1). Listen as you talk.

Be careful with what you are saying. Ask first. Never draw a conclusion before you know what is in your child’s heart and mind. Think before you talk. Do not say what you don’t mean and be sorry after. Do not do all the talking because a child has his stand too. It may teach you or lead you to the answers to your questions or doubts. Communication always takes two to tango. Let your child feel that he has the right to talk or has the privilege to be part of the conversation. Communication is the time to discover things from your kids as well as things between you.

2). Draw a line and not a wall.

Give a little allowance for your child to cross over. Do not put a barrier between you and your children. Sometimes, it takes a little gap between parents and children so that things go smoothly without abuse. Be their friend but let them know that you are still a parent who is there to understand and scold when things go wrong. Let them understand why you are scolding them so that they would know why you need to do that. However, the scolding should stop there. Help remind them the things they do not want to happen again without nagging. Never keep scores and don’t be mad for a long time. Hug them after and say that you are angry not at them, but only at the mistake they did.

3.) Be positive.

Give your kids the benefit of the doubt. Remember presumption of innocence? Never judge them beforehand. Your doubts may be wrong. Even after you have found out that they committed a mistake, give them a pat and encourage them to do better next time. Give suggestions and opinions on how to correct the situation. Always excuse them and believe in them. That way, kids will certainly do better without compromising.

4.) Always ask.

I am certain you have good views. But your kids may have BETTER ones. You may suggest watching a movie, but your kids opt to stay home and have popcorn over Gossip Girls. You may like vanilla ice cream, but they want chocolate. The most voted one should be the last word. Also, avoid sounding too authoritative.

5) Be in the flesh.

Every child needs their first teacher and model, and that is you. Nothing can compensate for failure in the home. Right? They first discover things at home. They feel their importance and presence at home. A house is not a home without their parents. A child never looks for happiness outside their home if and when parents are there to take care of them. Let them feel your presence. Be interactive and get involved no matter how tired you are from work.

These are just basic and typical parenting guidelines. One can do this even without proper workshop. I didn’t say it is easy to be parents because there are no perfect ones, but these guidelines may help remind Dad and Mom that children have their equal part at home. This is also to remind parents that love knows no conditions and they are never called parents without their children, and vice versa.

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