What’s the Most Important Parenting Skill?


Patience, forgiveness, empathy?  What is the most important parenting skill?

Good parenting isn’t presented to us at baby showers or as a parting gift from hospital staff following 21 hours of labor.  So, how do you acquire the skills needed to raise decent human beings?  Moreover, what are the most important qualities needed to ensure your child is able to grow into a valuable member of society?

PatienceWash, dry, fold, break up fights, chauffeur, shop, cook, clean, repeat… over and over again.  After years of this monotony it’s no wonder many parents find it challenging to be patient with their children.  Still, if you are able to dig deep and find a way to tolerate the child asking the same question 50 times in 30 minutes, parenting will be much more rewarding.  Try to laugh when you want to cry; smile when you feel like screaming.  Look for the lighter side of dark moments and you may find your child doing the same.  Being able to feed off of one another’s patience will help foster a stable and loving home.

Listening:  Don’t pass up an opportunity to listen to your child regardless of his age. Talk less, listen more and you will be one step closer to raising an emotionally healthy individual. By truly listening and acknowledging what your child has to say you will help build confidence in him and strengthen the bond between the two of you.

Empathy:  Being able to empathize with your child is a priceless skill, especially when your son or daughter is too young to speak.  Infants don’t have the means to communicate via words which means you have to work harder to interpret your baby’s feelings through his behavior.  If your typically happy and active toddler is acting up or is unusually quiet, he might be feeling under the weather.  A good parent is able to read in between the lines of his child’s behavior and act accordingly.



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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.