Bringing a child into the world is one of the most magical – and terrifying – experiences a human being can have. From taking care of the day to day essentials to make sure your child is healthy and gets an education, to instilling important values and ultimately passing on the skills they need to function as an independent adult without you, parenting can be pretty daunting! If you’re in need of a little inspiration, then we’ve put together some of our
It’s okay to make mistakes…
It’s common for parents to feel overwhelmed, especially with their first child, and worry that they’re somehow not qualified or equipped for the task at hand. If that sounds like you, then the first thing to realize is that virtually everyone feels that way at some point. It’s natural, understandable, and universal. Great parents are still human, and they do make mistakes from time to time – and that’s okay! Part of the joy of being a parent is learning from your child along the way and sharing the ups and downs with them.
“I learned a lot from my Mom. My favorite lesson: remember there is no such thing as a certain way to parent and to remember that you are learning along with your child – it’s ok to make mistakes.” – Regina King
…and it’s okay to ask for help
Whether it’s firsttime parents dealing with a newborn or the most experienced parents dealing with a troubled teen, sometimes the best thing you can do for your child is to admit you’re out of your depth and seek help. Joining an online support forum, ringing up a trusted friend, or seeking the help of a professional is not ‘admitting defeat’ – it’s being proactive and doing what’s necessary. There’s a reason we say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ after all!
“Asking for other’s guidance helps you see what you may not be able to see. It’s always important to check your ego and ask for help.” – Kenneth H. Blanchard
Lead by example
Kids are smart. Often, a lot smarter than we give them credit for. If you say one thing but do another, they’re going to pick up on it – and possibly use it to their own advantage later on! Knowing that you’re a role model for your child can -and should- influence your behavior in positive ways. If you don’t want your child exhibiting a certain behavior, then you may need to look in the mirror first. If you want your child to be honest, kind, and have integrity, then make sure you’re setting the right example. This applies to the way you treat your partner too.
“Whatever you would have your children become, strive to exhibit in your own lives and conversation.” – Lydia H. Sigourney
Let your kids fail
Our instinct is to protect our children from pain and discomfort, but often we forget that it’s the hard times that make us resilient and teach us the most valuable lessons. It can be extremely difficult, but knowing when to back off and let your child try something even when you know they’re likely to fail is critical. While it’s not nice to think about, you’re not always going to be there for them, and they have to learn to trust their own judgment.
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” – Ann Landers
Understand the difference between discipline and punishment
Whether it’s setting and sticking to bedtime, doing their homework, or remembering to put their seatbelt on when they get in the car, one of your biggest roles as a parent is teaching kids how to behave in an often confusing world. Limits, rules and boundaries might not be fun, but they’re important – and establishing a routine early on and having clearly defined boundaries is beneficial for the whole family. Breaching the rules at home should have real consequences, just as they will do out there in the big wide world. And of course, once the child understands what they did wrong, it never hurts to give them a hug and remind them you love them no matter what!
“The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.” – Russel Barkley
*This is a collaborative post*