There is one thing every parent has in common: they also had parents. How much these parents were in the picture, what lessons they taught, and and who they were as parents helped to form who each person became. A parent plays a vital, irreplaceable role in a child's life.
There is no one right way to be a parent. There is no one clear answer to every question, and there is no one correct way to raise a child. Being a good parent is about observing, listening, thinking, asking questions, and determining the right answer to each situation as it comes to pass. It takes patience, determination, and the acceptance that mistakes will be made along the way. Nobody's perfect, and even all-star parents do things they wish they could take back.
Are you ready to be a parent? This quiz is not meant to make that decision for you, but it can help you to determine for yourself whether this is the path you wish to take and the right time to take it. Maybe you're just taking this quiz for fun, and that's okay, too! Would you be a good parent, or do your parenting skills still need a little refining? Find out below.
Which of the following may NOT help your child become interested in reading?
The love of stories is as ancient as the stories, themselves. Before the skill of literacy became common, stories were shared out loud. Now a whole world of fiction is at your child's fingertips. While your child is developing their reading skills, they may not be able to launch right into reading your favorite books, but you can help with this. Whatever interests your child holds, whatever sparks their curiosity, can stimulate their desire to explore the world of reading.
You are craving a large tub of ice cream but want to set a good example. What do you do?
When we were kids, we all dreamed of the day when we would finally have the freedom to stuff our faces full of sweets. Parents have the ultimate control over how many Popsicles, how many chips, even how much juice their children consume. It is a constant worry for many parents that their children will go overboard and become unable to control their sugar cravings. How can a parent help their child to learn restraint while also being honest about the reality of cravings?
Which of the following may NOT help your child with potty-training?
Potty-training is rarely quick and is always messy. One of the toughest outcomes is a frustrated child refusing to try and demanding to go back to diapers. The most patient parent in the world would struggle to keep things positive under these conditions. There is a lot from the child to take in, from the fear of sitting on a toilet seat to the annoyance at leaving play time behind to run to the bathroom. Which pieces of advice are good and which is not so good?
Why do toddlers have a "why" phase?
The "why" phase is when a child between around 2 and 5 years old asks "why" after being told just about any information. During this phase, a child may also ask "What are you doing?" multiple times in succession. Not every child has this phase, or rather this phase is more obvious and lasts longer in some children than in others. This is a natural stage in a child's development and it must be handled with patience and understanding, even when it gets hard.
Which may NOT help motivate your child to help out around the house?
Keeping a house clean and organized is hard work. As toddlers, children love to help clean and carry things but their interest only wanes more and more as they get older. Pigs will fly before a teenager jumps at the chance to wash the car. A parent can do everything right and still struggle to have their children take care of their chores without a fight, but certain things can be done to help out with the difficulties. Which is counter-productive?
Which of these may help the family on a long car ride?
Road trips can be a lot of fun, but it is about the destination, not the journey. It is hard to be cooped up with anyone, least of all the group of people that loves and annoys you the most. Being well prepared takes up time initially but can save the crew a lot of tears during travel. Kids can only do so many things in a car. They can't run or play ball, and certainly can't play board games. Which will help instead?
Which may help if your teen hardly communicates with you?
Teenagers are at a phase in their lives in which they desire independence but still live under the roof of a parent or guardian. While throwing the rules out the window is not a good option, teens may become disgruntled by the restrictions to their freedom. On top of this, teens are forming their own friendships and no longer go to their parents for everything. It's natural for a parent to feel alienated. Which of these may help to bring communication back into the picture?
Which is a good way to get some "me time?"
When people become parents, everything else drops to second place. There is nothing more important that taking care of the child and helping them to grow, but it is hard to give up all of the freedom from before. It is hard for a young child to understand why a parent would want to spend even a moment away from them, but it is not selfish to need alone time, or time without responsibilities. In fact, relaxing without worries is very healthy.
Which of these may NOT help your child become interested in engineering?
Not everyone is going to grow up to be an engineer, but childhood is all about exploring the possibilities. Even if your child does not end up going into a field that requires engineering knowledge or expertise, the chance to try it out can both make memories and prepare your child for the puzzles they will encounter as adults. There are many ways to help a child to explore the art of using and building tools. Which of these is not recommended.
What is a good way to help your child become interested in school?
On the whole, children's interest in school lies on a spectrum. On one side, children take notes, raise their hand, and study hard for every test. On the other side, children come to school with blank homework sheets and black stares. A parent wants to help their child to become absorbed in school. This can be tricky as many children would rather be out running around or watching TV than sitting at a desk in front of the same teacher all day.
What do you do if your child is pulling your dog's tail?
While there are always exceptions, most household dogs are loving and nurturing to babies and young children. Dogs will stay close by when women are pregnant, then watch the baby with dedication and compassion. Dogs will tolerate children climbing all over them, pulling their tails, and poking their eyes, but that doesn't mean that a parent should ignore when a child is doing these things. In a worst-case scenario, a dog will bite a child in order to shield an injury. Even in the best case scenario, the dog is putting up with more than it should have to.
What should you NEVER do to teach your toddler not to bite?
There are many reasons why toddlers bite. One of the most common reasons is that a child is teething and needs something to sooth the ache. As toddlers are still developing their understanding of other children's feelings, they will not hesitate before biting. Another common reason is communication. Because a toddler cannot effectively ask another to share a toy or leave then alone, they find biting to be the most effective form of communication. Another common reason is that children are not accustomed to their aggressive feelings as well as all of the daily stresses. When feeling scared, nervous, angry, upset, or even bored, a toddler may bite.
