If you're planning having kids any time soon I might have a few tips for you. I'm not a parent yet, but I'm someone's child and that gives me fifty percent shares to "Family Enterprise". If you're looking all over the internet for guides on how to raise a child you're going to fail, both on finding one, and later on raising your child. the minute that child is born his personality starts to form, I bet his personality started to form while in the womb of his mother. The way he cries, the way he yawns, smiles or sleeps will tell you so many things about him, you just need to bother noticing them. You need to think that your child is one of a kind and there is no other cutter than yours. He's special and growing up will become someone and will achieve so many things, but in the first two decades you'll be more than partially responsible for his achievements or failures.
The first thing you need to worry and never lose sight of the fact that you might screw him up, not screwing up your kid is really tough. Never let the education you got get in the way for educating your own kid, he's not you and will never be, we're all different and as we can't treat each other the same way we mustn't treat out kids the way we were treated when we were kids. Raising your kid is a whole new process that you should start from scratch. Never let your own beliefs get in the way of your child's own beliefs, let him know that he has options, at least it's how I am going to do when my turn will be.
Let him know that he has choices, options, he has the right to choose what diaper to wear, how to dress up, he knows better, he's not you and will never be and it's not necessary to have the same opinions, he's just being himself without realizing it, make him trust his instincts because he has them, everybody has instincts. Without a doubt you're going to love your child, of course if you're parents didn't screw you up to much the time you were a child yourself. Remember all the mistakes you did as a child and all the mistakes your parents did, I don't mean to remind them and or having a revengeful way of thinking, but to stay on guard not to repeat them yourself, your kid doesn't deserve to suffer the way you suffered.
Be your child's parent, but also your child's best friend, be his confident, let him know that he can tell you everything at any time, that way you'll know and you'll worry less, it's a win-win combination, establish a relationship based on trust. Respect your child and his choices and he'll do the same, kids are predisposed to follow their parents' examples, even if not all examples are good ones. Be empathetic to your child, read his emotions, his feelings and his needs, you may not want to read other people but you're kind of bound to read your kids, not sure if empathy can be developed from scratch but don't worry, there is a simple solution to that - asking. Ask your child, talk to him all the time, there is no one who should more interested than you, his parent. People come and go but for the most part of his life you're going to be there for them.
I'm not religious and I'll (probably) never be, but I'll leave it to my child to make his decision on whether to believe or not in god or other greater powers. I have my own reason on loosing my religion but it doesn't have to be the same for my child. Hope it's different with my wife but I see already that I'm going to argue with her and whether there is or isn't a God.
On becoming a parent I have my fears too, one of them is letting my depression get to him, depression it's not quite something you can control, it's not always a choice, but I'll do my best on being less depressed and more happy, he deserves to see me smile, have an example to learn smiling from. Right now I can't imagine a better reason to be happy other than having a child, from a parent's perspective. The last thing that your kid needs is your negative energy surrounding him.
My parents kinda sucked at giving me an education, so I had to do it on my own, somehow I feel robbed of my childhood, I barely got out of the house and played with other kids. You know those commercials on TV where parents are fighting and their child crawls under the table trying desperately to escape into his own little world far from his parents screaming at each other, well,, I feel like I'm that kid only without a table to crawl under. What I'm trying to say is never let your kids see you fight with your wife/husband, your child may not be that strong on taking it easy, it might traumatize them, and most of the time there will be irreversible traumas.
I'll spoil my kids to death but I won't let them be too spoiled. I'll teach them rules, if they disobey the rules they're going to be properly punished, nothing violent, god forbid, smacking them on their bottoms from time to time of course but no matter how mad they're going to make me I'll never forgive myself for slapping them on their faces, I know it from my own experience how traumatizing that can be. I am a very revengeful person and I'll remember, if I have the luck to have kids like me than so be it. My mother used to curse me to have kids like me, well mother, I'd be lucky to have kids just like me.
Growing up your kids are going to be needing all the support they can get from you, they will make choices, sometimes bad ones, you'll need to be the one to give them feedback, never point fingers or attack the person, but give feedback on how the issues need to be solved. Don't you dare remind them their mistakes on a daily basis, just make sure they have learned their lesson, but also keep in mind that sometimes out of luck they may repeat the same mistakes, it happens, we're all humans after all.
We all have hidden talents, that are not visible at first, be the one to discover them, it may be dance, music, acting, science, it may be something you never tried yourself but it doesn't mean they shouldn't. You should support and respect their decisions. If they get to achieve something let it be grace to you and not because of you. I might have missed my chance at living my life the way I wanted but I'm not going to live my life by living their lives, it not their fault that my life sucked. I have a lot of love to give and I'm gonna do all that is in my powers for them to have the happy family that not only my children, but all the kids in the world deserve, I'm gonna be what my parents failed to be. My mother used to stop me and keep me grounded because I wanted to take ballroom dance classes. I get it, or at least I wan it to, she was worried in a very selfish way, she didn't care about me not being able to do something I love but worried of herself worrying to much. Worrying is something that every parent does, it's natural but don't let your craziness get in your child's way of becoming somebody. I can be proud of that I got through and have five years of ballroom dance studies, unfortunately I was in a country where even with your parents support there isn't always a future. Don't stay aside, be a part of your child's life, be there in case he needs you. I dream of taking my child to championships and rooting for him, congratulate him for winning a medal in ballroom dancing or something else he might be good at, and comfort him in case of a failure, next time is going to be better, just believe it for him.
For now I don't know what else to say but I'd be more than happy to engage into a discussion with on what's called parenting. Phrases such as "You're not a parent, you don't know it" will not be tolerated. I am a person who likes to observe and analyze, I've seen dozens of parenting types and tones of approaches, by this time I should know everything on what parenting should be about.
What's your way of raising your kid? What should be done for your kid to grow up a personality? What are the classical mistakes a parent does? If you have questions to me I'd be infinitely happy to answer. I wish you to be the greatest parent there is, make your child proud of having you as a parent and not the alcoholic or drug addict (god forbid) next door. Because you deserve, and so do your kids. Make it mutual, respect and be respected, love and be loved, smile and be smiled at. There is enough misery in the world, make your kids' lives as happy as possible, you're responsible for their happiness.