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Parenting isn’t easy. Despite all the books that offer advice, websites that give suggestions, experiences that we can access every day, there is no clear and authoritative manual. We make mistakes as parents all the time, some bigger than others. When we do, the guilt can be overwhelming.

But you don’t have to be perfect. The best thing you can do is be honest in your actions with your child. By setting an example now and forming habits that they can emulate, you will be doing more for them than any picturesque Leave It To Beaver life ever could.

Here are three beneficial habits to help develop that will encourage your children to be healthy, happy and well adjusted by the time they are teens.

Communicate Fairly

This is a hard one because it takes a lot of patience, forgiveness and calmness to pull off. Mindful communication means being aware of your feelings, thoughts and needs. But it also means being open to hearing and accommodating the needs of others.

If your child hears you accusing your partner of always doing this, or never doing that, they will start to say the same things. If they hear your partner and yourself call each other names, they will start to do that. If they listen to you shouting insults at a driver who cut you off…well, you get the picture.

Put Away the Smartphone

We spend far too much time on our phones and we all know it. Which is fine, a good portion of the time. But we are becoming so reliant on technology that we are missing out on experiences and awareness of what is around us.

Our kids can be even worse, as they have grown up with this technology. So put away your phone during meals, when you are in the car, when you are at the park, when they are speaking to you…it will make a difference.

Be Understanding of Faults and Mistakes

No one likes to make mistakes, but everyone does. It is important that we learn to be kind to ourselves and others when it comes to mishaps, mess ups and our overall faults. That little voice that tells us we aren’t good enough? We can quiet it and help our children to do the same.

Not only will these habits help you, they will help your children as well. Especially once those difficult teen years begin.