What should you do with broken toys that are dangerous to play with?
When does prudence become carelessness? As parents, we want to set a good example and not toss out perfectly good toys, but we also don't want our children getting hurt as a consequence. A broken glass toy can rarely be saved but a broken wooden toy can often be sanded down to become safe again. Tape works in some cases but not when there are jagged edges underneath. As a general rule, what is the best policy to have when it comes to broken toys that are no longer safe to play with?
What do you do if your child does not want to hug or kiss a family member?
Hugs and kisses are things that we as adults associate with love. It can make us sad when children refuse a hug or kiss, but the child sees it in an entirely different way. The child may be avoiding a sensory stimulus they don't like. Examples of this include scratchy clothes, sticky makeup, wet saliva, damp sweat, tight squeezes, stinky breath, or just about anything else. It's no wonder children don't always run over to get a kiss from Auntie.
Which of the following may help your child become interested in medicine?
Medicine is an exciting field in which everyone has the potential to realize their dreams of a comfortable retirement all the while helping people every day. Not everyone becomes a doctor, or necessarily wants to become a doctor. There are numerous positions in research, development, practice, and other related activities. Exposing your child to the possibilities is a wonderful thing to do, even if they never end up going into the medical field. At the very least, they can help someone who is hurt.
What is NOT a good way to help your child make friends?
Sometimes a family moves to a new town and a child does not find new friends for a long time. Sometimes a child hangs by the sidelines on the playground, uneasy about the idea of plunging in and trying to join an activity. There are a lot of reasons why a child may end to themselves a lot of the time, and too much alone time is not good for anyone. There are some things a parent can do to help a child build a connection with someone.
What is the best way to get a picky eater to actually eat?
Nutrition is tricky. Healthy food is expensive. Homemade meals are time-consuming. Everything seems to fall apart at the last minute. Something won't defrost in time, something will get burned, and something will run out just before dinner. Then the meal finally comes together and there is a good chance someone around the table will scrunch up their face and say they're not hungry. It can be hard to pull it all together day after day, but the important thing is to try.
Which of the following may help your child become interested in computer science?
Computer science is a field that isn't going away anytime soon. Computer languages go out of fashion, but as any programmer will tell you, the second computer language is much easier to learn than the first. Just ten years ago, there were no computer programming games geared toward children. Now there are many, though some teach more than others. Which of the following has the potential to help a child discover a passion for computer programming, networking, or a related field?
What do you tell your child if another child called them ugly at school?
Seeing a child cry due to the heartless act of another is one of the hardest things a parent may ever have to experience. It is hard not to become emotionally wrapped up in the situation, even when the culprit is another elementary school kid. The way that we teach our children to handle these situations helps to form who they will be as adults and how they will handle the hurdles when they leave the nest. Which of these is the most sound idea?
Which of these is NOT a good way to teach your child to preserve the environment?
The Earth is a beautiful green and blue place that is becoming more and more brown by the minute. Teaching the importance of preserving the planet starts with the littlest things. A child is unlikely to take a parent's word for it if if isn't also paired with action. Children who are raised to consider their effect on the planet are more likely to carry that philosophy into their adulthood. This may even mean going to school to become lawyers, engineers, rangers, and entrepreneurs who make their life work improving the health of the planet.
Which of the following is the MOST effective at helping your child become interested in science?
In essence, science is the study of how our world works. Whenever a child ponders a caterpillar slinking across a stem or watches in awe as lightning appears in the sky, that child is beginning to approach just the tip of the iceberg of science. Those who choose a field in science to devote their life's work to may be intrigued by a single unanswered question that they wish to uncover the answer to. It all starts as children explore the world around them.
What should you do when your child falls and scrapes their knee?
The way we interact with a child after they get hurt can have profound impact on not just how they act but more importantly how they respond to the pain. Part of a person's pain tolerance is determined by how they consciously handle the pain signals being sent to the brain. If a parent runs shouting to an injured child, the child will become more scared and overwhelmed by the pain, needing more emotional support from the parent. Which of these is the best way to respond to a child getting hurt?
Which is NOT good advice to give your child for when they feel angry?
Anger is a natural emotion that everyone must learn to process in a healthy way. Those who let their anger control them end up getting hurt in the process, sometimes by losing a friend, sometimes through the repercussions of what they do. Even babies experience anger, and have little means of communicating this anger except for crying. As parents, we demonstrate good habits with handling anger by acting as a good example, but we can also provide advice about how to handle anger.
Your children are arguing. What do you do?
Arguments can be frustrating for everyone involved. When two people argue, it often comes from a place where each wants different things and sees arguing as the best way to get what they want. Sometimes arguments are worsened by a misunderstanding. As adults, we have had the chance to hone our communication skills as well as learn different tactics for negotiation. Younger children can't muster much more than "yes" and "no" in an argument. Which tactic will help your child's communication skills in the long run?
What does a parent need more than anything else?
A parent with a house full of kids needs one asset more than any other. No matter their other strengths, no matter their parenting philosophy, no matter any other circumstances, it all comes down to one thing. All of the parenting books in the world do nothing to this asset. It's not about where a parent comes from or what they believe. It is what allows a parent to do what they do day in and day out no matter what.