What makes a good kid? 8 opinions on the role of today's parent

Canadian parents share their hard-won advice on child rearing and what it takes to be a good mom or dad.

By Natalie Bahadur

What makes a good parent? Opinions 1-3
What makes a good parent? While most parents strive to do everything just right, it seems only natural that many of them feel a nagging sense of pending failure at every turn. The fear of making wrong decisions can be very real, but the best you can hope for is the wisdom to make smart decisions and maybe a drop of luck along the way. So, what does make a good parent? We asked a handful of Canadians and here’s what they had to say:

Give them space
"Letting go is the hardest thing that you can do as a parent but it's also the best thing you can do. Letting go isn’t about saying goodbye when your child heads off to university. It's about letting go of the idea that your child will be what you want them to be. Being a great parent means giving your kids the respect and space they need to be their own individual. I think we want so much for our children to be what we are – or what we're not – that we try too hard to mold and shape them into our vision of perfect little beings."
Stephanie Mackenzie-Smith

Show them love
"Being a good parent means so many different things to me. But most of all, it just means love. If your child knows that she is loved, it will translate into confidence and security. The most important thing you can do is love your child and make sure she knows it. And, for married couples or those with a partner, it's important for your child to see the love between you two, as well. Happy, loving parents usually means happy, loving children. At least, that's my hope! I'm trying to set the best example I can!”
Mary McGovern

Learn everyday
"We believe it's a fine balance between learning, loving and consistency. I'm not sure whether we are doing a good enough job but I can tell you that our daughter is a lovely child who teaches us more than we teach her. One thing I would say though is that you need to take responsibility for your child and not put her rearing on others; you brought her into this world you need to make sure she contributes in a positive way. Only time will tell, but we are doing the best we can."
Rachelle Lalonde

Page 1 of 2 -- Parents across the country share four more ways to be the greatest parent you can be on page 2

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