Lesson 6 of 7 - Learn how to parent effectively



Personality Traits of
Effective Parents

By Peter K. Gerlach, MSW
Member NSRC Experts Council


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    The Web address of this article is http://sfhelp.org/parent/traits.htm

    Updated  04-12-2015

          Clicking underlined links here will open a new window. Other links will open  an informational popup, so please turn off your browser's popup blocker or allow popups from this nonprofit Web site. If your playback device doesn't support Javascript, the popups may not display. Follow underlined links after finishing this article to avoid getting lost.    

          This is one of a series of articles in Lesson 6 - learn what typical minor kids need as they grow, and how to fill their needs effectively over two decades without neglecting yourself. The range and scope of global social problems suggests that many parents are failing at this.

          This checklist proposes that effective childcare depends on each caregiver's...

    • personal wholistic health, based on steady guidance from their true Self;

    • knowledge of the topics in this course,

    • genuine abilities to bond, empathize, and communicate effectively with other people;

    • balancing life priorities so they and each child get enough distraction-free nurturance; and...

    • a mix of desirable personality traits.

    This article (a) suggests these traits and encourages you to make your own list. Then (b) rank each parenting adult in your life on which of these traits they have (or don't). This is about awareness, nor blame.

          This brief YouTube video complements what you'll read in this checklist:

      This article assumes you're familiar with...

  • the intro to this nonprofit Web site and the premises underlying it  

  • self-improvement Lessons 1 thru 6, part 1

  • Perspective on personalities and psychological wounds

  • An introduction to effective parenting

   Personality Traits of Effective Parents

      Filling minor kids' developmental and any special needs takes caregiving adults up to two decades of loving, patient, creative work with each child. For long-range success (raising Grown Nurtured Children), this process requires an amazing array of parental skills and traits. Few parents have all of these all the time. 

      Use this checklist to clarify...

  • what traits you think are important in effective child-raising;

  • which of them you and your family adults or others have;

  • which traits you want to develop; and...

  • which traits your early-childhood caregivers had (or didn't have).

      Prepare to use the checklist by saying your definition of "effective parenting" out loud.

Options: use this trait-table to rate yourself, your partner (if any), each adult that raised you, and each parent who influenced them (i.e. your grandparents). If you have older kids, ask them to rate you on these traits. If you think some traits are specially important, hilight them. Consider ranking each trait from 0 (undeveloped) to 5 (well developed).

      The traits below are in random order.

Ideal Personal Traits of Effective Parents 

_ Wholistically healthy - usually guided by his or her true Self _ Able to love themselves and selected others unconditionally Wants to parent: and enjoys raising minor children
_ Committed; dependable _  Flexibly consistent _ Trustworthy and honest
_ Sensitive; comfortable  with all emotions, and empathic _  uses good judgment, and is decisive when needed _ Self aware and Self respecting
_ Genuine; real, vs. phony or insincere Spiritually aware and growing _ Sexually healthy and balanced
_ Genuinely tender, nurturing, and gentle _  Decisive; tough when needed _ Courageous, self-confident, and assertive
_ Spontaneous, playful, fun  _  Imaginative and creative  _ Patient; resilient
_  Effective listener  _  Realistically optimistic  _ Humorous, good natured
_ Flexible: willing to learn new ways _  Cooperative within limits _ Accepting with limits; forgiving
_ Able to grieve naturally and well

_  Often clear on key values and goals

_ Genuinely affirming and validating
_ Knows and accepts his/her own limits without undue shame _  Usually comfortable saying and hearing "No"  _ Willing and able to let go of control as kids grow. 
_ Doesn't use kids to fill their personal adult needs Balances parenting and other responsibilities well enough _ Comfortable asserting and enforcing limits and consequences with kids
_  Responsible and accountable _ Able to form healthy bonds with selected kids and adults _ Open to positive criticism and feedback
_ Kind; friendly, companionable _ Knowledgeable and wise _ clear thinking and articulate; stays focused when needed
_ Respectful and respectable _ Self-sacrificing, at times, without resentment _ Able to plan and organize well
_ Able to manage guilts effectively _ Able to manage anxieties effectively _ Able to manage anger and frustration effectively
_ Clear on their parenting objectives and responsibilities _ Well into true recovery, if s/he is a significantly-injured Grown Wounded Child (GWC)

      Does this group of ideal parental traits seem realistic to you? Which would you change or omit? Add? How would you rank these in importance? How would your parents react to these traits? Could adults maintain a high family-nurturance level without many of these personal qualities? Think of someone you see as an effective parent. Do they have many of these traits?

Learn something about yourself with this anonymous 1-question poll.

       Few caregivers have most of these characteristics, or have individual traits consistently. Any parenting adult can develop many of them with time and dedication. Do you agree? Would you also agree that kids are most apt to develop these traits if their caregivers model and teach them?

       Parenting adults must learn and perfect their role as they go - even if they have experience as an older sibling, a sitter, or au pair. They can't really judge their overall child-raising success until their kids are grown and perhaps parents themselves, though there are major clues along the way.

      In this sense, first-born children are at some disadvantage, through no fault of their parents. This is why having effective grandparents and other veterans coaching new parents along the way can be a great help to all... 

Premise: the more of these traits that the adults in any home and family with minor children have, the higher their nurturance level is apt to be. An equally important factor is how knowledgeable the adults are about (a) kids' developmental and special needs and (b) how to help fill them effectively toward healthy independence.

      Notice what you're feeling and thinking now. Do you focus on someone's parenting strengths or shortcomings? Whose? Take some time to really reflect now... What are you learning? 


      This checklist is part of a series of Weeb articles on what minor kids need to become healthy young adults, and how to parent (nurture) kids effectively. This article proposes that one requisite for effective parenting is a mix of personality traits. Some are instinctual and inborn, and others can be learned.

      This checklist of desirable parenting traits exists to help you meditate, discuss, and form your own list. Then you can assess any adult for which of the traits they have - or don't. This relates directly to whether their home and family has a high or low nurturance level. High levels have the best chance of guarding children and society against inheriting the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle.

      Pause, breathe, and recall why you read this article. Did you get what you needed? If so, what do you need now? If not - what do you need? Is there anyone you want to discuss these ideas with? Who's answering these questions - your wise resident true Self, or ''someone else''?  

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