Top Traits of Good Parents

A few years ago I read an article about the top traits of good parents. Even though it’s been several years since the article’s publication, the information is timeless and I wanted to share it once again.

The following is from “WHAT MAKES A GOOD PARENT? A scientific analysis ranks the 10 most effective child-rearing practices” by Robert Epstein, Scientific American Mind, November/December 2010, pp. 46-51

The Top Traits of Good Parents

Here are 10 competencies that predict good parenting outcomes, listed roughly in order from most to least important. The skills—all derived from published studies—were ranked based on how well they predict a strong parent-child bond and children’s happiness, health, and success.

  1. LOVE AND AFFECTION. You support and accept the child, are physically affectionate, and spend quality one-on-one time together.
  1. STRESS MANAGEMENT. You take steps to reduce stress for yourself and your child, practice relaxation techniques, and promote positive interpretations of events.
  1. RELATIONSHIP SKILLS. You maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse, significant other, or co-parent and model effective relationship skills with other people.
  1. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE. You treat your child with respect and encourage him or her to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.
  1. EDUCATION AND LEARNING. You promote and model learning and provide educational opportunities for your child.
  1. LIFE SKILLS. You provide for your child, have a steady income, and plan for the future.
  1. BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT. You make extensive use of positive reinforcement and punish only when other methods of managing behavior have failed. (NOTE: The author appears to be unaware of the differences between PRAISE and ACKNOWLEDGMENT or the differences between A PROCEDURE and a CONSEQUENCE—both of which are described in the book:
  1. HEALTH. You model a healthy lifestyle and good habits, such as regular exercise and proper nutrition, for your child.
  1. RELIGION. You support spiritual or religious development and participation in spiritual or religious activities.
  1. SAFETY. You take precautions to protect your child and maintain awareness of the child’s activities and friends.

The article also noted that two of the best predictors of good outcomes with children are indirect: MAINTAINING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THE OTHER PARENT AND MANAGING YOUR OWN STRESS LEVEL. (Caps added)

What are your thoughts about this list of top traits of good parents? Are there any qualities you would add? Please share your thoughts on the Without Stress Facebook page.