Your role as a parent is one of the most important jobs you will ever have. You are responsible for taking care of your children and making sure they have the tools they need to grow into successful and adjusted adults. Even the best parents have room for improvement. If you decide you want to make some changes to improve your parenting style, there are many ways to make yourself a better parent.

Talk to your spouse or partner. If you are raising your kids with your husband, wife or other committed partner, get on the same page. Discuss your desire to improve parenting skills with people close to you, if you are a single parent. They can offer you support if they know what your goals are.

Think of yourself as a role model. Children often mimic the behavior of their parents.

  • Demonstrate the actions and values you want your children to embrace, including honesty, compassion, love, dedication, hard work and generosity.
  • Surround your home and life with others who can serve as role models to your children. Whether these are family members or friends, keeping your kids around people who are a good influence will help you be a better parent.

Spend quality time with your children. Your children need your full attention on a regular basis.

Know where your child is. Know where they are, who they are with, who is in charge, and when they'll be home. This is critical especially for young teens.

Get to know your children's friends. Where your child spends time, and who they spend it with will have a deep impact on them. Make sure you know your child's friends and their parents.

Insist on respect. Respect for yourself and respect for others. Teaching your children good coping skills and communication is one of the best things you can do for your child. Make sure they can handle their anger in ways that will not be verbally or physically abusive to others.

Be radically consistent. Make sure your child knows if you promise consequences for good or bad behavior that you will deliver it - every time. Just don't say it if you aren't going to do it. Expect the same from your children.

Prepare your child for adulthood. Ask them often how they feel about things and keep open discussions going about drugs, drinking, money, personal safety, and current events. Really work at finding out where your child is on all of these topics and talking to them from a place that they will understand you, not just lectures. For example "What would you do if someone at school offered you drugs`" Listen to their answer and start your discussion from there.

Plan activities that do not include cell phones, laptops, tablet computers or other electronic or technological devices. This should be a rule when you spend time together. Share affection with your kids. Physical contact such as hugs, kisses and cuddles will make your children feel more secure, loved and connected to you.

Make time for yourself too. If you want to improve your parenting skills, you need to dedicate some time for yourself so that you can re-charge your batteries and eliminate stress.

Listen to your child. Listen to what your child or children have to say. Parents are so busy telling our children what to do, many times we fail to listen to their concerns. Learn what your children's hopes, fears and anxieties are. The better you understand your child's needs the better parent you can be.

Keep control. If you lose your cool in front of your kids they may become fearful of you. Whether you're arguing with a bill collector on the phone or you're having a spat with your spouse, don't exhibit angry behavior in the presence of your children. Any time you lose control and yell or argue with someone, you're showing your children this is how people react when times get tough. Instead, exhibit good parenting skills by illustrating how you can keep your cool and resolve the problem at hand in a calm manner. If you do lose your cool, be sure to apologize and take responsibility for your anger. That is another way to model healthy behavior.

Show love and affection. Many parents love their children, but don't always let them know it. Don't let a day go by without saying "I love you" to your children. Hug and kiss them to show emotion. An embrace for a child often makes him or her feel loved, safe and able to count on you.

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