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How I Became a Better Parent

When I became a parent, I was determined to be a good parent, but I had no idea how to accomplish that task. I listened to everyone's advice and tried to do everything right, but I just felt overwhelmed, and I needed to take a step back.



After taking a step back, this is what I decided about parenting.


Everyone is Different


Every child and every family are different, so parents are going to parent differently. It sounds simple, but it was something I had to realize. Consistency is most important. Children need to know what is expected of them as they are learning and growing. When the expectations are constantly changing, we can't expect them to know what to do and what not to do. For this reason, trendy parenting tips are not for me. I need a consistent way of parenting.


I quit taking advice from other parents and people and did what felt right to me and what my daughter responded to. Times have changed and with those changes, parenting styles and techniques also need to change. We are not living in our parent's and grandparent's world. What worked for them will not work for us. The internet, social media, drugs, and population increases have made this a different world. The things are children are faced with are not the same as what our parents and even us went through. Our children can see so much more than any other generations could, all without leaving the house. They are influenced not only by their family and peers, but also by celebrities, social influencers, political agendas, the list goes on and on.


I Am Preparing Her for the World


Parenting is not about having a respectful child who does everything you tell them to. Parenting is about raising and mentoring a child so that they become a respectable member of society. Parenting is teaching and leading by example. It's more about do as I do and as you would want to be treated, than do as I say. As you show them how to act respectfully and treat them respectfully, they will act respectfully. If you demand respect and obedience, you are teaching them to become a people pleaser. Allowing your child to ask questions and push back, helps them to stand up for themselves and for what they believe in. As you answer their questions and guide them through life, you are teaching them how to respect their boundaries and the boundaries of others.


Knowing that your child is going to make mistakes will save you both a lot of heartache and disappointment. The key is to create an open line of communication with your child. You want your child to come to you for advice. You want your child to know that, even if they make a mistake, you will still love them and that you will come up with a solution together. Your child is going to have so many questions as they grow up and they will get the answers from someone they trust, let that person be you.


It Is Not Up to Your Children to Make You Happy


Don't put your happiness on your child's shoulders. It is not their job to make you happy or to help you with your problems. It's not fair to discuss your relationship problems with your children. While we want to teach our children empathy and compassion, we don't want them to think it is their responsibility to take care of us. It is not fair to their growing brain and bodies. They have enough to deal with without us imposing our problems on them.


Love Unconditionally


Show your children patience and unconditional love. They need to know that they will be loved no matter how many mistakes they make. They need to be addressed when their behavior is destructive or hurtful, but correcting behavior does not mean you don't love them. Make sure they know that. Talk to them about their mistakes and allow them to tell their side of the story.


Ultimately, how you parent is up to you and those who you co-parent with. Do what is best for you and your family, and don't worry about anyone else.

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