Parents – Cut Yourself a Little Slack!

It is rare that you come across a parent who proudly proclaims ‘I’m a good parent.”  Why not?  Many moms and dads are filled with self-doubt, but the reality is that most of the judgments we make about our parental abilities are unnecessary. The following are common misconceptions and questions parents often ask themselves. Maybe its time to get past this negativity and give yourself some credit for taking on the hardest job in the world.

That’s not how my mom raised me Parenting methods undoubtedly develop through the ages. There was a time when refusing to eat your greens could be reasonably punished with a spanking and being locked in your room.  Parents today often cannot rely on the parenting methods of their mom and dad. The areas of child development and child psychology have come a long way since you were born. Although it appears to be an impossible task, academics strive to pinpoint the best approaches to bringing up a child, so that child can have the absolute best start in life. The overwhelming conclusion is that there are always alternatives to spanking and shouting and that these alternative methods produce better results. The ‘time-out’ method has been deployed in many a television program and in women’s magazines because it works, if you have the patience to stick with it. There’s no doubt about it; tweaking your parenting style is tough, but you’ll get there. Reading modern parenting books and investigating parenting websites can give you exposure to any new parenting techniques.

My girlfriends are so much better parents than I am
This is one of the most self-destructive attitudes moms torment themselves with. By constantly comparing yourselves to others, you chip away at your own self-confidence. The result? You believe that nothing you do is ever good enough and your child is there to pick up on those emotions.  The truth of the matter is that you are a great parent and you’re just as good at raising your child as your girlfriends are at raising theirs. Just because your little one started a riot at a neighbor’s party does not mean that their children have not behaved similarly in the past. You cannot judge the parenting skills of others based on observing a family for a couple of hours a week.  Who knows? They may be little angels in your company, but when they’re back at home, they could be little nightmares.

What will other people think?
There probably isn’t a parent in the world who has not once thought to themselves ‘What will everyone think?’ An extremely common situation is when children become unruly in public places, such as a grocery store, shopping mall or restaurant. It starts so innocently. Your child wants something, and you refuse, and he or she raises their voice. Your instant thought is “Oh, no, we’re making a scene.”  You maintain your stance, and your child shouts louder and before you know it they’re on the floor kicking and screaming and all you can think is “what will everyone think?”  You worry they will decide you are a bad parent. Does this sound familiar? That’s because it happens to many parents at some point in their life. In this scenario, in order to be exhibit consistent parenting, the best option for the child would be to refuse the child’s request, but what often happens is that parents give in just quiet their child. You are still a good parent. Anyone who may give you the look or criticize you has probably forgotten how their own children behaved at one time or another.

A good parent is a confident, modern parent. Rid yourself of the guilt and worries about being a good parent and go on to enjoy parenthood and the joy that it brings.

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